In Solar Advice, Solar Maintenance, Solar Panels

Over the past few years, two great things have happened. Solar technology has advanced significantly while also becoming less expensive. No complaints on those counts. Getting solar panels installed has proven to be an efficient way for homes and businesses alike to produce their own electricity, without doing damage to the environment. PV or photovoltaic panels have also proven to be the most popular kids in solar class.

However, what can upend all this good news? An installation done badly. A slapdash job can leave homeowners paying the price of repairs and can leave a bad taste in the mouth resulting in the industry suffering a hit in reputation.

So what can be done in order to avoid good going bad? And then throwing more good after that bad? There are 4 key main problems that often arise and there are solutions to each of them. 

So, what are the 4 key problems? Let’s list them straight away. No cliffhangers here.

  • Poor roof assessments
  • Rushed, inaccurate installation
  • Blocking water flow
  • A lack of follow up maintenance and inspection.

The Roof Assessment

Important point, a very important point. The roof should be inspected by  a suitably qualified engineer before installing solar panels. If there are weaknesses that need to be addressed this should be done in advance. Not doing so could result in ongoing issues. 

In general, a survey of the roof will include the following?

  • What is the weight bearing capacity of the roof? Can it support a solar system?
  • What is the roof’s condition? Will foot traffic cause damage? This is more likely to be a concern on older buildings.
  • Mounting a solar system can require penetrations to be made which can impact the structural integrity of the roof. Will this cause issues?

If an assessment is carried out, these concerns can be identified, managed and addressed.

Poorly considered and inaccurate installation.

A solar company is only as good as the sum of its parts. At Caldor, our teams are well-trained and experienced. They understand the potential challenges that can arise and they know that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to the homes and businesses they work on. Make sure you choose an experienced  team that employs best practice and can answer your concerns, not brush them aside (I will take this opportunity to direct you towards some of our testimonials.).

While not the first thing you might think of, wire management is also a pivotal part to optimal panel installation. Best practice looks a little bit like this:

  • Avoids sharp edges/corners or excessive bending. Avoids or minimises exposure to direct sunlight. Wires should be run accordingly.
  • Labels; wires should be kept neat, tidy and clearly labelled for future use, safety and convenience. Where required, they should be secured using quality fixtures and fastenings.

Blocking water flow

This is a short but serious note.  

  • Water drainage is a common issue with solar panels where they have been installed carelessly. The flow of water must be accounted for. 
  • Water can sit and pool if not allowed sufficient drainage which can, in turn, cause leakage problems and roof problems. 

Lack of follow up maintenance and inspection.

Why do people want to get solar panels to begin with? It’s usually to save both money and the environment but you won’t see that return on investment if you let maintenance and inspections slide. Put a note in your calendar – regularity and consistency is the best way to address small issues and stop them in their tracks.

You can read our blog on panel care here.

And that’s where we draw the line on this week’s blog. Due diligence, proper planning and regular maintenance. That’s the triple threat to bad installation.

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