Why use a non-penetrating roof mount?

Maybe you’ve seen these before. The technical term is “non-penetrating roof mount.” They’re designed to let you mount satellite dishes or antennas when you can’t drill holes. (that’s the “non-penetrating” part.) The way they work is, the satellite dish or antenna is mounted to a regular mast and then the base is very wide, wide enough to let you pile a lot of weight onto it without busting through a roof or patio.

Many non-penetrating roof mounts are designed to hold cinder blocks, either four or eight. This works out because you can get the mount from somewhere like Solid Signal and you get the cinder blocks locally because they are very heavy and cost a lot to ship. Other mounts come with water jugs, which ends up being the same idea — get the light parts shipped to you and get the heavy parts locally. Water jugs are a good choice for areas with mild weather since they won’t freeze, but cinder blocks work well almost anywhere.

They call it a non-penetrating roof mount but the truth is it can be used almost anywhere. It’s commonly seen in apartment patios because the complex won’t let people drill holes, and it’s also found in mobile home parks where the house itself moves too much to let you attach a satellite dish or antenna. There are almost infinite uses for a non-penetrating roof mount. They don’t even need to be on level surfaces, although that’s where they do best; they can be used on slightly sloping roofs as long as the mount itself shows no signs of slipping down.

A non-penetrating roof mount is even a good idea for RVers, as they do actually fold up relatively small and you have the choice of either bringing cinder blocks with you, using local materials, or using the water jug method and filling them up when you stop. It’s a lot easier than setting up a tripod and then steadying it with sandbags or rocks.

The best part about non-penetrating roof mounts is that they come in shapes and sizes for nearly every application and you can find them all at Solid Signal.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.