Solar 2009: Paying attention to every detail

For those of you who pay extra attention to details (and we hope you all do) here’s a project that kept a couple crews busy.

The homeowner of this residence in Woodside, Calif., was looking to update, modernize, improve and garner some solar power. Western Roofing Systems came in to tear off and dispose of the old wood shake roofing and install 7,500 square feet of Metro Shake from Metro Roof Products.

Integrating crystalline solar panels with stone-coated roofing is a challenge, but that was OK with Western Roofing.

“We only had to deal with flashing the penetrations,” says Mike Lunneborg of Western. “Someone else came in and did the solar panels.”

When Lunneborg says, “only had to deal with flashing the penetrations,” it doesn’t sound like a big deal. That is until he shares there were approximately 60 penetrations for the solar stands alone. The rest of the home contained another dozen or so penetrations to deal with.

“So we had to cut holes in the panels for each penetration with a snips,” he says. “It’s kind of like squeezing a tennis ball with your hand for six hours a day.”

Lunneborg says each solar stand penetration required the standard Metro detail for pipe flashings, using the under-pan sandwich method. The under-pan is installed under the roofing panel and is designed to prevent any water that gets through the sealant to drain back onto a downhill roof panel. The under-pan prevents any water from hitting the deck and penetrating the structure.
At the point where the penetration goes through the panel, sealant is applied and stones that match the color of the roofing are sprinkled on.

The entire roofing job took a couple crews less than two weeks to complete, in part because the roof has an 8:12 pitch and required the installation of 2×2 battens — they’re used on extra steep-slope applications more for safety and to simplify installation of the metal panels. Lunneborg says the solar stand penetrations added 2-3 days to the assignment.

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