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Podcast: Why Should I Have Roof Life Help Install My Satellite Dish?

Posted September 13, 2017 by Daniel White

In this episode, Daniel talks about satellite dishes, antennas, etc. If a contractor comes out to install something on your roof and they aren’t a roofer, chances are you’re going to end up with a LEAK. Here’s how to avoid it!

Podcast Transcription: RoofLifeB026-190

Shayla: Thank you for joining us today for the Roof Life of Oregon podcast. I’m talking with Daniel today. Daniel, how should a homeowner handle it when another company needs to get on the roof, needs access to the roof, that isn’t necessarily a roofing contractor? Should they call you guys, or what should they do?

Daniel: Absolutely give us a call. When you’re going to have something done to your home that the other contractor’s really good at, that’s their profession, but they have to access the roof or work with the roof, you’ll want to have a roofing contractor deal with that part of it. Some things connect to the roof even though it’s not part of what they do. So you may have a dish put on your roof because you have a satellite hook up. You may have a power pole that needs to be changed up, because you’re changing out. Prime example, so northeast Portland, we had a homeowner that we went out there just for maintenance. He wanted to get the moss taken care of. Well, he had clearly been updated his house, getting some things changed. He had a brand breaker box installed into his house. He had a brand new pole that goes out of the roof for the power lines to run into.
So the power company did a really good job. They put a brand new mast in there. They’ve got it anchored in, the new box and everything. But power companies aren’t roofers. And so when they installed it, they took the metal flashing that keeps the water out of your house, and they just slid it down over top of the roof, adding four screws, and added a bunch of mastic, tar, around this flashing and said, we’re good.

Not good. So the power pole is going to work great, it’s nice and strong, but it’s not if that’s going to leak it’s when it’s going to leak, because the tar that they use is called a mastic. It’s also called a wet patch. There’s a few different names for it. That’s a temporary patch. That’s not designed for permanent use. So as it gets dry and brittle and cracks over the next few years, it’s going to expand and contract, open up, that homeowner will then get a leak right at the power pole.

So if you’re going to have a company work on that, have the roofer set up to come in right after they do it and correctly install that. So now we have to come back, after the fact, cut the old one back off. Now they have the mastic and tar all over the shingles. Now those have to be replaced also, not just the flashing. They made it worse and now we have to come back and tear into more of the roof than we should’ve.

You have the same thing with dish companies. They put a satellite dish on your house. It’s great TV, but they’re great with dishes, and they’re great with aligning it, and they’re great with making you have your nice TV, but they’re not really good at securing the dish to the roof and making sure it’s waterproof. We’ve seen them just run great big lag bolts, it’s a great big metal bolt, right through the plywood with nothing securing it. So it can actually move around. Or they just add a bunch of tar to it. The good thing is I have heard that dish companies are trying to get away from that, and they’re adding them more to the siding and things like that, but if they install it on the roof, have a roofing professional like ourselves secure it. There’s different ways of doing that. We can add ice and water, it’s a sticky membrane. We can secure it the correct way. Just make sure water’s not going to get in, flash it in correctly.

So there’s different parts and pieces to a roof that other companies may not deal with. Have a roofing company like ourselves scheduled to come in right after they install it and install it correctly so you don’t leak.

Shayla: If someone’s listening right now and they maybe had a satellite dish installed five years ago, is a good idea, I guess, just to call you guys out for regular maintenance so you can make sure everything’s in its place?

Daniel: Absolutely. We can see if it’s been moving around. We can see if the bolts are loose. Sometimes you may get to a guy that installed the dish and he did it right. We can say, hey, you know what? That’s fine. Let’s leave it alone. Or we can look at it and go, wow, no, you’re going to start leaking there. And not only is going to leak there, but a lot of times, those dishes, they’re not on the inside of the house. They’re on one of the outside eaves. So the homeowner doesn’t even know it’s leaking. Now if you look underneath, you may see soft spots. So now the wood is starting to rot, and not only is starting to leak, but now you have a rot case. So if that does rot, you have to take off the whole sheet of plywood and replace all that, so let’s definitely get it inspected.

Shayla: So if you’ve had a satellite dish, or a power pole installed, or you’re about to do those things, make sure you call Roof Life of Oregon to make sure it’s done right the first time around. If you have any questions, reach out to the team today.

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