In most cases, solar panel systems are attached to the roof of a home;they are designed to absorb light from the sun to generate electricity for the home by being placed at an angle. When the sun shines, solar panels work fantastically well, and the homeowner can take advantage of this by powering a range of electrical devices and appliances for free. But what happens when the sun is not shining,or if there are extreme weather conditions such as storms or hail? Is there anything you can do to protect your solar panel system.
Both strong winds and hail can damage solar panel systems, but the good news is that most solar panels have beendesigned to withstand the harshest weather conditions. Furthermore, your homeowner’s insurance will likely cover you for damage to the panels from hail. If not, you can probably add this to your insurance by paying a little bit extra each month. It is also worth checking with your solar panel installer to see if you have cover for hail damage.
Can You Take Action Before the Event?
If you are expecting heavy downpours with the chance of hail or if a major storm is predicted, it is worth taking some measures to prevent damage. For example, when weather forecasts predict hail, it may be worth safeguarding the panels with a protective cover. You will of course be preventing your panels from generating any energy when the cover is in place, but it may be worth it in terms of preventing costly damage that could put your panels out of commission until repair work has been carried out.
If a major storm is forecast, it is worth going up to the roof to check that all the fixings and clamps are tight and secure. The bigger risk to solar panels during a storm or hurricane is flying debris that can crack panels and cause them to stop working. If you know a storm is coming, it would be wise to cover the panels in advance.
What to do After the Event?
The experts at Vivint Solar say that it is always a good idea to check your home solar panels system after an extreme weather event. If you have covered the panels beforehand, you will need to remove this cover anyway, making it the perfect time to check the system.
If you have not covered the panels, you should still check for damage. You might even find that the panels have been covered with dust and dirt and are in need of a clean. Rainwater can remove some debris but does not usually get rid of dust. To ensure they return to working at full capacity, you will need to clean them.
If you notice any cracks or damage to your panels, or if they don’t seem to be working as they did before, then you may need to call in the professionals to inspect them. If you can see damage, you should never attempt to repair it yourself as this could cause further damage and void your warranty or insurance at the same time.
Although quite rare, damage can be caused to solar panel systems during extreme weather events. Despite being made to withstand hailstorms, there is always the chance that these droplets of ice could crack a panel. And when it comes to storm force winds, flying debris can also result in cracked panels. You can mitigate the risk by covering the panels when bad weather is forecast, but you should also check to see if your system is covered for damage under your homeowner’s insurance or via your manufacturer’s warranty.