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I have a roof leak, Tesla says rotten wood

Gixx1300R

Member
Dec 30, 2017
737
1,263
orlando
A couple of weeks ago I discovered a roof leak in my laundry room. The leak was not there before the installation of the solar panels. I scheduled and inspection and Carlos (Solar tech) came out a couple of days ago and confirmed the leak and confirmed it was coming from underneath where one of the solar panels are installed. The workers can out yesterday and inspected, they stated the leak is from rotten wood and NOT the solar panel install, as I stated, THE ROOF DID NOT LEAK BEFORE THE PANELS WERE INSTALLED. I inspected the entire roof and found areas where the installers drilled holes through the shingles and patched the holes with sealer. Where the leak is I found the same under the panel but I cannot get any good pics. It is as if they installed the panels in the incorrect areas and them moved then later. Once this was done they filled the holes with the sealer. Clearly the permit that was emailed to me showed where the panels were to be installed. Now some of the sealer is coming loose and I suspect this will cause more roof leaks that Tesla will try and deny a claim for. So i
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n essence, the installer caused damage to my roof with future potential leaks. See pictures
 

Dan123

Member
Jun 19, 2018
451
322
Miami
They were trying to find the studs, and sometimes when they drill the hole they miss the studs. In theory, they should be able to seal the hole.

I don't know what caused your leak, but it is suspicious that the leak would happen after the installation and in the area that is covered by the solar panels. Maybe get a roofer to inspect?
 

Gixx1300R

Member
Dec 30, 2017
737
1,263
orlando
They were trying to find the studs, and sometimes when they drill the hole they miss the studs. In theory, they should be able to seal the hole.

I don't know what caused your leak, but it is suspicious that the leak would happen after the installation and in the area that is covered by the solar panels. Maybe get a roofer to inspect?

I would think a stud finder would be used instead of guessing. I can look underneath the panel where it is leaking and I can see the holes that they drilled. My studs are every 16 inches, I can see if they were off my a couple of inches but some of the areas are off by a couple of feet as if they didn't know where to install the panels.
 

Gixx1300R

Member
Dec 30, 2017
737
1,263
orlando
Their is no way you could ever accept the very poor work. Who ever you contracted to install has to replace all damaging roof coverings.
The system is only a month old. I have contacted Tesla and asked to escalate my claim. Here is another pic, see the circled areas. No where near in the area that the panels are installed
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Az_Rael

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jan 26, 2016
5,653
8,941
Palmdale, CA
I would get a roofer out to inspect the roof and write you a report with an estimate for how much it will cost to repair. Use that to escalate with Tesla. If they refuse, you may have to go after them in court. Looks like the small claims limit in FL is $5000, so that might be an option depending on what the roofer says the repairs will cost.
 
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Gixx1300R

Member
Dec 30, 2017
737
1,263
orlando
I would get a roofer out to inspect the roof and write you a report with an estimate for how much it will cost to repair. Use that to escalate with Tesla. If they refuse, you may have to go after them in court. Looks like the small claims limit in FL is $5000, so that might be an option depending on what the roofer says the repairs will cost.

That is what I am considering, I have sent several emails to Tesla with the pics so I will wait a couple of days to see their response. If I don't hear from them by Wednesday I will contact several roofing companies to get repair estimates and a lawyer
 

Gixx1300R

Member
Dec 30, 2017
737
1,263
orlando
Update---- Tesla has denied any warranty work for the leak. I looked underneath the panel where the leak is located and you can see where they pre drilled through the roof and resealed the holes. I have contacted 3 roofing companies to get estimates to repair the damaged areas. I will contact a lawyer after I get the estimates from the roofing companies
 

BestRadar

Member
Nov 14, 2013
713
840
NJ
Update---- Tesla has denied any warranty work for the leak. I looked underneath the panel where the leak is located and you can see where they pre drilled through the roof and resealed the holes. I have contacted 3 roofing companies to get estimates to repair the damaged areas. I will contact a lawyer after I get the estimates from the roofing companies

I would not let them get away with this shoddy work. To properly fix the roof they might need to remove the solar panels so this might get worse before it gets better.
 

Patrick66

Member
Oct 27, 2019
77
42
Honolulu
Any time you work on a roof you increase the likelihood of leaks, especially if they are more than halfway through their life. If you have any other extenuating circumstances you are not likely to be successful with your claim. Most of the patches you show don’t look related to the solar installation; are you sure they aren’t part of the original roofing?

Do you know if your roof just relied on the asphalt shingles for waterproofing, or if you have a secondary layer below? If you have a secondary layer, it was likely providing the actual waterproofing, and the patches did not patch through to that. This is likely an end-of-life issue for the roof and I doubt you will get far with a lawyer.
 

Gixx1300R

Member
Dec 30, 2017
737
1,263
orlando
Any time you work on a roof you increase the likelihood of leaks, especially if they are more than halfway through their life. If you have any other extenuating circumstances you are not likely to be successful with your claim. Most of the patches you show don’t look related to the solar installation; are you sure they aren’t part of the original roofing?

Do you know if your roof just relied on the asphalt shingles for waterproofing, or if you have a secondary layer below? If you have a secondary layer, it was likely providing the actual waterproofing, and the patches did not patch through to that. This is likely an end-of-life issue for the roof and I doubt you will get far with a lawyer.
I am very familiar with building construction. Rafters,decking, tar paper and then shingles. My roof is less than 10 years old and was inspected about 6 months ago before the panels were installed. The patches were made by the installers
 

Ampster

Active Member
Oct 5, 2012
1,815
502
Kenwood, California
The simplest repair would be to slide some flashing between the shingles. Hopefully they used something similar at the feet of the racking designed for that purpose.
 

Kiwiadventure

Member
Jan 9, 2018
497
233
Auckland New Zealand
Any time you work on a roof you increase the likelihood of leaks, especially if they are more than halfway through their life. If you have any other extenuating circumstances you are not likely to be successful with your claim. Most of the patches you show don’t look related to the solar installation; are you sure they aren’t part of the original roofing?

Do you know if your roof just relied on the asphalt shingles for waterproofing, or if you have a secondary layer below? If you have a secondary layer, it was likely providing the actual waterproofing, and the patches did not patch through to that. This is likely an end-of-life issue for the roof and I doubt you will get far with a lawyer.

I do not recommend solar panels being installed on roofs. Roof warrantees can be canceled by the existing roofing company and solar panels may have to be removed to carry out roof maintenance repairs.
I don't see how solar panels are justified as power savings are decades away and by the time you may get a return the solar panels may need replacing.
 
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charlesj

Active Member
Oct 22, 2019
1,267
294
Monterey, CA
I am very familiar with building construction. Rafters,decking, tar paper and then shingles. My roof is less than 10 years old and was inspected about 6 months ago before the panels were installed. The patches were made by the installers
I am also familiar with construction and roofing as I built(not had built) my house.
I bet the installers didn't check where the rafters are and most likely didn't count on 16" centers. They should have lifted the shingles at least to find the rafters. But that takes time on the job;)

Were you present when panels were installed?

I installed my tile roof when I built the house and 7 years ago when I installed the solar panels. I carefully measures in the attic where they are then on the roof I removed the tiles to fasten the brackets and drop through conduit.
Takes time to do a good job. Doesn't look like the subs cared. And, sealing only from the top of shingles is not very good practice.
 

charlesj

Active Member
Oct 22, 2019
1,267
294
Monterey, CA
The system is only a month old. I have contacted Tesla and asked to escalate my claim. Here is another pic, see the circled areas. No where near in the area that the panels are installedView attachment 472179
I feel your concern and pain. I dread my PW install not if this is how the subs work. Will they butcher my garage wall?

You may want to get up into the attic with flood light if not well lit, takes some pictures of the ply where the panels are and perhaps where the leak is. Then I would also lift the shingles where you circled them in the picture and I bet you will discover drilled holes under them. Take pictures. I would also suggest resealing the holes under the shingles and maybe sliding new underlayment sheets under the existing sheets under the holes. As is, all those sealed holes will break bond and leak. Maybe not this year but it will come.
To me those looks like drilled holes looking for studs.
 

Gixx1300R

Member
Dec 30, 2017
737
1,263
orlando
I am also familiar with construction and roofing as I built(not had built) my house.
I bet the installers didn't check where the rafters are and most likely didn't count on 16" centers. They should have lifted the shingles at least to find the rafters. But that takes time on the job;)

Were you present when panels were installed?

I installed my tile roof when I built the house and 7 years ago when I installed the solar panels. I carefully measures in the attic where they are then on the roof I removed the tiles to fasten the brackets and drop through conduit.
Takes time to do a good job. Doesn't look like the subs cared. And, sealing only from the top of shingles is not very good practice.
No I was not present. I was on duty for 24 hours so I couldn't be there, also a high resolution stud finder would have worked. Now I will have to have the panel mounts inspected to make sure they are all drilled into the rafters. I live in a hurricane zone
 

TheTalkingMule

Distributed Energy Enthusiast
Oct 20, 2012
7,520
31,290
Philadelphia, PA
Looks pretty shoddy to my unqualified eye. Drilling straight through the shingle and then "patching" with just a glob of silicone would be unacceptable to me. Escalate and send all the pics. Probably not that tough to fix correctly.
 

Ampster

Active Member
Oct 5, 2012
1,815
502
Kenwood, California
I took another look at the pictures and realize they used a different kind of attachment system than I am familiar with. I have always thought that the attachments with built in flashing were the best for shingle roofs. Those feet look like the ones often used for flat roofs. The concept there is you fill those feet with sealant after the first part is installed. Years ago an engineer told me you can't make a home waterproof, but you can design it to shed water as rapidly as possible. Shingles have been around many years and utilize gravity to shed water. Flashing under shingles uses the same concept. The only failure point is if the material deteriorates with age.
 

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