Anatomy of A Roof Leak with a Solar System

This time of year roofs will leak. They do every year when the rainy season comes upon us. Roofs will leak with solar energy systems and without solar energy systems. As roofs age, they deteriorate and this process opens up the home for water to enter.

A brand new solar energy system should never be installed on a failing roof.

Here some simple investigative approach’s to solving these problems:

  1. What is the age of the roof? Any roof older than 15 years will show signs of degradation. You must ask questions to be a great investigator. How old is the roof? Have you had problems in the past? When was the last time you had your roof flashing’s serviced by a roofing company?
  2. What keeps water from entering the home is the condition of the roofing paper under the actual roofing shingles, tiles, shakes, etc. Roofing paper that is degrading will begin to allow water to seep into a home.
  3. Flashing’s around chimneys, vents, and skylights are also a major point of entry. These flashings will have a sealant around the edges that is no longer holding up to the environmental conditions and water will now get into the home. Flashing’s need serviced with new sealant.
  4. The best time to determine where the point of entry is into the home is when it is raining and coming in the home. Do NOT wait for the rain to stop.
  5. The point of entry of rain into the home can show up in the home in a very different location. Water can come in through the chimney flashing but then travel down a beam and enter in the hallway through a light fixture.
  6. Get in the attic with a flash light and look for the points of entry. You will then see water travel to the destination point in the home. If its an open beam sealing, locate the highest point the water is entering the home. Then go back up on the roof and look for suspect points of entry.
  7. Carry a tarp with you, buckets, towels, Henry’s roof sealant, and Rainbuster 12000.
  8. Always take photos or video.
  9. Broken tiles are a problem, but in most cases are not the cause of a leak coming in the home. If water enters in through a broken tile, the roofing paper below should shed this water.

Is it better to own or lease a solar electric system?

Solar Electric (PV) System designed and installed by Suntrek Industries for “New American Home”

Lets get right to the point…there is only one reason why someone should lease a solar power system. One only. If the customer has no appetite for tax savings and cannot use a tax credit now or in the near future, then, leasing is the best approach. The leasing company will monetize the tax credit and some of this value will be in the lease plan.

Fact vs Myth on Leasing vs Ownership of solar energy systems:

  1. You get the same warranty and service with solar ownership as you do lease if you select a company that has a track record of being in the industry for decades.
  2. If you do not have the cash to pay for your solar system, finance the system so you still have ownership and can still use the benefits of the tax credit. By financing the investment, you will always have more money in your bank account with tax savings and energy savings than you would if you did not purchase a system. Positive cash flow year one moving forward.
  3. A lease provides no value to your real estate property. Own your solar system. Make it part of your investment in your home and when you sell, you will have that equity to recover.
  4. Leasing can get messy. Selling your home with a lease can be problematic. Getting an equity line of credit can be problematic with the lease on your property.