offers roof flashing kits for installers of solar panels to ensure all penetrations on the roof are completely sealed and made watertight.
According to Stuart Swift, a Product Manager at DEKS, the world leading manufacturer of polymer roof flashings, many on-roof solar installations do not have appropriate seals around roof penetrations, which can impact the building’s water tightness.
Solar installations are increasingly being executed by installers with accreditation from reputable bodies such as the Clean Energy Council. Though these accreditations ensure that the solar system is installed in a responsible and sustainable way, the lack of clear regulation regarding fixing solar panels onto roofs is causing problems.
Roof penetrations sealed with mastic or silicone sealant are not considered durable. The Installation Code for Metal Roofing and Wall Cladding states that all ‘penetrations should be flashed’ and lists styles of proprietary flashings suitable for different applications; sealing around the hole with silicone is not even considered an option.
Lack of appropriate seals around roof penetrations or protection for PV cables not only creates long-term leakage problems but also runs a serious risk of the system failing initial checks by inspectors.
DEKS research shows that an increasing number of roof leaks are being caused by faulty solar installations, which could lead to reduced customer confidence in renewables. Lack of training or understanding how to carry out best practice weatherproofing of pipes and cables is more likely to be the cause than poor installation of the collectors themselves. Failure to adequately protect cables from damage can easily reduce the effectiveness of the system and create a possible electrical danger.
Installers and sub-contractors need to be competent enough to review and verify that the design would meet the specification, ensuring that the installations do not cause roof leaks.
While all manufacturers want to see their products fitted correctly to deliver optimum performance to the end user, most of the installation guidelines contained in manufacturers’ kits don’t cover recommended ways to seal the penetrations.
DEKS has therefore, introduced the roof flashing kits to meet this gap and ensure the installer can flash the penetrations with absolute confidence. The simple, cost effective kits contain roof flashings, fixings, silicone and instructions.
Specially designed flashings are easy and quick to fit and take away all the hassle involved in fashioning DIY solutions on each job. Fixing roof flashings to seal penetrations will ensure that the installer is not exposed to costly remedial work or claims for damages.