The 411 on Common Solar Maintenance Services and Repairs
When you decide to invest in a solar energy system for your home, Blue Raven Solar always installs high-quality equipment with high-quality protections. Every solar system we install comes with a 25-year manufacturer warranty, a production guarantee, a workmanship warranty, and a roof penetration warranty, which gives you everything you need to begin saving on your utility bills with confidence.
Solar panels are built to be sturdy and resilient through various weather conditions and to last decades, but there are recommended maintenance concerns every homeowner should understand about their personal roof-mounted power source.
Solar Panel Construction and Common Wear and Tear
Understanding how solar panels are constructed can be helpful when considering maintenance as it makes it easier to spot where issues may arise. Each panel is made up of a series of layers, including:
- The panel frame for easy mounting
- A glass panel to allow sunlight in
- Solar cells to generate your electricity
- Layers of encapsulant on either side of the PV solar cells
- A backsheet which acts as a resistant moisture barrier
This design has made solar panels one of the most resilient green energy alternatives available with their simple, sturdy mechanisms, and it means solar panels generally require minimal upkeep on a day-to-day basis. However, despite their durability, solar panels are not immune to damage. For example, a heavy hail storm may dent or damage solar cells, a snow storm may pile heavy snow on your roof and panels, and animals might roost under a solar panel’s shade, damaging or chewing through the wiring.
To make sure you notice and resolve any issues before they become big problems, we recommend occasional maintenance, repairs, and upkeep on your solar energy system to continue optimal performance.
Typical Solar Panel Maintenance and Costs
Maintaining your solar panel system can be tricky because you’re most often only catching glimpses of your system from the ground level. It’s difficult to see if a solar cell is damaged or if the panel needs cleaning when you’re far below. However, making an effort in a few key areas can help maximize your entire solar system’s production and efficiency.
Cleaning Your Solar Panels
A build-up of dust or debris can affect the production capability of your solar panels, which can slowly reduce your savings over time. Weather is a major factor in how frequently you may need to clean your solar panels.
For example, if your area is experiencing frequent storms, you may need to check on your system more often throughout the season as branches or debris may land on and cover your panels, resulting in shade and reduced performance because the panels are no longer exposed to direct sunlight. On the other hand, if you are in a drought with little precipitation, your panels could become covered in a layer of dust—blocking the sunlight needed to hit them. (Customers across all the states we serve experience dust build-up at some point.)
The more time passes, the more build up—and the harder it will be to get your panels clean. Keeping your panels clean is a balancing act between performing solar maintenance too frequently and waiting too long, to the point when it drastically affects your production or cleaning becomes an all-day chore.
A good rule of thumb is to do a maintenance sweep twice a year. To do so, simply wash the panel with water. Do not use soap or detergents. If there is thick dirt or grime, wash with cold water and rub the panel surface with a sponge, and avoid using a metal brush. If you do the cleaning yourself, the cost is only your time and the risk of being on the roof. For a more in-depth resource check out our article on how to Clean Solar Panels.
Snow can be another source of headache as a drift can fully block your solar system from sunlight. Moving large masses of heavy ice or snow at once may put you at risk of injury or damage to your solar equipment. If you live in an area where this may be an issue, it is wise to ask your solar panel installer whether it is safer to shovel the snow off yourself or allow it to naturally melt away.
With a sound roof and high-quality mounting hardware, it is unlikely heavy snow will damage your solar system by weighing it down. While snow can weigh up to 40 lbs. per cubic foot, a solar panel can hold between 50-75 lbs. per square foot.
When in doubt on how best to clean your panels, reach out to solar experts with training and tools to help you with these specialized maintenance services.
Inspecting Your Solar Panels
If you find cleaning does not help preserve your solar panel’s effectiveness, you may need to consider a site visit. We recommend contacting your solar installer first. They typically have resources and contacts to troubleshoot the issue remotely or coordinate a technician to evaluate the issue in person. You can contact Blue Raven Solar’s Customer Support at email@example.com or 1-800-377-4480. To avoid a third-party technician who may accidentally void your solar panel warranty, we recommend these steps:
- Contact your solar installer to help troubleshoot.
- Schedule a site visit with a technician.
- Verify with your solar installer which costs and repairs are covered by your warranty.
- Arrange for the repairs to take place so your system can continue generating clean energy for your home.
Your inspection will include checks on whether the wiring and hardware are working properly and on the rooftop supports. If Blue Raven Solar has installed your system, you will also have access to the Enphase app with information on system performance, which can be helpful data for your technician to evaluate when they inspect your solar system.
Costs of Solar Maintenance Services and Repairs
Routine maintenance can help identify hiccups in your solar system early on to prevent problems from getting bigger and help maximize your system’s efficiency.
If necessary maintenance services and inspections are not covered by your warranty, they may range between $150-300 per visit with equipment repairs ranging from $300-$1,300, depending on what needs to be fixed. You can expect chips and cracks in the glass layer to be similar in cost to repairing a crack in your windshield while solar panel inverter repairs tend to cost the most. The national average cost of solar maintenance services ranges between $300-$700 per year.
What Blue Raven Solar’s Warranties and Guarantees Cover
When it comes to determining how to approach your solar system’s maintenance or repair services, Blue Raven Solar’s protections are an excellent place to start, and our customer service team is always happy to help you understand the details for your specific situation.
25-year Manufacturer Warranty
Our manufacturer warranty covers your solar system’s equipment. From the solar inverter to the bolts holding your solar panels up, we support you through most of your solar system’s lifespan by protecting and replacing any obvious defects.
We trust our installers to do an excellent installation job, backed by a 10-year workmanship warranty to cover repairs on any problems and issues which arise due to installation or workmanship errors.
Roof Penetration Warranty
We choose installers who employ best practices and are experienced in expertly installing solar systems without compromising the integrity of the roof. However, in the event of a leak post-installation, our team will assess the situation, review the damage, and create a plan of action to repair it.
Another angle of protection for your solar system efficiency is our production guarantee. It is often difficult to determine if a solar cell is working improperly if it appears fine. The issue may only be evident when your power production is lower than expected. With Blue Raven Solar’s Production Guarantee, we will help assess and replace problem panels if it turns out—during the first two years of your solar system’s lifespan—your system is not generating the power expected.
Rest Easy with Reliable Solar Maintenance Services and Protections
Blue Raven Solar wants to make your solar experience easy and approachable at every stage. We want you to be satisfied throughout the installation process and for decades to come.
If you have any questions on solar panel maintenance or repair, please contact our dedicated customer service team at 1-800-377-4480 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re interested in installing solar panels, reach out for a free savings estimate to see how much you can save with solar.