Good question. Here’s another: What’s an antenna? Kidding.
Whatever you do, don’t put any holes in your roof trying to attach an antenna.
You see, even if you seal your screw holes with roofing cement now, over time the cement can crack. And then it becomes a way for water to get into your home (it could also compromise your warranty).
And we’d rather you be safe than sorry.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t mount an antenna to your roof. Here are 5 good places for an antenna roof mount that won’t damage your roof (and one not-so-good one).
On a gable
This is a really popular spot for an antenna in the Phoenix area. It lets you get the antenna up high and pointed at South Mountain without you needing to drill holes into your roof.
An antenna attached to the gable of a home. Photo source
Related: The Anatomy of a Pitched Roof
On the fascia
Your home might not have a gable end that faces the right direction. You can still attach an antenna to the fascia on the side of your home with what’s called a J-mount.
Note: make sure your fascia is in good condition and you are screwing into solid wood. If the wood is rotted, it’s not going to hold a TV antenna well.
TV antenna mounted on fascia. Photo source: Channel Master
On your chimney
If you have a chimney, you can buy a kit that lets you strap your antenna to the chimney itself.
A chimney mount kit. Photo source: Solid Signal
A couple of important notes for chimney mounts:
- Smoke and ash can interfere with your signal. So you may only want to use this option if you don’t use your fireplace.
- Your chimney must be in good condition. Any mount is only as secure as what it’s attached to. If your chimney is crumbling, it’s probably best to look elsewhere (and get the chimney fixed).
With non-penetrating mounts
These mounts sit on your roof, but aren’t held in place by screws. Instead, they use the weights (usually cinder blocks) to hold them in place.
A non-penetrating roof mount for flat roofs from TVantenna.com
There’s also a version for pitched roofs, although that seems a bit risky.
Also, you should be sure that your roof structure can support this weight. Cinder blocks aren’t light.
In your attic
OK so this isn’t really on your roof. And it’s true that mounting your TV antenna in the attic can reduce your signal strength by 30-50%. But it can work for those of us in an area with a really strong signal.
An antenna mounted in the attic. Photo source
Of course, if you live outside the city a ways (in Florence, for example) or you have a metal roof, then the attic may not be an option.
1 not-so-good idea: in your plumbing vent
TV antenna mast mounted in plumbing vent. Photo source
We saw this on a home inspector forum. We’ll give the installer credit for not putting holes in the roof. But we’re pretty sure plumbers would tell you not to do this. The mast and the bolts securing the mast can obstruct the vent.
- How to Buy and Install an HD Antenna (Digital Trends)
- Position Matters – Choosing Where to Place Your HDTV Antenna (Tablo)
- TV Signal Locator (to find where to point your antenna)
Lyons Roofing serves the entire Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas. Contact us for more information.