Ditch the goop using BoltSeal™: Mechanical compression-sealing technology

By Mikey Wiener, Content Editor, QuickBOLT

The solar industry has gone through many generations of technological development, especially in the last decade. The industry is still young, often like the wild west, companies rising and falling as the landscape shifts. Take a step back and you can see the various parts involved in setting up an array – electrical, racking, mounting, the list goes on.

In this article we’ll explore one technology in particular – BoltSeal™ by QuickBOLT – that changed the way solar is installed since its introduction to the market nearly a decade ago.

Who is QuickBOLT?

Surely you’ve heard the QuickBOLT name before, they’ve been offering their unique Top Mount solutions for Asphalt Shingle roofs since they came onto the scene in 2009. Top Mounts are solutions mounted over the shingle, as opposed to lifting and placing them beneath.

The QuickBOLT product line, also known as the Original Top Mount line, has led the growing effort to move away from that practice and the use of traditional sheet metal flashing as much as possible. QuickBOLT is laser focused on improving the installer’s life on the roof, and happy to see more Top Mount products emerge in the industry. CEO Greg Wiener said,

“We’re excited to see our competitors enter the market in this way, it further validates what we have been working toward for the last 9 years. The mission to provide installers with a better alternative to traditional flashing is now larger than ever.”

We all know why lifting shingles is a real pain, but what exactly is BoltSeal™ technology?

What is BoltSeal™?

In simple terms, it’s a mechanical compression-sealing method used during the QuickBOLT installation process. BoltSeal™ is the underlying technology that makes QuickBOLT’s Original Top Mounts work as well as they do. Drive their specialized fasteners into the Microflashing® until it is compressed into the roof, and presto you have a BoltSealed™ mount.

The fasteners are a pleasure to use because they drive so smoothly, and the visual/tactile feedback from the Microflashing® is a pleasant surprise. It feels like plugging a wine bottle with a cork. Other Top Mount solutions don’t offer quite the same level of response during installation.

While these QuickBOLT alternatives offer many of the same benefits in theory, they can’t deliver on the promise of the Original Top Mounts because they don’t offer BoltSeal™. In fact, they couldn’t if they wanted to ­- it’s a patented method of installation.

BoltSeal™ technology has come a long way since the first generation of QuickBOLTs. The newest version, QB2, utilizes BoltSeal™ so well that you can install the bolt without using any goop at all. Intertek Lab ASTM testing confirms that QB2 prevents water from entering roof penetrations when BoltSealed™ properly.

Why Ditch the Goop?

To clarify, goop is any chemical roofing sealant – M1, Henry’s – the stuff that comes in the sealant tube or bucket. While goop doesn’t have the same limitations that traditional flashing does in terms of installation pains they do have their drawbacks.

Some goop can’t be used in extreme weather, which is a hindrance to half of the US when it comes to the Winter months. Come Summertime, extreme heat threatens some goops by making them too elastic to use practically in certain states.

While individually affordable, the materials cost does add up when you’re a growing installer. Some companies could be spending between $15,000 to upwards of $90,000 on just chemical roofing sealant per year. Those are numbers that could pay for a badly needed work truck, or a new employee’s wages.

We all know goop works, we all use it. It’s been used for roofing longer than solar has existed. But it has its limitations. When it comes to choosing a mounting solution for your next job, why choose a solution that relies on chemical sealant when a better sealing method exists? That’s where BoltSeal™ comes into the picture.

Let’s look back at the BoltSeal™ definition: mechanical compression-sealing method. “Mechanical compression” are the key words. You see, BoltSealed™ powered Top Mounts don’t rely on your usual chemical sealants to keep water from entering the roof penetration. BoltSeal™ doesn’t depend on the seasons in order to be effective. By designing and testing their Top Mounts for the toughest conditions, QuickBOLT have proven the effectiveness without reliance on goop.

Now we know you may still use goop, you may be a diehard fan. The point is you no longer have to rely on it. You can rely on a solution where goop is just one of many layers of protection, not the first and last.

So we guess that seals the deal.

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