Roof Damaged During Solar Panel Installation - Advice Please

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by Falcon 269, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. Falcon 269

    Falcon 269 Funster

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    P1050306.JPG P1050310.JPG

    I recently had a solar panel professionally fitted to our Adria Matrix 670 back in the UK. I was disappointed with certain aspects of the way it was done, mostly to do with cable routing, but have reached an acceptable solution with the firm in question to sort this out. Because I live in Spain, they're sending parts for me to re-route the cable myself, which I'm happy to do.

    However, I've noticed today while cleaning and polishing after our 3500kms return trip that there is damage to the roof which wasn't there when the MH was taken in to their workshop. What was previously a flat, smooth surface now has numerous shallow depressions in it about the diameter of a tennis ball and the roof stretchers are clearly visible. It looks to my layman's eye as though the fitter has walked carelessly around on the roof and his weight has compressed the roof skin, and the balls or heels of his feet have created the depressions.

    We bought the vehicle new in May and the trip back to the UK was our first significant journey in it. At the time it went in for the work, it had barely 2200kms on the clock so you can imagine my feelings right now. I'm obviously upset that our previously pristine MH is now marred by what seems to be a lack of care and respect on the part of the fitters who did the work. However, before I go off on one with them, am I being unreasonable here? Can anyone suggest other ways in which this damage might have happened?

    I've e-mailed the firm today to see what they have to say. In the meantime, I'd appreciate opinions as to whether this sort of thing is normal/acceptable or whatever.

    Many thanks in anticipation.
     
  2. tonyidle

    tonyidle Funster

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    From your pictures they are either foot or knee indents. Although an aluminium skinned roof is strong enough to support a person's weight localised damage will occur unless spreader boards are used. I use a few squares of 3/4" plywood on mine if I need to access the roof. If the people who fitted your panel haven't used something to support their weight (and they obviously have not) then they have failed to take reasonable care. I would be furious.
     
  3. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Difficult one. At one level it could be seen as just cosmetic damage and unless you can show the roof is now leaking I am not sure what you can do assuming you don't have photographs showing the state of the roof before they fitted the panel. For example, given the vehicle is new do you know what the roof looked like before hand?

    As already mentioned it looks like someone has run a herd of small elephants over the roof but how do you prove it or prove when it happened and also prove they, whoever they are, caused serious damage. Given this was done in a different country to where you live I am not sanguine about a solution but you could try and get a refund or at best a good will payment.
     
  4. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Sorry, but from your attached pics I see nothing wrong with your roof.

    I walked on mine (swift eurobox) with no damage whatsoever, both bearfoot and with shoes.
     
  5. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    looks remarkably like knee prints caused by somebody not using a board to spread the load as they worked on the roof. an average 75kg man will put up to 50kg of pressure on each knee as moving about. more than enough to dent 0.8mm of aluminium (same as a beer can) bonded to insulation, which is basically what the roof is made of

    personally I think you're on a losing quest to get the installer to accept blame, even if you can prove it with before and after photographic evidence
     
  6. deanroofing

    deanroofing Funster

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    Are all the indentations just at the end where the panel was fitted or all over the roof.
     
  7. Falcon 269

    Falcon 269 Funster

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    Thanks for all your replies. Knee indentations make perfect sense and yes, they're only in the area that the fitter would have been working to fit the panel.

    Pappajohn, believe me, there's plenty wrong with the roof. :( The photos were taken around mid-day in sunlight but when the sun is lower the marks become very obvious and it looks awful.

    I know with certainty that these marks weren't there before the work was done as I'd washed the van all over two days prior to the appointment. It was as it left the dealership a few months previous. Apart from the trip back to the UK during the week before the installation, the vehicle had been parked in secure facilities in a roofed bay. However, as you all remark - proving that this damage was caused during the panel fitment will be difficult.

    What grips me is that my wife and I were there while the work was being done and saw the fitter on the roof. I had assumed he'd be working off a platform between the step gantries in the workshop; however, I trusted him to have taken other precautions to protect the roof. I wish now I'd said something at the time. As it was, we watched for a few minutes and then went away to wait for the work to be finished.

    At least the majority of you agree that it isn't normal or acceptable and that I'm right to be complaining about it. Thanks for taking time to reply. (y)
     
  8. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    I'm amazed at how poor that roof is for the sake of weight saving. The first big hail storm will make a right mess. How many other vans aside from Adria have such a weak skin? Was the fitter exeptionally stout.
     
  9. Falcon 269

    Falcon 269 Funster

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    Being new to motorhomes, I have no frame of reference for things like roof strength, panel thickness and so on. However, the roof doesn't seem obviously weak or flimsy to me. I'd expect a pro to assess the construction properly before venturing onto it, though.

    As for the fitter's build, well, I wouldn't want to carry him far but I wouldn't consider him unusually stout. ;)
     
  10. Barclaybasher

    Barclaybasher Funster

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    .......................



    I would be upset to see that sort of damage.

    Apart from placing blame I can't see how he roof could be repaired easily, if at all.

    I would complain, not just to the solar panel installer, but to the manufacturer.

    Would be interesting to hear the manufacturer's view



    .......................................
     
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  11. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Personally I would put it down to experience and never use the solar fitter again-(perhaps name and shame) on a better note how about getting some ali checker plate cut and glued onto the roof ? that way it will cover your damage and give something to walk on next anyone needs to get on the roof -not a ideal situation but may save a lot of heart ache
    terry
     
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  12. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    Thought Adria were GRP?
     
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  13. Tootles

    Tootles Funster

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    They are, except for the aluminium ones......(y)(y)
     
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  14. Robert Clark

    Robert Clark Funster Life Member

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    What you need to consider is:
    Did the fitter take reasonable care whist carrying out the work?
    If you don't think so, I would ask your MH supplier (or other) to inspect the damage and write a report which you can send to the solar fitter and their insurers. If they don't play ball then I'd suggest speaking to your insurers who may well take up the claim on your behalf.
    Hope this helps
    Regards
    Robert
     
  15. Tootles

    Tootles Funster

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    Maybe a Bailey would be a good idea? Soon to be introduced for their motorhomes.

    Here you see a team of solar panel fitters ready to go to work...

    trail-of-strength-1.jpg

    And here, the alternative to TOAD......(You just need a crane on site for arrival or departure, or a low bridge). (y)(y)

    trail-of-strength-4.jpg
     
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  16. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    Somebody slipped and dropped the satellite dish on our roof making a decent dent, I was not happy BUT whats done is done at least it is on the roof.

    My advice to you would be its OK to get upset because you are not happy, tell the fitting company you are not happy and then move on and forget as you will get nowhere and it will just spoil your enjoyment. as I said at least its on the roof and you will soon forget.

    AND when you go up to clean the roof make sure you use something to spread the load, I use a thick sheet of hardish foam as its good for the roof and the knees.
     
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  17. Falcon 269

    Falcon 269 Funster

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    I don't think naming the firm in question would be helpful at this stage - probably not at all, in fact. Suffice to say I did my research and chose them for a specific reason, which is a large part of why I feel so let down now. (n)

    My supplying dealer is Spanish so the inspection/report/insurer route would be difficult to follow. I appreciate the suggestion, though.

    Move on and forget feels difficult right now, particularly as I look down on the roof of the vehicle every time I go upstairs. You're right, though - it has taken the pleasure and pride of ownership down several notches.

    Part of the reason I contracted this work out is because I figured the specialists would have the equipment and know-how that I lack to work on the roof.

    Maybe I should fit another panel to hide the damage caused in putting up the first one. :rolleyes:
     
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