Rough cleaning instruments, such as abrasive cloths and sponges or heavily toothed brooms, can scratch the surface of the panels. You should always be careful when working with a ladder, especially at ceiling height. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of more than 100 people in the United States die each year from falls related to stairs. If you are going to access the roof by a ladder, make sure that it is stable and that there is someone on the floor to keep it stable.
In addition, wear non-slip shoes or boots and make sure the treads are dry before climbing or descending. Make sure everything you need for the project is easily accessible. Install the extension ladder and make sure you can safely access the roof. Prepare the cleaning solution to be used in the one-gallon sprayer.
Ask a friend to accompany you to hold the ladder and deliver the supplies. Improper cleaning practices can void the warranty, so be sure to read the details before you start cleaning yourself. While a solar energy system is usually a “set it and forget it” system that allows you to passively produce renewable energy for your home, you may need to renew the panels from time to time. In general, solar panels on steeply sloped roofs need to be cleaned less frequently than solar panels on roofs with low slopes.
If solar panels are not kept clean, dirt and pollution could reduce the efficiency of solar panels by up to 25%. So, routinely cleaning solar panels can save you thousands of dollars on energy production and potential repairs. While they may be good for cleaning other parts of your home, you should never use a pressure washer on solar panels to avoid damaging them and creating cracks. Some maintenance companies also use soap-free brushes and sponges to clean the panels to avoid potentially harmful residues.
For floor-mounted units, it might not be worth paying for the service, as you can safely and effectively clean your own panels with a water hose, some dish soap, and a soft rag. If snow persists on the panels, you can also invest in tools such as a snow rake for solar panels, which makes it easier for homeowners to safely remove the snow that covers the solar panels. Ultimately, you can decide to let professionals handle the cleaning of your solar panels and do occasional checks yourself from time to time. Windex is a cheap and widely available cleaner that is great for cleaning glass surfaces, such as those on a solar panel, to ensure that they work at maximum efficiency.
However, if you have trees near your yard, pollen, leaves, branches, and other types of waste may end up on solar panels. You can visually inspect the panels for dirt or dust buildup, in which case it's time to clean them. However, here in Australia, we can experience particularly long periods of drought, during which, over time, dust, bird droppings, and other air pollutants will accumulate on solar panels. If you realize that you need to carry out electrical repairs, the ideal is to contact your solar energy installers or qualified solar electricians to safely and properly solve any problems you may have.
If you want to try cleaning solar panels yourself, you should be able to find the right materials to use at home.