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Leak, possibly from roof attachment, can someone id this?

angelotrivelli Member Posts: 10
I've had solar on my roof for 3 years. Recently, the roof developed a leak that appears on the ceiling located near the single downspout. This is a flat roof with a slight angle. A rubber roof was installed the year before the solar went on (it covers an asphalt roof).

The root cause of the leak is elusive. I had the solar company come out but they didn't find anything. My roofer performed 5-year preventative maintenance early and made sure everything was good (except for under the panels).

It leaks in a weird way. Basically if there's a hard rain, I don't see dripping from the ceiling immediately. It has taken as long as the next day after the rain stops for the dripping to start. I am told this means the water ingress is some distance from where the ceiling is actually getting wet? That's consistent with solar panel attachments which start 2-3 feet from the downspout.

Now I am going remove the damaged plaster on the ceiling to get a closer look. I don't have a plan other than bugging the solar people for more troubleshooting.

The first thing, I guess, is to identify exactly how and with what my panels were attached and assess if this was done correctly and to code. I have a pic below. It looks like a circular rubber puck with a bolt in the center (the solar folks gooped some silicone on the nut when the visited-- just in case). Can anyone identify what this attachment is, and where I might find work instructions for its installation? Does anyone have troubleshooting ideas that can help me find the root cause of the leak?

The debris is just tree-stuff that seems to have stuck to the area around the attachment.


  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,505
    That's a tough one. I'd start by removing the plaster and probably enough insulation so you can see up the underside of the joists for a leak path.
    I assume you have no attic access to crawl around.
    If you can get a good look underneath, then the next step would be to either wait for rain or get someone up there with a hose while you inspect underneath.
    Based on your description, if it never leaks with a slow rain I'd suspect either water is being blown in on the edge of the roof, the gutter/downspout isn't removing the water fast enough, or there's a leak around one of the connections, and it puddles, then drips thru.
    Like I said, not an easy one to diagnose.

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,942
    Leaking coping around the edges(maybe some other material that wasn't replaced, especially masonry) or sealing to the coping can cause weird leaks like that as well, that is another place to look.
  • Is_solar
    Is_solar Member Posts: 10
    Even knowing what brand of mount it is , you wont know if the company did it correctly without removing a mount. This problem is defiantly on the solar company. They should be up there remvoving panels and looking for any possible probelm areas.

    Im a solar guy and a plumber. Any leak , whether its from a water pipe or a roof issue , is going to be hard to find. The spot where the drywall falls in might be 50 feet from the issue but the bottom line is that is the installation company has to address this. You're just lucky theyre still in business.