While we do our utmost at Orbit Energy to educate our clients before, during, and after the installation of their solar systems, we wanted to create a resource or point of reference for any questions you may have after that fact. Perhaps you even went through a different company to obtain your system, and now may be experiencing some malfunctions or other signs of disrepair. No matter where you’re coming from, we’re here to help!
One of the most frequently asked questions that consumers have prior to installation is “Will solar panels damage my roof?”. The short answer is no(if the system is installed correctly!). You may experience issues if you had an installation that was rushed, or perhaps done by a technician that chose to operate outside of the standard manufacturers specifications for whatever reason(this should not be the norm). The way that panels are supposed to be installed are as follows; approved and engineered attachments are drilled into the roof, attaching to the structural beams. Where the drilling takes place, those areas are sealed with specialized racking components that are tested under all condition types to ensure that it does not leak or cause other damage.
Cleaning the Panels
Only in what are called “high-soiling” states, such as Florida, will the panels require an occasional cleaning. The systems are rated to be outside (because that is where they go!). As such, they have every component designed with this in mind. Panels are cleaned using a small amount of dish soap and warm water. This can be compared to the level of care one would take when washing their vehicle. There are trusted cleaning companies that offer this service if you live in a “high-soiling” state. You can always speak to one of our technical experts about this if you have a question about it!
Snow / Ice / Weather Concerns
So what happens when it snows then? Do you need to get up on your roof? Not at all! We do not recommend that you get up on your roof for any reason, especially in inclement weather! Once the sun comes out, it heats the surface of the panels and the snow slides off naturally on its own. In the short time it takes for the snow to melt off, you’ll notice a slight drop in production, but it will be back fully to your normal output in a matter of a day or so. You’ll also notice that when you drive around your neighborhood after a snow storm, your neighbors with solar have no snow at all on their panels! It does the job for you.
Even if their seasonally decorative/holiday lights are still covered in snow and ice, the panels are not! Another stellar aspect about solar panels is that the attachment components will never rust, as they’re made of aluminum and will perhaps oxidize a bit over time(slight color change in a place you would not be able to normally see), but never rust. This means solar panels will not damage your roof!
Hurricanes and Wind
Hurricanes and wind? No problem. The solar modules can withstand a good amount of impact (from maybe acorns or other flying debris). The only issue that weather may pose would be in extreme cases of hail. As the panels are made of tempered glass. Giant hail may cause them to break (think of a rock hitting your windshield at high speeds, the “spiderweb” effect). Most states and climates do not experience the kind of hail storms that would be required for this to happen. So generally speaking, this will probably not happen to you or your home system. If it does, your homeowners insurance will help out, and we would be happy to answer any questions you have. It is a completely valid concern.
Animals / Pests
In our over 20+ years in solar panel experience, we here at Orbit Energy have seen everything under the sun that is possible for our animal friends to do to cause issue for the systems. We have the knowledge and industry experience as well as cost-friendly options to combat this. We would implement these devices (if you so choose) at the time of install, which control the impact of wildlife. Will Solar Panels Damage My Roof? No, but watch out for your local wildlife! This is a significant concern, but should not be a deterring challenge!