Welcome back to Gardner Energy blog! Today, we will be discussing what sort of weather could potentially damage your solar panels and what to look out for when checking for damage. Remember, if you do detect any damage at all, that your solar panel installation experts in Salt Lake can help you repair or replace your panels!

Solar panel damage can completely affect how you live your life, especially if they power your entire home. When looking for damage, it can sometimes be very small, so it is important to do routine checks after extreme weather so that you can ensure that everything is working properly. Solar panels are tested with extreme weather before they leave where they are manufactured, but you never know when something can go wrong. So, without further ado, here are three types of damage to look out for when it comes to your solar panels.

Three Types Of Damage

Hail

Hail damage is perhaps the most important thing to look out for when it comes to your solar panels because it can be the type that hits the hardest. Damage from hail will mostly come from the impact at which the hail hits the solar panel. The panels are tested with up to golf ball-sized balls to ensure that they can not break the glass overlay. You may feel relieved to know that because that is such a large stone, but when there is one piece of hail that size, there are usually more that comes with it.

When multiple pieces are coming into contact with the panel itself, it has less of a chance to absorb the damage and can begin to fracture at multiple points. While it can be tested with one or a few pieces at a time, it can’t be tested for everything. Here in Salt Lake, we have been known to have random weather spurts that could potentially test the build of your house, car, and solar panels, so it is always important to keep that in mind.

Water Damage

Water damage won’t be an issue at all when you first receive your solar panels, but when a panel gets a lot older, they can sometimes get small amounts of water damage. This will often come from the sealant portion of the glass. As the sealant expands and contracts with the weather, it can sometimes begin to get weaker over time, allowing water to slowly leak in. This will cause damage to the wiring and electric parts that keep your solar panel running. 

If you have older panels, you can test for this by simply examining it in-depth and looking for any places where water may be inside the glass. It is also important to note that this is simply an issue that happens to all glass over time, whether it be your car windshield or your house windows, and it is not unique to solar panels alone. If you ever have issues with the sealant, do not replace it yourself. Instead, contact us so that we can come and replace any sealant and parts that may have been damaged.

Animals

This may not be something that you would typically think about when getting your new solar panels, but wildlife can cause damage that has to be fixed. If you live in an area with smaller animals, then you know that they will look for anywhere to go that will protect them from harsh weather. If you have solar panels installed on your roof, then it can be the perfect place for little squirrels or raccoons to shimmy under. When they do this, whether they mean to or not, it can either damage the wiring or potentially damage the area that they used to get under the panel itself. If you are in an area where you know you have these types of small animals, then you should try and do a routine check every couple of weeks to make sure that nothing is wrong with your panels.

How To Check For Damage On Your Panels

It is important to do a routine check of your panels at least once a month, and if you have a lot of severe weather, check after every storm. Even the smallest issues could cause your energy output to go down significantly. 

Physical Inspection

When it comes to looking at your solar panels, you’ll want to look at a few various places to make sure that damage was not done. First, you will want to inspect the top. You want to look for cracks that may have appeared because they could allow water into the panel itself and damage the electric parts that are within the glass casing. 

If your panel is older, or you have had some cracking that has been caused due to weather or falling debris, look extremely close. If you have water damage on the inside it can cause some issues for you in the long run and completely ruin your panel. So contact us asap so we can fix the problem before it causes too many issues for you.

When you are inspecting, check the underside of the panel as well. While this is the area that is least likely to sustain damage, it is still good to check just in case. You want to make sure that all the wires are secure and firmly in place. Dangling wires will be more susceptible to wind damage and pesky animals.

Solar Inverter

Make sure to check your solar inverter to ensure that you are getting the optimal power input that you were getting when they were first installed. If you are getting far less than you did, then it could be indicative of a problem with the panels themselves that you can not visually see. This is an extremely important step because this is the point at which everything happens with your solar panels. It controls the DC to AC power for your house, interfaces with the grid of all your panels, and works to convert the maximum amount of power for your solar panels. 

If there is an issue with this, then it isn’t always a simple fix. It can be a few different issues that we need to look at. So as soon as you spot an issue like this, schedule an appointment with us so that we can take a look at this as soon as possible.

Contact Us Today!

While there are some DIY things that you can do when it comes to repairs, it is not recommended because they are your complete power source for your home. That is something that you simply don’t want to mess with. For all your repair needs, you should contact us, your local solar panel installation experts here in Salt Lake City.