With the cost of electricity constantly rising, you may be thinking about making the switch to alternative sources of energy—like solar. However, before you go and install your own residential solar system at home, be aware that there are major pitfalls you need to take into consideration.
A wrong installation can become a costly nightmare—not just for the homeowner, but for the installation team as well. Before you get caught up in the clean-green-energy craze, here are some of the most common solar panel installation problems—and how to avoid them.
1. Birds and Rodents
Although solar energy is a great win for Mother Earth, it doesn’t necessarily mean she will cooperate with you 24/7. Panels and racks installed in your roof are attractive nesting areas for different kinds of birds. These feathered friends may end up leaving excrement and other dirt on your solar system, not to mention potentially pecking at (and subsequently damaging) the wires and hardware.
Use the old scarecrow tactic and scare them off using a plastic owl decoy. For a rodent problem, try setting up squirrel guards, wires, or screens alongside the solar panels. This is not a sure way to eliminate the problem, but it can certainly keep the damage to a minimum.
2. Wrong Roof Assessment
The most common spot for solar system installations in residential or commercial properties is the roof. This makes that area the main culprit when something wrong happens. Since the roof is directly connected to the building, one wrong move can hugely impact the whole structure. If you start placing heavy equipment in areas that are not structurally reinforced, you risk compromising the integrity of your whole home.
This is something you definitely need to consider before getting your own solar panel.
Avoid this common pitfall by having professionals conduct a proper assessment of the roof where your panels will be placed. This should be your number one priority during the installation process before everything else. This also gives you an idea of whether or not your roof is a suitable spot for a solar system.
3. Sloppy Installation
Many solar systems may appear sturdy and impermeable, but it would do to tread lightly on them. Even with a professional’s approval, solar panels are still complex, interconnected units. You need to take a lot of care and caution during installation to avoid damaging the unit.
Dragging racks or panels across the roof should be avoided. Do not be careless when it comes to heavy tools and never leave junk behind after installation. Doing so can lead to clogged drainage systems, ice dams, moisture build-up and serious damage to the structural integrity of the roof.
After the solar panels are installed, you need to prioritize securing the meter box. If you do this step correctly, the entire house will still have electricity even if something goes wrong with the solar system.
Our job as solar installers is to help you, our customer, eliminate risks and get the most out of your solar system. We recommend you always communicate with your trusted professional if you have concerns, questions, or problems with your solar panels.
Are you ready to start your solar experience? Contact us now to get an estimate.