Senior couple from Frankford, Ont. says solar panel installation destroyed their home

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WATCH: Reg and Terri Dionne say they have been in a fight for years with a solar panel company, based in Mississauga. – Dec 24, 2019

A couple from Frankford, northwest of Belleville, Ont., say they have been in a fight for years with a solar panel company.

Reg and Terri Dionne say installing the panels ended up destroying their house.

“There were 34 panels on the roof, from my right side to my left,” says Reg, pointing to his roof from the backyard.

Reg Dionne stands in his gutted home. Global News

Reg, 71, and Terri are homeless after what they say was a solar panel project gone terribly wrong.

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The system was installed on their metal roof in June, 2015. But a year and a half later, the Dionnes say their roof began leaking.

The cause, Reg said, was that the solar system had been “mis-installed.”

The panels were installed by Grasshopper Solar based in Mississauga, Ont. Fasteners weren’t sealed or properly installed, he said, leading to water leaks — and the growing of mould throughout the roof.

“The contractors they sent, they did remediation work to try to fix the water leaks,” Reg said. “With what they did, all they did was transfer the water penetration from one area to another.

“It did not stop the water leaks.”

Contractor Rod Reid points to interior ceiling. Global News

“So you can still see all the remnants of the black and the dark spots,” said Rob Reid, pointing to the ceiling inside the home.

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Reid is a contractor of 21 years, hired by the Dionnes to deal with the mould.

“The next step is to remove the rafters and the roof sheeting and the steel roofing,” Reid said, “[and] put on new engineered trusses to support the load of the solar panels.”

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The mould has now been removed from the home.

Reg and Terri Dionne inside their travel trailer. Global News

But the Dionnes lived in the house for almost two years before severe health issues forced them out this September, they say, forcing them to move into their travel trailer parked in the driveway.

“All my wife and I want is our house fixed,” says Dionne.

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In an email statement from Grasshopper Solar, a spokesperson says, in part, “We are aware of Mr. Dionne and his claims.

“We have used our best efforts to reach a resolution and will continue to do so. We hope Mr. Dionne will do the same.”

But Reg says the damage has been done.

“Within three-and-a-half years of them putting that solar system on — or four-and-a-half years I guess now — they have destroyed our home,” he said.

Global News. Global News

With their home now gutted down to the studs, the couple aren’t sure when they’ll be able move back in.

Meanwhile, the Dionnes continue to negotiate with Grasshopper Solar through their lawyer.


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