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Old 03-06-2012, 11:42 PM   #1
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Drill holes through cement tile?


This may be unorthodox or what have you, but! I'm installing pool solar panels on my cement tile roof. Instead of fabricating some sort of bracket and lifting tiles to screw them down, can I drill through the tile and just use longer screws, then make sure it's sealed up well?

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Old 03-07-2012, 01:14 AM   #2
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Drill holes through cement tile?


Tiles just sit on your roof as it is.
If the wind ever caught those panels, I think they would take the tile with them and maybe hit your neighbor on the head.

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Old 03-07-2012, 01:24 AM   #3
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Drill holes through cement tile?


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Tiles just sit on your roof as it is.
If the wind ever caught those panels, I think they would take the tile with them and maybe hit your neighbor on the head.
I'm not meaning to fasten the panels directly to the tiles themselves. I'm thinking drilling all the way through the tile, and using a long screw to secure the panel brackets directly to the underlayment.
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Old 03-07-2012, 01:40 AM   #4
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Drill holes through cement tile?


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Originally Posted by Dwillems

I'm not meaning to fasten the panels directly to the tiles themselves. I'm thinking drilling all the way through the tile, and using a long screw to secure the panel brackets directly to the underlayment.
I think you need those screws to catch the rafters, not just the sheeting.
Is it 3/4" skip or ply?
Are they a flat tile or a Spanish profile?
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:46 AM   #5
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Drill holes through cement tile?


Flat tile, I have no idea what thickness the ply is.
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:07 AM   #6
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Drill holes through cement tile?


They'll leak. And have to regularly be recaulked. Some of the tiles will also crack when being drilled. Will you be able to recaulk all the holes? Or will you have to remove panels each time? Are you going to mind water dripping in your living room sometimes? You'll have to repair the ceilings at intervals.
If you don't mind all the maintenance, it can be done.

Since the panels are supposed to last 20 years, the only way I install them is to remove the roof and correct any deficiences and install the proper brackets at the specified intervals as the new roof goes on. That way it's done and the homeowner doesn't have to recaulk every so many months.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:38 AM   #7
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Drill holes through cement tile?


Ok, thanks. I guess I'll just pull the tile, install the hardware, and replace the tiles. It's actually not that hard, I was just hoping there was a way around it
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:46 PM   #8
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Drill holes through cement tile?


wow, we just did a relay for a customer whos pool solar was installed by drilling thruough his flat tiles into the plywood. Part of our contract was to make a bracket ( overkill ) that was lagged into the plywood then came out in between the tiles..ie no penatrations. This is what he wanted, makes sense though. The customer installed 2x4 or 2x6 blocking from in the attic at each point ( 29 of them) where the solar was attached.

It worked well, but it was a lot of work. Just remove the tiles and use the hardware and straps ment for this purpose. The bracket was not needed, he had the proper hardware it was just installed incorrectly from the get go.
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:50 PM   #9
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Drill holes through cement tile?


yes remove tiles as required for install ..if done right you sleep good at night
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:50 PM   #10
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Drill holes through cement tile?


The brackets that came with it are L shaped, and meant to be screwed directly to the roof. Then the panel has slots that slides that slides over the L. That holds the panel from sliding down. Then a nylon strap 1" wide is strung from the bracket to the bottom of the panel to hold it from flapping around. The straps are a kit you have to buy separately for $50. Screw that! I bought 60' of that strap, and grommets for $25. I put the grommets on the straps, screwed them to the roof under the tiles, and threw the brackets out. I made two straps per, one to replace the brackets and one to hold the whole thing down. When those straps get weathered I'll probably make some custom metal brackets, but I'm glad I got the thing installed.

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