Residential and Business Solar Panel Maintenance
Roseville, CA- They’re everywhere! Solar panels continue to become more commonplace in Roseville, Lincoln, Rocklin and throughout South Placer County. From new residential solar communities continue to big business and after market installation, solar seems to be a smart choice to shred those high monthly electric costs.
With all those solar panels, keeping them cleaning them is important. To learn a little more about solar panel cleaning, we turned to local business owner and longtime Roseville Today client Paul Black’s Window and Solar Panel Cleaning. With nearly 30 years experience and a reputation of integrity and stellar service in the community, Paul was the natural choice when we decided to do a little Q & A session on solar panel cleaning for our readers. Let’s get started!
Solar Panel Cleaning Q & A
Do I need to clean the solar panels?
You need to clean the panels periodically to keep them working at the maximum efficiency. Debris on the glass prevents some of the light from entering the unit which will result in less energy output. Debris that commonly needs to be removed is dirt, paint overspray, bird feces, and mineral deposits. The frequency of service will depend on each individual situation.
Can I just “hose” them off with my garden hose?
No. Tap water and well water left to dry will leave mineral deposits on the glass. Where you live and your water source will directly affect how quickly the deposits build up. Some areas have very hard water which will become permanent quickly. We use only filtered water (Deionized water filters) that removes all the particles; this ensures on water deposits or soap residues left on the panels.
Will it void my warranty to have them cleaned?
Always read your warranties and understand them, but we have not experienced anything we do that would void your warranty. We have worked with many solar panel installers to give service for their clients. In fact, many customers call us because the solar panel companies recommend them being cleaned prior to their service call. Too much dirt can affect the output when there is nothing mechanically wrong otherwise.
How often do I need to clean them?
So many things come in to play. Typically, it is good to get them cleaned and checked out once a year in most areas. If you live in an area with high amounts of dust, pollen, bird nesting, farming areas, land development/new construction, then you will need them cleaned more often then an older established city neighborhood with low dust/pollen. If you live on an equestrian or farming area where lots of dirt is constantly being stirred up, then you might need several services per year. Also, you may need extra services if there is a lot of new construction going on around you. While we are up there, we are looking for broken panels, excessive bird nesting under them or other roof issues that you might not know about.
How does your company clean them, and what other methods do you use?
Most of the time, we use your water source that runs thru our DI filters and then out our water-fed scrubbing poles. We scrub all the dirt off leaving no soap residue that would attract dust quicker after the service than pure water method. If there is paint overspray or hard water stains built up, we take pictures and let you make the decision to spend the extra time & resources to clean. In this scenario, we will remove all the dirt, and have you monitor your output for a while to see if the other issues are affecting your efficiency. Lastly, we inspect for bird nesting. If birds have made a new home under the shade of your panels, we will take pictures and recommend you get a contractor to install netting, wiring or other methods to prevent them from returning. Most of the time, we use your water source that runs thru our DI filters and then out our water-fed scrubbing poles. We scrub all the dirt off leaving no soap residue that would attract dust quicker
What can I do to protect them?
Like anything else, just monitor them from time to time. Don’t ever use water from hard water wells or city water. Don’t ever use chemicals or cleaning agents you don’t understand. Don’t let critters nest around them.
Do you inspect for broken panels, bird nesting, other roofing concerns while up there?
Absolutely. As previously talked about, we do all this as a courtesy while up on your roof. We will let you know what we see to keep you informed. We commonly find broken tiles or other concerns not related to the panels and inform you. Since the average person never goes on their own roof, we find all sorts of issues that customers never knew about.
Do you take pictures on the roof to show me concerns?
We will take pictures so we can show you on the ground, and we can text or email the photos to you for reference
How much lead time do you need to schedule?
Typically, a few weeks’ notice is needed, but it really depends on the time of year and how big of a job it is. If you have the typical 30-40 panels on a residence, we can schedule it relatively quick. If you have a 300-panel system for a multiple building property or large commercial system, then we would need more lead time. I always return messages promptly and finish jobs on schedule with excellent communication.
Have an unanswered question or need more information? Visit https://www.paulblacks.com.
About Paul Black’s
Paul Black’s is locally owned and has been serving Placer County since 1990. They are fully insured and bonded and may also be contacted at (530) 823-9405.