how to install a satellite dish to prevent emergency roof repair athens ga

How to install a satellite dish to prevent emergency roof repair

Posted on by Branch Contractors

What do you have attached to your roof? I performed an emergency roof repair recently that was a result of a satellite being bolted through the roof decking. Mounting a satellite dish to the roof is not only common but is almost a standard. It always seems to be the best place to get a direct signal without objects in the way. Anytime this can be avoided, I would suggest that you do so. However, I, too, have mine attached to the roof, and thought I’d share how to install yours to prevent needing an emergency roof repair down the line. I also took a few snapshots (below) so you can see the damage an improper satellite dish installation can cause to your roof.

The problem is that when the dish or other object is originally mounted, there is typically no leak. As time passes, however, and the roof expands and contracts with the seasons, the hole that is created by the mounting bolts also expands and contracts. The result is the loosening of the bolts and then a following leak, necessitating the roof repair.  This is easily avoidable.  Once the location of the placement is decided, mark the holes, tap a lag bolt through the shingles, and then thread it through the plywood decking.

Then, back the bolts back out and fill the hole with pure roofing tar (not silicone) and heavily coat the lag bolt with the roof tar as well.  I then recommend installing a “slip sheet:” a rubberized waterproofing membrane. Even a piece of old rubber inner tube can work. Slip this piece between the shingle and the base of the item being mounted. This provides a resilient pad that will conform to the mounting base instead of the rigid base provided by the shingle.  Once the bolts are tightened, simply apply a coat of tar over the tops of the bolts as well.  Using galvanized bolts will prevent any gaps created by rust.

If the roof decking is an OSB material and the bottom side is accessible from the attic, I suggest adding a piece of wood, such as a 2×4, or whichever size is adequate to provide a stronger base for the bolts to grab in to. Below are some pictures I took to illustrate how a satellite dish can cause an emergency roof repair.

What do you have mounted through your roof? Is it leaking? Have you checked? Just in case, we invite you to get acquainted with our 24 Hour Emergency Response Program.