When it comes to roof mounted solar panel installations many customers worry about the
attachment to the roof, also known as the flashing. Flashings come in many brands, styles, colors,
materials, and much more, and while there are many options, like anything else, they are not all equal
and ensuring you have the best brands can be the difference between a maintenance free system and a
nightmare.

Home Solar Panel SystemScreen Shot 2015-04-16 at 4.03.13 PMhome solar systems

There are many types of flashings out there depending on the type of roof you have, the type of
installation you are doing, the amount of money you want to spend, and your personal aesthetic choice.
While all of these factors are important many companies will choose one maybe two of these as the
reason for their flashing choice, when in reality all of these factors are a must when designing a system.
Depending on the roof type you have for example concrete tile, Spanish tile, asphalt shingle, or
membrane the flashing needed to ensure a weather tight seal will vary. The installation you are doing
also plays a big role in the choice you make, for instance, if you were installing on a membrane roof and
needed to clear roof obstructions you may choose a flashing with a taller standoff leg (See above right
image) however if you were installing on a Spanish tile you could choose to either use a low profile
standoff leg and inset the panels into the roof, or you could choose to use what’s called a tile hook that
wraps around the tile and you mount above it. There are pros and cons to all the flashings on the market
but doing your research to ensure you have the best available is key. Once you have found the flashing
you need for the roof type you have, the installation you are doing, and the look that you are going for,
the last step is finding it for the right price. This is already done for you when teaming up with a
company like Ablaze Energy because our network of installers are able to get the best product and
pricing available.

The next important piece to take into account when looking at flashings and the company that is
going to be installing them is, how do they do it?

This is a great question and as a homeowner this should be very important to you! How is the
attachment made, do you distribute the load across the rafters, how are you sealing the penetration
from the weather? When installing flashing it’s important to have a company that takes the time to not
only inspect the overall roof but to take the time and inspect each rafter for things like bowing, cracking,
missing rafters altogether, and anything else that could be considered a red flag. At the end of the day
this is one of the most important parts of the system, it’s the foundation, and there are tremendous
amounts of weight and stress from snow and wind that can cause extensive roof damage if not installed
correctly.

Make sure that the company that you choose takes the time to do this, inspect the roof, the
rafters, and the decking and when it comes time to do the installation they should not be on the roof
with hammers banging around trying to find the next 2X4 to drill into, instead they should have it
mapped out to ensure that each and every attachment is made solidly into the rafter at the correct
torch and depth depending on wood species. Be it spruce, pine, fur, or any others, each is specific to
what is necessary for a solid attachment. Lastly is ensuring that the flashing is sealed correctly, having
the correct torch and depth on the attachment ensure the panels will stay in place, but equally
important is ensuring that your roof does not become a sieve. Ask your installer what type of sealant do
they use, then look it up for yourself. Is it the correct type for your application? Was it the cheapest you
can find out there? How long is the sealant rated to last for?

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So when you sit down to evaluate a company to install your solar, don’t just shop on price.
Often low prices are a result of cheap product, so do your homework, ask the right questions, and
ensure that you are being given the best equipment from the panels and inverter to the flashings and
the weebs.

Ablaze Energy and its affiliates use only the highest quality equipment, from the large pieces
that you will see every day down to the nuts and bolts that hold it all together. We will not claim to be
the lowest price and many times you will find companies that will do it for less, but we will never install
anything less than perfection so something that cuts cost at the expense of quality, is not us!