Useful Ways to Ensure the Durability of Solar Panels after Installing

Installing solar panels on your home can be a great way to save money on your energy bill and reduce your home’s carbon footprint by switching to renewable energy.

And the good news is, while solar panels aren’t cheap, they can last for around 25-30 years, meaning they have plenty of time to recoup your investment.

But to get the most value from your solar panels and ensure they last as long as possible, it’s important to maintain them properly. We’ll discuss this and more in the text below.

Caring for your solar panels in all seasons

Solar panels require very little regular maintenance. In general, any failures that occur are related to power generation or corrosion of the wires connecting your system to the inverter, not the panels themselves.

Keep in mind that solar panels only produce electricity if the sun shines directly on them.

Any obstructions from dust, snow, or vegetation will cut into your production – or stop the production of electricity altogether.

If you live in a particularly dusty area or one that receives regular snowfall, keeping your panels clean and uncluttered will result in more energy production.

Clearing leaves and protection from birds

Solar panels can continue to generate power well into the fall—as long as they’re not covered by loose leaves or other vegetation.

There’s no guarantee that your roof and deck will remain leaf-free, even if you don’t have tall trees covering your home.

Fall winds can blow debris into the air, depositing it on your boards and rack.

A bit more complicated can be protecting your panels from pigeons, as they usually nest beneath the panels, causing several issues and can obstruct the operation flow of the panels themselves.

The best way to handle such problems is with the help of professionals who’ll work on a solution best suited to the situation, which often means installing safety nets, spikes, or even what is known as bird mesh (a protective barrier preventing the birds from nesting underneath the panels).

All these solutions will help your panels stay safe for the next two to three decades with ease.

Fortunately, leaf removal is one of the easier tasks of maintenance. It is analogous to cleaning the gutters.

If you have proper safety equipment – strong rope, straps, ladders, etc. – you may be able to handle the job yourself.

Before you do this, check your board’s warranty to ensure you won’t accidentally lose it while using a brush or roof rake to remove leaves.

Summer maintenance: Regular dust and pollen washes

solar panels maintenance

Summer should be a very productive season for your solar array. However, occasionally your panels can become fogged with dust, dirt, animal droppings, or tree pollen.

A rainstorm is usually enough to clean a solar panel, but in arid climates, summer storms are few and far between.

If you live in a particularly dusty area, and no rain is expected, you can wash off the dust with a garden hose.

This method is ideal if you can safely reach your slabs without a ladder. Be sure that the water you use to clean the solar panels is demineralized; hard water can cause scaling or corrosion over time.

For homes where dirt or pollen build-up is a frequent occurrence, installing a roofing system with a roof is an opportunity to take the headache out of regular cleaning.

Make sure your sprinkler system is installed under the supervision and approval of your solar installer so that the sprinklers will not adversely affect your roof or your panels.

Winter maintenance: Snow and ice removal

Regular snow removal can be difficult in areas with a high chance of snow. Most of the time, the snow on your roof will melt within a day or two from the heat of the sun and the heat generated by the house – although the panels will need a fifteen-degree slope for this to work well.

In the event that it is too cold for the snow to melt, a long broom or snow rake can help you clear drifts. Double-check your warranty to make sure that using the cleaning tool will not void it.

Ice buildup is another concern, as it can weaken your roof and compromise the integrity of your solar panels.

Roof de-icing may be necessary in some cases to prevent possible water penetration, pooling, or even structural damage.

However, using salt as a snow melter can cause corrosion on your rack or on the boards themselves, making deicing a challenge. Situations like these require consulting a professional maintenance service recommended by your solar installer to prevent long-term damage or problems.

All in all, panels can last you quite a long time as they are made to be durable and strong. However, if you neglect them over longer periods of time, your panel installation can turn into a nightmare easily.

Also, last but not least, make sure to always call a professional when handling issues regarding the generator and electricity, as cutting wires or trying to fix it on your own can only cause more damage.

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