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The Best Place to Install Your Satellite Dish

You’ve ordered your satellite TV service, and all that’s left is installation. Whether you do the installation yourself or have someone do it for you, location is critical. It doesn’t matter if you’ve chosen the most aesthetically pleasing spot on your property for the dish if it can’t pick up a signal. You have to consider both the direction of the dish face, as well as the structural integrity of the surface you plan on mounting it to. With multiple factors to consider, where should the satellite dish be installed?

What Does a Satellite Dish Need to Work?

The satellite that your dish connects with is in a geosynchronous orbit (moving the same as the earth) somewhere above the equator. This means if you reside in North America, your satellite dish needs a clear and unobstructed view of the southern sky to pick up signals from that satellite. Your position relative to the satellite determines the required vertical and horizontal alignment for the dish, which you can measure with a signal meter.

Your dish also needs a cabled connection to the satellite receiver and your television. In addition to positioning and cabling, your dish needs a mounting surface that is stable and secure.

Where Should I Install My Satellite Dish?

Nothing should block the satellite signal. Even branches and leaves will interfere and cause reception problems. It is for this reason you see many satellite dish installations on the roofs of houses. However, you may wish to avoid the risk of causing roof damage with your satellite dish, as poor installation or unexpected weather conditions can have a surprising impact.

An alternative satellite dish mounting location is at the top of a sturdy metal or wood pole. As opposed to your roof, a pole offers you much more flexibility for satellite placement, and can help you avoid signal loss if you choose a completely unobstructed location. The pole should be adequately anchored with concrete under the ground to stabilize the dish during windy weather.

How Can I Install a Satellite Dish on My Roof Without Causing a Leak?

Roof-mounted satellite dishes seldom leak right away. Over time, however, weather-related expansion and shrinking of roof materials creates leaky gaps where the dish has been screwed into the shingles. To prevent this from happening, add a rubber sheet beneath the satellite foot plate to block leaks and protect the shingles from cosmetic contact damage. In addition, add a sealant, such as roofing tar, over the mounting bolts to further protect against water entry.

Survey your property and your home to assess satellite dish compatibility. With the right location and the right installation method, your satellite dish can be functional without damaging your home or property.

If you’re worried about your current satellite install, or want the advice of a professional roofing contractor before you actually follow through on your new satellite dish, call Ja-Mar Roofing & Sheet Metal to take a look at your roof today. We can help you be sure you’ve got the ideal setup to enjoy all of your favorite programs without worrying about damage to your roof.