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RESIDENTIAL SOLAR CASE STUDY

Protecting Your Home's Roof When Installing Solar

The number one element of risk with installing solar on your home is damage to your roof. An improper solar install can result in water damage and expensive repairs within a year or two of your system being install.

Solar Design Studio Residential Solar Case Study - Protecting Your Home's Roof When Installing Solar

A Kansas City, MO home owner contacted us about installing solar on her home. The home was located in an old neighborhood where the homes were 90 plus years old. All are well maintained and many had their roofs replaced a few times over the years. This particular home had a roof comprised of Decra Stone Coated Steel Metal Roof System. This roof is expensive and adds an element of elegance to the home. Naturally, the homeowner was concerned about roof penetrations associated with solar and invalidating the warranty. The home owner spoke with other install companies about an installation. and these companies failed to acknowledge the risk of installing solar on this particular type of roof.

After our initial assessment, we contacted Quick Mount PV and discussed our options and developed a solution using their Solar Mount system with Iron Ridge racking. The solution involved removing the roof panels on the roof, installing the mounts and then laying down a high quality ice and water shield. This approach protected the leak-free roof. The roof panels were replaced and sealed per the manufacturer's instructions. All conduit was run through the attic, not across the roof and avoid aesthetic issues. The manufacturer also honored the initial roof warranty in writing.

When installing solar, it is critical that the solar racking system be a 100% code-compliant, water tight system. As a home owner who is interested in solar we recommend you ask the prospective installers to explain how they with protect your roof and what type of written warranty you will receive. Ask yourself if you believe that installer will be in business to honor that warranty.

We have been installing solar for more than 14 years in the Kansas City area and we have never been called back due for a leaking roof. As QuickMount PV says, "Respect The Roof."

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What Our Clients Are Saying

I have researched adding PV to my home for several years and have met with several PV providers in the KC area and they tend to fall into two broad categories, the new and low budget operators who got into this to ride the wave and are not that knowledgeable, and the commercial providers who have little interest in working with a homeowner and are geared to providing a much larger system where some economy of scale must come into play. Both my wife and I are architects and we wanted something different and it was challenging to find someone who was interested in doing something out of the ordinary. Neither or those types were interested in working with us as we were trying to create something a bit different. they each wanted to sell us their pre-configured solutions.

 

Fortunately we found Bob Solger. He has been a delight to work with and is incredibly knowledgeable and responsive. We wanted to create a solar carport that would provide cover and protection for our cars, but would also provide shade over part of our patio. In essence, the big idea was to create an outdoor pavilion, when, if we wanted to entertain we could move the cars out of the way and have a large covered area for an outdoor gathering. We had selected the Lumos brand of solar panels as they have a very clean look and are partially transparent so some light filters through the panels creating a mottled light pattern on the ground, similar to the shading from a tree. In addition, the system is set up to hide the majority of the connecting wires in the support beams so when you look up at the underside of the PV roof you see a very clean look. Bob recognized our goal and worked with us to ensure the project’s success. Bob identified a structural engineer to design an elegant support structure and found a fabricator to build it affordably. Finally he connected us with a contracting team to clear the space, provide the footings, retaining walls, and pad, who were every bit as careful with everything as you would hope. They were amazingly accommodating to every request and understood that there were a lot of competing challenges that needed to be resolved so we could fit this all in to a very tight location and make it look like it belongs.

 

The bottom line is that it all turned out better than we could have hoped and while it did cost more than the low ball bids received from some of the low budget operators, it was less than the commercially focused suppliers, and more importantly we got the design we wanted and a well-constructed PV carport that will give us great delight for years to come. The best part is of course the savings on our electric bill, which thus far has been averaging around $200/month. So not only do we have a new carport and entertainment patio that our neighbors have been stopping by and admiring (which given that we live in the older Brookside neighborhood and our PV carport is quite modern, we were much relieved) but, our electric bills have been in the under $10/month range.

 

We owe a great debt of gratitude to Bob and his knowledge and team for helping to create an amazing PV carport for us. I’m sure you would be delighted with whatever you engage him to help you with.

Dev & Sue Malik

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