Satellite Dishes and Your Roof

he invention of Satellite Television has provided a great television service option to reach your home, especially if you live in a rural area without any other choices available. Satellite signals travel over great distances and require a clear line of sight to the signal source or satellite. Typically, your roof or as high up as possible is chosen for the installation of the dish. Satellite installation technicians will generally mount the satellite directly to your roof. This can cause leaks leading to thousands of dollars in repair or replacement costs down the road when dishes are not installed properly and monitored.

How the Potential Damage Occurs

Once your installation has been scheduled, the installer will arrive at your home. The installer will scout your location and choose what he feels is the best location to mount the dish. More often than not, the installer will drill holes directly into your roof in order to mount the satellite dish. These four to six holes will completely penetrate through the roofing material, any underlayment or water and ice shields.

One of the main issues with drilling directly into the roof is whether or not the installer uses the proper fasteners to prevent leaks. Bolts should be stainless steel or made of some kind of anticorrosive properties as well as gaps should be closed with water resistant tar and sealant. This step is often overlooked. Some fasteners include a grommet that will also help seal around the fastener penetration.

Wind can/will always effect a dish, over time, the dish will react to constant pressure from the wind, potentially causing the dish to move and loosen fasteners. This is why it is imperative to always monitor the condition of the mount and seal any penetrations and around any gaps as part of your routine maintenance.

After the dish is mounted securely to your roof, the installer then runs signal wire to a distribution point and then to the receiver in your house. This wire can be attached with a staple gun or steel clamps fastened with a screw. This can also punctures typical asphalt shingles causing cracks in the shingles, holes or gaps in flashing or other components of the roofing system. These cracks will expand when water and ice falls within.

What Actually Can Happen

The damaged to the roof caused by the satellite installation is being done slow and consistently. The damage happens over time because the actual roof damage has already taken place. The lack of a proper sealant around all fasteners and gaps will allow water to follow the path of the fasteners and into the roof. The same water also falls into cracks in the shingles. Additionally, cabling strung across the roof can obstruct the flow of rain runoff. This can lead to more water being pooled on the roof. Water flow can also be diverted to miss natural paths to gutters and their drain pipes.

When Leaks Form

When a leak forms in a roof the leak must be repaired quickly to prevent further damage to the roofing system. In many cases, depending on the roofing materials used, the severity of the leak, an entire roof replacement may be needed. It is important to have a qualified roofing contractor to inspect as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

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