Owning a house means a lot of maintenance and regular checkups to see if everything is working as it should. Your home is essential to your life because it provides you with shelter from harsh weather. If you live in a region where winds and storms are a common occurrence, then you can expect some frequent maintenance every now and then. Most people these days have solar panels installed on their roofs which also require maintenance. You can protect your roof and solar panels from soot with pressure washing.
If you’re focused on developing a greener energy source for your home then solar panels are one of the best options you can get. But since these apparatuses are delicate, they require regular maintenance. That helps them perform better in energy conservation and also enhances their life.
Pressure Washing Roofs and Solar Panels
Many people in the United States install solar panels. A state agency has also led plans for community solar installations for low and moderate-income households. Perhaps you’ve seen solar panels installed in the vicinity and maybe some part of your energy is obtained from solar energy. Probably your roof panels are installed there as well.
How should one take care of their roof? This quick pressure washing guide helps homeowners determine if it is appropriate to use a pressure washer for solar panel cleaning. You should read this before starting a roof repair job.
What is Pressure Washing?
Most people have seen pressure cleaners that clean large surfaces in residential buildings. It’s a powerful machine that uses water to generate water at 500-3200 PSI pressure. A pressure washer will easily wipe out any residue and odor that has accumulated from the water and dirt. Contractors are able to wash several types of surfaces including roofs. You may even be familiar with soft washing. Soft washing is similar to washing machines, but water sprays at low pressures of less than 500 PSI.
Why do Solar Panels Need Cleaning?
Often a panel covered by contaminated soil or dust can lose its power. It is usually not noticeable since it’s between 1% and 4.7%. A study showed that dirt buildup can reduce the production power of solar cells by 25 percent. Typically, winter rains and usually wipe off any dust or animal debris. Usually, the panel will require occasional cleaning when the area is a bit wet with rain or drizzly wind. Some homeowners have confidence cleaning their panels themselves and many opt for professional cleaning services.
Exposure to Extreme Salt or Chemicals will Invalidate the Solar Panel Warranty
If salt mist degrades a solar array then the major manufacturers don’t take the risk of repairing that. This solar panel system requires frequent cleaning and preventive measures. In addition to solar panel maintenance, your solar system needs a thorough cleaning. If you don’t clean a solar cell you could invalidate its warranty.
Warranty assumes the product has received maximum protection as possible from the manufacturer of the product. Such chemical and salt deposits will harm the solar roof installed in your home and can invalidate the warranty. If your warranty fails, then you won’t be able to get it replaced in case of a malfunction. Hence, you need to keep the solar panels clean so it doesn’t come to that.
Solar Panel Cleaning Tips
If your solar panel setup has greenery around then it is highly possible that rough grass and weeb can grow around it. Trim out landscaping or vegetation which could grow on solar panels. Check them occasionally, tightening loose sections as well. Ensure there is no crack in the glass seals on the panes. If there are damaged parts in a solar panel, consider whether or not you have the chance to replace the solar panel. Install a system of energy tracking that monitors the use of the system and checks whether its efficiency has increased.
Materials Used for Cleaning
People generally have an extension brush and an open-bristlet brush like for cleaning RVs. That can also be used to clean your solar panels. Water can be used normally and fingerprints on glass can be wiped out with glass cleaners or using 3% water. When panel access is difficult, a high-pressure nozzle attachment for a clean solvent is recommended. They’re available at home improvement stores.
Pressure Washing Tips for Roofs
Roofs of houses are subjected to varying conditions. All seasons have a chance of collecting dust. You will need to do your seasonal washing yourself or hire an independent pressure washing company. Some people say pressure washers are useless for roof cleaning but they focus primarily on determining if a roof will suffer damage if not washed by a pressure washing method.
However, many homeowners have faced the troubles of damaging different parts of their roofs due to the high pressure of water. You should be mindful of the pressure that a pressure washer can generate. If you have any delicate surfaces or objects lying around on your roof, then you need to be careful washing around those areas.
Why Rainwater Doesn’t Clean Solar Panels
It might seem like the rain is enough to keep the solar panels from catching any dirt or residue. How does rain water clean the solar panel? What if a person did not wipe their car windows every 6 months? It could accumulate grime and eventually get greener. Even in the event of raining on a car, the air particles remain attached to the surface when it evaporates. Typically when you use the wipers in your windshield, you wipe out dirt and dust on the surface of the vehicle.
Same is the case with a solar panel surface. Cleaning solar panels is like wiping a glass surface. If you’re planning to clean your solar panels yourself, then you should keep something with you that you can use to wipe the surface after a water wash. Professional solar panel cleaning services take adequate measures to ensure there are no dirt particles left on the solar panel roof after it has been washed. Those uncalled for dirt particles play a huge role in the inefficiency of the solar panels.
Professional Solar Panel Cleaning is the Way to go
Cleaning a solar panel is not difficult, but you can easily accomplish it with no help from someone professional. Professional cleaning companies have experience working on the roof as well as all necessary security equipment to protect them from falling.
It is recommended for all homeowners to clean solar panels using an easy-to-use cleaning machine, which is able to access your panels directly through a hole in your roof and from your roof. You may also not like adding more chores on the list, especially those that are dangerous for falling unless you clean them out of the house.
Why is solar panel cleaning important? Solar panel cleaning keeps your warranty intact, helps your solar panels produce the maximum electricity and most importantly, saves you more money in the long-term. Dirty solar panels will effect your energy production drastically. Having a lower energy output from your solar panels will defeat the purpose of even having such a facility. Solar panels require cleaning of their glass plates to remove any dirt or residue build-up.
Hiring professional solar panel cleaning services will help you achieve better results in energy production by your solar panels as well as enhance the life span of your panels.
Commonly Asked Questions
People who wish to clean their roofs and solar panels themselves have questions about the durability of pressure washers and how to fully optimize their usage:
Can I use a Pressure Washer on my Solar Panels?
Pressure washers can clean exterior of your property including gutters and roofs. It has a big advantage that it is much faster to clean large sections of panels but it can damage the panels if done incorrectly. You can definitely use a pressure washeer on your solar panels but you have to be careful of delicate surfaces.
Will a Pressure Washer Remove Creosote?
Pressure washer removes dirt and rust stains from roofs and solar panel installations. Roofs are discolored because the sediment in them includes molds, mildew, algae, and other natural components.
Can you Soft Wash Solar Panels?
While you may think solar panels are simple to clean, you can not use soap. The power washing process is also extremely harsh and can damage panel surfaces.
Solar panels and a roof that has solar panels installed on top, both are very important to clean and maintain. If you don’t look after the condition of your roof, then your solar panels will be affected by that as well. Hence, it is crucial to look after both.
Chris’s Pressure Washing provides maintenance and cleaning services for your roof, gutters, windows, etc. We specialize in cleaning your house’s exterior in detail. After receiving our services, your house will have amazing curb appeal. Contact us today and book an appointment!