Maintaining Roof Warranties
Keeping existing roof warranties intact could well be considered your primary challenge and responsibility when mounting a PV or solar water heating array to a customer's roof.
Roofs can have two types of warranties: a material warranty from the roofing manufacturer, and a labor warranty from the roofing contractor. If the manufacturer is unknown or no longer in business, then no material warranty is in place; likewise for the roofer of record and any labor warranty.
Consulting a Roofer
On a roof that has a material and a labor warranty in place, as most modern roofs do, it is a good idea to consult the roofer of record if possible. Labor warranties can vary significantly. Often the roofing contractor will void their warranty if another trade modifies the roof in any way.
Give the roofing contractor the option of handling the roofing modifications, or at least the opportunity to inspect and approve the modifications you make. There will likely be a fee for the roofer's service, but if it maintains the labor warranty it is money well spent.
If the roofer of record is unknown or unavailable, it is a good idea to get another roofer to take a look and advise and assist as needed.
Maintaining the Manufacturer's Warranty
Once a new roof has been installed, any subsequent modification will be known as a “retrofit.” Not voiding the manufacturer's warranty during an installation on an existing roof requires knowledge and skill. Poorly executed retrofits are the most common cause of warranty issues.
The manufacturer’s instructions will spell out exactly what does and does not void the warranty of their roofing product. Careful reading is highly recommended. And we cannot overemphasize: If you have any questions or uncertainty, consult a professional roofer.
Installers must adhere not only to the manufacturer's strict list of requirements, but also follow roofing industry general standards and best practices for waterproofing, as spelled out in guidelines provided by roofing authorities such as SMACNA, ARMA, TRI, and the NRCA.
Code-Compliance is Built Into Quick Mount PV Products
Studying and understanding in detail the relevant codes and guidelines from all these organizations was the starting point in the design of our mounting products. And we proactively monitor all developments in the relevant codes and guidelines.
So when it comes to the mounting and flashing component of maintaining a roof's warranty during an installation, if you are using Quick Mount PV products you can rest assured that you are up to code and beyond.
When installed properly – following the roofing manufacturer's instructions, exercising solar roofing best practices, and carefully following our packaged instructions – you will have in all likelihood successfully maintained the roof's material warranty.
The following links can help you increase your knowledge about waterproofing codes, roofing best practices and guidelines, and specific roof types:
- Our Wheel of Accountability outlines the many organizations involved with roofing and waterproofing. The Wheel, with information on and links to its component codes and associations, is on our Are You Up to Code? page.
Wheel of Accountability
- These downloadable 'Know Your Roof' PDFs have a wealth of information on mounting solar modules onto specific roof types:
- Our Information Downloads and FAQ pages have additional information.