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I have a "screw down panel metal roof" where the fasteners are exposed. I've been told that the screws need to be retightened every few years because the screws will come loose over time due to expansion/contraction. I've already found a handful of loose screws (it's about 10 years old).

I'm considering getting solar panels but l'm concerned about losing access to the screws that will be covered by the panels. The company says the only way to get to them would be to remove the panels.

Would it be unwise to get the panels and lose access to the screws? Is there a type of screw that doesn't need retightening? Any suggestions appreciated.

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  • @DrMoishePippik is it good idea to use thread locking compound on all the screws on the roof so I won’t have to retighten any of them in the future?
    – Gary H
    Feb 22 at 0:37
  • I sincerely doubt that thread locking compound with screws in wood would have any positive effect. Feb 22 at 1:00
  • @DrMoishePippik into wood
    – Gary H
    Feb 22 at 4:55

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In your situation, I’d have the roof re-done with new screws° (one size bigger than the old ones, ie #12>#14) and put a blob of silicone sealant on top of the ones that are going underneath panels.

If your panels are still going after 20 years, you could have them lifted for maintenance. Be sure to check the attic periodically for leaks.

° it’s the EPDM or rubber washer that fails, so replacement gets you more time.

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