The Pitch: Attaching solar PV panels to rooftop decking vs. rafters with Roof Tech

lag bolts vs wood screws

Deck attachment options for residential solar systems are gaining popularity in the U.S., and Roof Tech is one of the early trendsetters in the category. On this episode of The Pitch, Roof Tech’s National Sales Director Michael Dunlap explains:

  • Why deck attachments are gaining in popularity
  • Where deck attaching can go wrong
  • Water intrusion risks for deck attachments vs. rafter attachments
  • The added value of rail-less deck attaching
  • How to do both decking and rafter attachments in the same design
  • How to adjust on the fly and go deck when you miss a rafter

To go more in-depth, Roof Tech hosted a free webinar with us, covering Flexible Flashing and their new line of solar mounts. Check it out on-demand here.

“Structurally speaking the point load is the issue when it comes to down pressure on a rafter vs. down pressure on decking,” Dunlap notes when talking about deck attaching a rail-less system. “If you choose to do decking you will be possibly using more attachments to compensate for the point pressure, but that really only comes into play for snow load areas. They will have much smaller spans per attachment, but you can go up to 8 feet spans in Southern Texas where it’s all about uplift. The uplift in sheathing vs. rafter is pretty comparable.”

The Pitch is a side project of Solar Builder magazine. We chat awkwardly with manufacturers and suppliers about their ideas and innovations so you don’t have to.

Have you checked out our YouTube page?

We have a ton video interviews and additional content on our YouTube page. Recently we debuted Power Forward! -- a collaboration with BayWa r.e. to discuss higher level industry topics as well as best practices / trends for running a solar business today.

Our longer running side project is The Pitch -- in which we have awkward discussions with solar manufacturers and suppliers about their new technology and ideas so that you don't have to. We discuss everything from residential rail-less deck attaching and home solar financing to large-scale energy storage value stacking and utility-driven new home solar + storage microgrids.

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