Satellite Dishes & Roofing: A Complicated Combo

Do you have a satellite dish on your roof or are you thinking about an installation? Satellite dishes and roofing do not always play well together. Here are three points worth knowing about dish upkeep and potential roof problems you need to avoid.

Installation and Roof Work

It's very important to realize that satellite installation companies and roof companies are not the same thing— and thus, shouldn't be working on each other's products without first speaking to one another. This especially important when cable companies install a satellite on top of roof that provides an easy line of sight (this occurs when there's little to nothing between the dish and the satellite). Satellite setups that are completed without the consultation of a roofer often cause damage to the roof or result in improper - and dangerous - installations. However, roofers who install or move satellites can easily mess up the signal or hardware. This can create extra fees for the customer.

What's a homeowner to do? Start with research. Look at the directions and recommendations for a satellite dish before installing it. Do not try to install the dish yourself. After an installation, inspect the area carefully for any signs of roof damage, and if you find any call up your roof contractor for advice.

If you have any roofing work on a roof with an installed satellite dish, ask roofing professionals about the effects on the dish. Question if the dish will disturb alignment, and what fees may be involved from your satellite provider. Keep in mind that a roof projects (like replacing shingles) may require the dish to be remounted and then reset. Qualified roof contractors may be able to handle this themselves.

Long-Term Roof Concerns

There are high quality and low quality dish installations: A good installation uses a roof mount with weather-resistant screws that are drilled safely into the rafters on both sides. Unfortunately, there are also poor installations that don't find the rafters, leave holes or scratches in your roofing material, or don't consider the future effects of wind and rain.

Wind is surprisingly powerful. A poorly installed satellite dish can be yanked right off your roof in a bad storm, causing serious damage to the roof, the dish, and whatever the dish ends up hitting after it sails through the air. The best way to prevent this trouble is to make sure that the dish is always mounted securely and professionally, with no leftover damage.

Warranties and Legal Issues

If your satellite dish is going to be affected by roof work (or vice-versa), then you need to look up your warranties and any other related legal documents. There are two important reasons for this. First, moving or installing a dish may void a roof warranty, especially if you recently had roof work done (the dish warranty may also be affected if professional handling is required). Second, satellite dish installation and management may depend on a landlord or business, depending on the leasing arrangement. If you own your home, you probably don't have to worry about this, but renters/landlords should take care.

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