Here at SolarMates, we understand that purchasing and installing solar panels for your home is an investment—one that you want to be sure to protect. It’s true that repairing damaged solar panels can be costly and time-consuming. Taking simple steps to protect your solar panels from damage is not only financially smart, but it should also keep at bay the headache of having to rely on limited solar power while your panels are repaired.
Here are 5 ways to protect your home’s solar panels from environmental damage.
Inspect your solar panels’ sealant regularly.
All standard issue solar panels, such as the ones we sell at Solar Bear Tampa, come prepared with a weather-proofing sealant. After lots of wear and tear, brought on by repeated or excessive inclement weather—hello, hurricane season—your solar panels’ sealant might degrade. If you do not reapply sealant, or have it touched up by professionals, somewhat regularly, this degradation of the sealant leaves your solar panels vulnerable to environmental damage like hail, excessive rain, or wind. Sealant protects the silicone cells of your solar panels. If these get scratched, clouded, or roughed up too much, your panels will not work as effectively, and eventually may not work at all. Keeping an eye on your panels’ sealant is an easy fix to a tough problem that might catch up with you later.
Trim back any trees or vegetation near the panels.
Another great way to protect against environmental damage is to make sure to keep any trees, vines, or foliage that grows near or alongside your solar panels trimmed and neat. Unruly branches have the potential to scratch or seriously damage your solar panels, especially in high wind conditions, something we are all too familiar with here in Florida. Likewise, climbing vines that are not managed well have the potential to gum up your solar panel system and cause power outages. Keep the plants around your home under control, and your solar panels will thank you.
Build retaining walls around any solar panels installed in your yard.
If your home’s solar panels are installed in your yard rather than mounted on top of your roof, there are different measures you’ll want to take to keep them protected from environmental damage. Erosion is a serious threat to these grounded panels and installing retaining walls for support should help them weather whatever the mercurial Tampa Bay weather has to throw at them.
Install protective measures like critter wire, solar bird netting, or even lightning rods.
Other protective measures like critter wire or solar bird netting can help keep your home’s solar panels free from the wear and tear of outside living, whether brought on by scurrying creatures like squirrels, raccoons, or mice, or inflicted by the nesting of birds like pigeons or sparrows. To fend off lightning strikes from thunderstorms, hurricanes, or tropical storm systems, installing a lightning rod to redirect lightning strikes away from the panels themselves is a good idea, but only if you have it installed by professionals.
Keep the panels clean and take good care of them.
Ultimately, the best way to fend off environmental wear and tear is to maintain your solar panels well. Don’t neglect regular cleanings, and make sure to keep their surfaces free of debris. The better care you take of your solar panels, the better care they’ll take of you and your family in the long run.
For more tips on maintaining your solar panels, or to learn how to make the most out of your home’s solar power system, call us at Solar Bear Tampa today, or swing by any of our locations.