Satellite Like Accuracy

By
Home Inspector with JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC HOI 394

dish antennae Satellite dish antennae are a common sight these days on many homes. As a Connecticut home inspector I have developed a un-appreciation for the installers of these roof sails.

I find more often than not poorly installed dishes and wiring. The installation method that drives me absolutely bonkers is the chimney install. This when some installation guru in is infinite wisdom sees the brick and mortar of the chimney as a good anchor point for his television roof top lollipop.

But I'm not here to talk about that particular install method. Instead I want to discuss the more common screwed into the roof method. Take a look at this sat dish mounting base. Looks pretty impressive, right? Two mounting points, one above, one below, six screws, should hold that dish in place in the strongest wind. Well I imagine it would if those screws were mounted into something more substantial than plywood and asphalt shingles.

There is no way this bolting pattern is going to hit more than two screws into a rafter. I can not tell you how many times I have seen seriously long mounting screws sticking through the roof into the attic. Two inches or six, it doesn't matter, the screws aren't going to hold if they are only in a 5/8 inch thick piece of wood. Of course if the installers were to put a 2 x 6 between two rafters under the mounting point and attached that board to those two rafters, then you would have a good solid mount.Just missed

That isn't going to happen, but I thought I'd throw it out there any how.

The last picture shows the mounting screws in the attic from the bracket in the picture above. The installer just missed catching the rafter with the center two screws as shown.

This dish will probably end up like so many I see, blown over, ripping the roof apart as it falls.

 

James Quarello
2010 SNEC-ASHI President
NRSB #8SS0022
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

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Posted by

James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
Former SNEC-ASHI President
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

 ASHI Certified Inspector

To find out more about our other high tech services we offer in Connecticut click on the links below:

Learn more about our Infrared Thermal Imaging & Diagnostics services.

Serving the Connecticut Counties of Fairfield, Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, Southern Litchfield and Western New London.

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Rainmaker
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Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Good call Jim.  That, like so many, is not a very sound installation.  And no tar or rubber to keep water out?

Sep 26, 2010 10:40 AM #1
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jim, I hate seeing these things mounted on the roof surface-----they need to come up with a better roof surface attachment method or use the type that mounts to the house siding and has an arm that curves around the eaves to a point above the roof.  I kind of like the stick it in a plumbing vent pipe approach :)

Sep 26, 2010 11:08 AM #2
Rainmaker
233,467
Reuben Saltzman
Structure Tech Home Inspections - Minneapolis, MN
Delivering the Unbiased Truth.

I've heard this is bad practice, but I've honestly never seen one fail.  You've seen a lot of them ripped out of roofs?

Sep 26, 2010 02:31 PM #3
Rainmaker
1,844,165
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I have seen one pulled partially out.  But for sure I have seen staining on the sheathing from the underside.

Sep 26, 2010 11:45 PM #4
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Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Jim, the installer is there to put it up, not to get it done right. Besides that would take more time and they have a few to do. They are all independent contractors and are only given a few dollars per install

Sep 27, 2010 01:01 AM #5
Rainmaker
1,244,530
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

We had one of those big dishes, 20 years back, when I was in radio. God what a pain. It was bolted down but it did rip holes in the flat roof. With the small dishes, just coming in when I sold, the Associated Press techs actually screwed them to a big piece of plywood and then put that on the flat roof and aimed it. Then they put concrete blocks all over the plywood. I was a doubter but it actually worked with the smaller dishes and it did not cut into the roof.

Sep 27, 2010 02:35 AM #6
Rainmaker
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Carra & Shae Riley
Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd - Westminster, CO
Helping people Transition at all ages!

James....I don't want to bad mouth the dish installers, but I think they are all about how fast they can finish with you and go to the next job.  Quality of workmanship never enters their mind!

Sep 27, 2010 06:02 AM #7
Rainmaker
684,559
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Jay, There actually was some type of gooey stuff under the plate, you can't see it in the shot.

Charlie, I have not seen that method...yet.

Reuben, I have seen a few pulled right out. A few more loose and on their way. I think it also depends on the location of the house. If there's a lot of wind I'm sure they will give sooner or later.

Jay, Yep see that as well. I guess no one told some of these guys your supposed to seal a hole through the roof.

Ed, That is exactly what is going on. These guys are trying to get them put up quick so they can make a buck.

Steve, I would like that better since there is no holes going onto the roof. Does sound a little screwy, but if it works, what can you say?

Carra, Yes I think that is fairly accurate. I don't think they make much per install, so I guess it's no surprise regarding the quality of work.

Sep 27, 2010 12:24 PM #8
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James Quarello

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