Post-Storm Solar Panel Maintenance for Homeowners

Solar panel maintenanceSolar panels for the home are growing in popularity and have become increasingly affordable since they first became available for widespread use in the 1970s. Another data point for homeowners to consider when choosing to utilize solar panels is both the time and cost required to maintain them, especially after a storm. There are a few general cleaning tasks that homeowners can perform autonomously but knowing what can be completed on your own and when to call in a professional is essential in maintaining the functionality of your solar panels after stormy weather.

Inspect Your Solar Panels After a Storm

Dirty and cluttered solar panels are less effective in gathering energy, so making sure to inspect them after a storm is critical. Rain is useful in clearing loose dirt and pollen, but if mud and debris land on your panels, they will need to be cleaned as soon as possible. If you’re not sure your panels need to be cleaned, monitor their performance and make sure they are working at full capacity. If not, then cleaning your panels is likely required.

How to Clean and Remove Debris

If you notice that your panels need cleaning after a storm, start by removing debris and checking for damage. Make sure that your manufacturers’ cleaning and maintenance standards are reviewed to see if there are specific requirements for cleaning agents or brushes for your specific solar hardware. If nothing specific is recommended, then using a regular dry brush to lightly sweep away debris and choosing a clarifying soap that won’t leave residue should be sufficient. You can then use a light spraying function on your hose (do not powerwash) to rinse off the panels and dry them with anything that works well on glass. Never step directly onto solar panels when cleaning them, as this can cause micro-breaks in the glass and cause further damage.

Here’s When You Need to Call a Professional

If you’ve removed debris, thoroughly cleaned your panels, and noticed any cracks or severe damage, then it’s time to call a professional. Never attempt to fix any damage on your own, and if no damage is found, but your solar panels still aren’t working at peak performance, that’s also a sign that they may need professional servicing. Solar panels will save homeowners money by reducing energy costs, and there are multiple tax credits and rebates that homeowners can leverage. Panels are easy to maintain and require little maintenance overall but paying particular attention to panels after a storm will ensure that their performance is not interrupted.

Abigail Baker is a writer from Happy Writers, Co. in partnership with FedSteel, a heavy-walled steel vendor.

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