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Piercing the roof to run electric - feedback wanted

2 replies [Last post]
Joined: May 28 2012

We are planning some new electrical outlets in the house shortly that will run over our
roof and will drop through the roof where needed. We want to see if anyone has
experience with water leaks after piercing the roof? The foam roof is in good
condition but 10+ years old with no warranty to void.

The installer, Sean Smith of Smith Electric assures us this is common practice
that by piercing the roof avoids running unsightly surface mounted conduit on
the walls, rafters, etc and stays true to Eichler design.

Before we trustingly put our faith in his recommendation and have 3-4 new holes
made, I thought I'd see what the community experience has been with resulting
water leaks.

It will be simpler and cleaner to just drop the electricity down through the
roof but I fear the headache of potential water leaks that are very difficult to resolve when the wet season arrives.

Feedback welcome.


San Jose

Joined: Apr 20 2006

Sean Smith has lots of experience running conduits over and through Dura-Foam roofs. 

Here is a printable pdf from the Dura-Foam Roofing and Solar Center website showing how this should be done properly.

Trim a standard square 'roof jack' so it has at least a  flat 4" or 5" wide ring around the edges to contact  the foam roof.  Cover the contact area on a clean roof surface with minimum 1/4" exterior caulk, and stick the flat metal part of the jack into the caulk.  Don't just seal the edges. Work the caulk to make the edges look right.

I don't think we have ever seen a retro-fit done properly like this leak.... If you use a tar is very likely to leak...usually at an inconvenient time.

Here is a link to a PDF page showing how to retro-fit other common roof-top items:

Smart remodel Contractors avoid being 'on the hook' if the roof was to begin to leak.  If this is the case with your Contractor.....have him follow the instructions carefully.  When the work is done, make arrangements online to our Service Department for a Service Call to seal the work for our Standard Time and Materials Charge.

We avoid giving instructions over the phone.  We find that this instruction is misunderstood much of the people that otherwise seem very smart.

Randy from Dura-Foam Roofing and Solar Center

Joined: May 28 2012

Randy, thanks for the feedback. I will work with Sean as we proceed. Much appreciated.

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