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replacing roof at the same time as Tesla solar panel install

Apr 13, 2018
56
18
USA
I'm trying to figure out if Tesla will work with roofers in Los Angeles County to coordinate roof replacement at the same time as a fresh installation of Tesla solar panels. Our asphalt shingle roof is pretty old--the last time a roofer was up there, he told us it was 25 years old and he thought it'd need replacing within a few years.

If Tesla is willing to coordinate with a roofer, what's the best way to go about getting an estimate? Just pay $100 and request a quote online and then tell Tesla when they contact me that that's what I have in mind?

This was the closest thread on the subject that I could find, but it doesn't have any replies, and suggests that Tesla doesn't work with roofers anymore...!
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
11,508
13,408
Riverside Co. CA
I'm trying to figure out if Tesla will work with roofers in Los Angeles County to coordinate roof replacement at the same time as a fresh installation of Tesla solar panels. Our asphalt shingle roof is pretty old--the last time a roofer was up there, he told us it was 25 years old and he thought it'd need replacing within a few years.

If Tesla is willing to coordinate with a roofer, what's the best way to go about getting an estimate? Just pay $100 and request a quote online and then tell Tesla when they contact me that that's what I have in mind?

This was the closest thread on the subject that I could find, but it doesn't have any replies, and suggests that Tesla doesn't work with roofers anymore...!

I havent seen anyone have any real luck with that. You will want a third party installer who may be more flexible. One thing tesla absolutely positively 1000% does not do well is "schedule things around someone elses schedule". That includes other contractors.
 

arnolddeleon

Member
Supporting Member
Jul 21, 2012
928
1,006
SF Bay Area
Since you are doing a replacement composition roof and conventional panels just do them independently. Obviously the roof needs to be done first. What do you want to achieve with coordination?

One thing I might ask my roofer to do is to snap some chalk lines to mark where the rafters are onto the shingles. This might save a few holes on the roof from Tesla hunting for them. Then again Tesla will likely just ignore them.
 
Apr 13, 2018
56
18
USA
Thanks for the info...all good to know. I was thinking of going with concrete tiles and it seemed like it would be a bigger hassle to do the two installations sequentially.
 

CrazyNavi

Member
Jun 15, 2021
67
15
BayArea
You might want to check with Tesla, at least my installer had to confirm how old the roof is, he mentioned that if is brand new roof they won't install the panels and wanted to to be at least 6months all to settle first.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
11,508
13,408
Riverside Co. CA
You might want to check with Tesla, at least my installer had to confirm how old the roof is, he mentioned that if is brand new roof they won't install the panels and wanted to to be at least 6months all to settle first.

Interesting you say that. I have a concrete tile roof and tesla solar (installed in 2015). Tesla was recently here, replacing some connectors for my install. Anyway, talking to the repair team crew lead, he casually mentioned that they tend to see a lot of tile breakage for concrete tiles when they are new, and that, in fact they can take even a couple of years to "fully settle in" as far as breaking them when walking on them.

I am certainly not a roofer, nor aware of how true that statement might or might not be, but I found it interesting.
 

jboy210

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
5,700
3,693
Northern California
Interesting you say that. I have a concrete tile roof and tesla solar (installed in 2015). Tesla was recently here, replacing some connectors for my install. Anyway, talking to the repair team crew lead, he casually mentioned that they tend to see a lot of tile breakage for concrete tiles when they are new, and that, in fact they can take even a couple of years to "fully settle in" as far as breaking them when walking on them.

I am certainly not a roofer, nor aware of how true that statement might or might not be, but I found it interesting.
My experience has been just the opposite. We have 3 tiles roofs in 30 years. After 2-3 years they seemed to dry out and get fragile. So when every I went out there to clean the roof of string Xmas lights I would crack one. Also, constractors working on the house also broke tiles.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
11,508
13,408
Riverside Co. CA
My experience has been just the opposite. We have 3 tiles roofs in 30 years. After 2-3 years they seemed to dry out and get fragile. So when every I went out there to clean the roof of string Xmas lights I would crack one. Also, constractors working on the house also broke tiles.

My roof is flat concrete tiles. 3 roofs in 30 years seems pretty excessive (although I remember you mentioning that previously as well). Maybe there is something specific to the weather around your home that is very hard on roofing materials? Mine home was built in 2005, but we are not the first owners, we are the 2nd, and we bought in 2013.

Our roof is still in great shape as far as we have been told.
 

jboy210

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
5,700
3,693
Northern California
My roof is flat concrete tiles. 3 roofs in 30 years seems pretty excessive (although I remember you mentioning that previously as well). Maybe there is something specific to the weather around your home that is very hard on roofing materials? Mine home was built in 2005, but we are not the first owners, we are the 2nd, and we bought in 2013.

Our roof is still in great shape as far as we have been told.
Have you gone out on the roof and walked around? They looked fine visually but broke underfoot.

BTW, does anyone know if a Solar installer does break tiles, who pays for that? Also, we had issues matching the color/texture correctly of replacement tiles since roof tile manufacturers seem to change colors, styles, or go out of business pretty quickly.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
11,508
13,408
Riverside Co. CA
Have you gone out on the roof and walked around? They looked fine visually but broke underfoot.

BTW, does anyone know if a Solar installer does break tiles, who pays for that?

No, I dont go out on my roof for a couple of reasons. 1 is, there is definitely a "technique" to walking on roof tiles and not breaking them. I am not a super large guy ( 6'3 225 ) but do not have any experience at exactly how to place my (big, size 14) feet to minimize chance of breakage.

I also am somewhat scared of heights and its a two story home so... lol.

In my case, tesla paid. During my original install in 2015 they broke "a lot" of tiles. I mean like more than 40. I was told that it was because they were training new crew people. I havent had any issue with leakage though. I also have had a window cleaning company that also does solar panel cleaning out to clean my panels.

Its a small business, and the owner has 20 years experience. I asked him to check the tiles last time he was out here and he said it was all good. Since I dont go out there myself, I have to trust him, but I do trust him, so thats what I currently believe.
 

SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,783
17,026
New Mexico
OP, in your shoes I would install a standing seam metal roof, followed by PV.
You can pay a PV installer, or DIY. It is *really* once you have standing seam, and there are NO roof penetrations
 
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jboy210

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
5,700
3,693
Northern California
No, I dont go out on my roof for a couple of reasons. 1 is, there is definitely a "technique" to walking on roof tiles and not breaking them. I am not a super large guy ( 6'3 225 ) but do not have any experience at exactly how to place my (big, size 14) feet to minimize chance of breakage.

I also am somewhat scared of heights and its a two story home so... lol.

In my case, tesla paid. During my original install in 2015 they broke "a lot" of tiles. I mean like more than 40. I was told that it was because they were training new crew people. I havent had any issue with leakage though. I also have had a window cleaning company that also does solar panel cleaning out to clean my panels.

Its a small business, and the owner has 20 years experience. I asked him to check the tiles last time he was out here and he said it was all good. Since I dont go out there myself, I have to trust him, but I do trust him, so thats what I currently believe.
Yep. I was "trained" by one of the contractors on where and how to step on the tiles. Of course, this same guy broke several of the tiles when he was up on the roof as part of an addition. So ...
 
Apr 13, 2018
56
18
USA
Thanks to all for the variety of responses. Matching replacements for broken tiles years after installation seems like a real hassle too. I remember I saw a house once with what must have been a couple hundred extra tiles stacked up on the side of the garage. That's one way to do it, I guess...

Also, I had no idea that concrete tiles needed to settle in. I figured that exposure to the elements was nothing compared to what they go through in the kiln.

I'll give Tesla a call and ask if it's true that they for sure no longer work in tandem with a roofer.
 

EV-by-the-Sea

Member
Jul 13, 2018
99
107
Bay Area
YMMV -- this was my experience, but granted it was a different time in terms of demand and roofing supplies, contractors, etc.

My roof was ~23 years old when I contacted Tesla for panels and a Powerwall. I had no interest in putting panels on a roof rated for 25 years, so I was scoping out solar/roofing companies when I reached out to Tesla for a quote on the solar. At the time, Tesla's quote on the solar install was better than anyone else was offering, so I was persuaded to go with them. That said, I still planned on going with another contractor to get the roof done.

Unfortunately, at the time, here in the Bay Area, getting a roof replacement was ranging anywhere from 6-12 months. Most roofers wouldn't even give an estimate -- they had that much work in the pipeline. Tesla started to get pushy about installing the panels -- so I asked if they could connect me with a roofer they worked with to help expedite the roof replacement (on my dime; I had also heard here in the Bay Area that they absolutely had roofers they worked with that could do the work quickly) -- they toed the company line "our inspection revealed that your roof doesn't require replacement." I said it was stupid to put panels on a roof so old, but in order to humor them, I asked for a quote for panel removal and reinstallation. IIRC, it was $7k-8k. No go, IMO.

I again asked for their assistance in connecting with a roofer that could do the work quickly as there was no way I was going to install panels, then pay that fee in a few years to have the roof replaced -- they said, no, their inspection said I didn't need a new roof. Serendipitously, I then got a customer service email survey where I expressed my displeasure with Tesla insisting I install their panels on my old roof and how I couldn't be connected with a roofer -- and things changed very quickly. Apparently the one thing Tesla did take seriously (at least back then) were the surveys. I was immediately connected with a roofer they worked with in the area and I had a new roof in two weeks. Then Telsa did the panel install the week after.

So, for whatever reason, they may not want to help with getting roof work done, but, at least for me, they have in the past.
 

BGbreeder

Member
Jun 19, 2020
497
300
Bay Area
Have you gone out on the roof and walked around? They looked fine visually but broke underfoot.

BTW, does anyone know if a Solar installer does break tiles, who pays for that? Also, we had issues matching the color/texture correctly of replacement tiles since roof tile manufacturers seem to change colors, styles, or go out of business pretty quickly.
Our 3rd party installer sourced vintage concrete tiles for a like for like replacement, as did our roofer. Neither one broke that many tiles, and we ended up with more extra tiles than we started with.

I think that there is a real craft skill to tile and wood shingle roofing, and I see many contractors not do a good job, because the details of how the tiles or shakes are placed matter, both for longevity, and for leak resistance.

Concrete keeps gaining strength when wet for a year or so. If it dries out, it can take longer, or not achieve full strength. So fresh concrete tiles that are walked upon shortly after manufacturing are likely to be permanently weaker due to stress cracks that formed during installation, e.g. when the tiles were walked upon.

There is a widespread myth that this strengthening process takes 28 days based on a testing specification, but in reality it takes much longer.
005BDE37-D7DB-4D9A-8D49-773FAFDAE5DA.jpeg

From Role of Concrete Curing Basically, you can have 50% stronger roof tiles if they have been wet aged for a month.

Perhaps, @jboy210 your contractor or manufacturer didn't water your tiles for a couple of months prior to installation? ;)There are quick dry methods that don't add much strength.

Like @jjrandorin, I try really hard not to get on my roof, ever.

All the best,

BG
 
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