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solar panels on metal roof

I was all set for a company to put solar PV panels on my roof. I paid $4000+, got the city approval and permits, etc. They came to my home with the panels and tools. I had told the sales guy it was a metal roof, and he indicated that should not be a problem. But when the installers came out, it was determined that they cannot install to my roof at all. They say that their company has installed panels to other metal roofs in the past.

The problem is that those metal roofs are the more common ones that have a smooth surface and solid color. My metal roof has metal shingles that are designed to closely resemble traditional tar shingles. So their surface is not as smooth.

The installers say they don't have a (I think the word they used was 'bolt' or something) that would properly attach the panel leg (if that's the right word) to the beam (if that's the right word) on the inside of the roof. Something about it would slip due to the nonsmooth shingle surface and that water would leak when it rains.

So do you know what kind of bolt they should look for? They claim they've asked around and don't know of anyone who has this. The name of the roofing company is Erie Construction of Toledo, OH. The solar company is Missouri Sun Solar. I'm sorry I do not know the brand name of the roof.

Re: solar panels on metal roof

The bolts they use are probably lag bolts that are driven into the rafters or blocks between rafters. Once they attach the bolts, I don't see how the surface of your particular roof has anything to do with it.

Get a direct explanation from the owner of the company. Get your money back if he says he can't proceed and contact other installers.

Re: solar panels on metal roof

You've got several issues here, the first being that you need to comply with the methods for mounting that the roofing manufacturer recommend. Second is that this needs to be able to support the solar panels properly. Third is that you've got the wrong solar contractor- anyone who goes to do a job without at least a visual drive-by inspection beforehand is not someone I would deal with at any price. Once you find a better contractor then you're going to need to be sure the permits are amendable so that the new contractor can work under them. That alone is a clue about the solar contractor, most established companies will pull their own permits to be sure everything is covered correctly to minimize the chance of a work stoppage order being issued. However you go about this, keep the priorities straight- roof first and solar panels second, or you may find yourself removing the newly installed panels to repair a leaking roof along with water damage to be repaired underneath too.


Re: solar panels on metal roof

I totally agree with Mastercarpentry when he suggests that no company would start a job without at least one prior visual inspection of the site on which they are suppose to work and now that they have refused to do the job, it would certainly be better to find someone who would be willing to do the job along with taking the precautions that there would be no damage done to the structure of your home.You could also try installing the panels in the open space like a backyard or the front garden instead of dealing with a leaking roof every now and then.

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