Solar panel maintenance

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.


How to Storm-Proof Your Home Entryways

TornadoDepending on where you live, there are some serious precautions you need to take against hail and other debris scattered around by storms and tornadoes. If you live in a state prone to tornadoes, hail or other extreme weather events, you would be wise to check the durability of your doors and other entrances.

The main factor to ensure is that your door or window is strong and can stand up to an impact. For example, there is impact glass used in sliding doors or fiberglass entrances that is capable of resisting a 2×4 piece of wood hurtling into the material at 30 miles per hour.

Which types of windows and doors might give you the best protection against hail and other debris associated with stormy weather?

Stainless steel and aluminum metal

This kind of metal is a tough material that stands up well against tornado-force winds and flying debris caused by tornadoes. They require little upkeep and also are popular due to their aesthetic qualities. Steel can often be molded to mimic the appearance of natural wood, making this a great choice for those who want storm protection alongside a pleasant-looking material.

Fiberglass and sliding glass doors

As touched upon, fiberglass makes a super strong protective entrance when made with impact glass. This kind of glass is designed to withstand forceful impacts from large objects, making them perfect for storms and tornadoes.

Also, fiberglass can be easily molded into a variety of shapes, as well as being paired with realistic wood frames that can add a touch of class to your impact door.

Impact glass can also be used in sliding doors. This is perfect in regions with tropical climates that need plenty of air flow in the home, and where residents regularly spend time outdoors.

windload compliance

Wind-rated garage doors

It is not only your front door that needs protection – your garage is also left vulnerable during a storm or tornado. High wind is capable of pushing your garage door inward, creating potential structural damage to your home if your garage is attached to the rest of your building.

Check your current garage door for a wind compliance label, shown below. If you do not find evidence that your garage door is wind-resistant, it might be best to purchase a new door that can withstand high winds. Alternatively, it is a good idea to reinforce your garage door with metal stiffeners or metal bracing.

Wrought iron doors

Doors made from wrought iron are naturally heavy-set to protect against storms. They can be fashioned into all sorts of patterns by designers, but the most important thing is that they are tough and wind-resistant.

When to call Classic

If you are in need of storm repair or remediation, or you’re simply doing a renovation, call Classic Construction for a free estimate. We’re a team of highly trained professionals ready to help you! We now offer financing through our partners, Heath, and work alongside your insurance company.