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


Draw studs vs wood screws

In the United States, patio mounting options for residential solar panels are growing in popularity, and Roof Tech is one of the early trendsetters in this category. In this episode of The Pitch, Michael Dunlap, National Sales Director of Roof Tech explains:

  • Why deck attachments are becoming increasingly popular
  • Where decking can go wrong
  • Risks of water ingress in deck fastenings compared to rafter fastenings
  • The added value of the rail-free terrace fastening
  • How to use the same design for decking boards and rafter fastenings
  • So adjust in no time and go on deck if you miss a rafter

To dig deeper, Roof Tech hosted a free webinar with us about Flexible Flashing and their new line of solar mounts. Check it out here upon request.

“From a structural point of view, the point load is the problem when it comes to the contact pressure on a rafter compared to the contact pressure on the terrace,” notes Dunlap when he talks about fastening a railless system on deck. “If you choose decking you may want to use more attachments to compensate for the point pressure, but that really only comes into play in areas of snow load. You have much smaller spans per attachment, but you can get spans as high as 8 feet in South Texas where buoyancy is all about it. The buoyancy in formwork vs. rafters is pretty much comparable. “

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

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