Hail Damage on Solar Panels: How to Protect Your Investment
Hail can cause a lot of damage, especially if it is large and falls with enough force. If you are a homeowner with solar panels installed on your roof, then you need to be aware of the risk hail poses to your investment. In this blog post, we will discuss what hail damage can do to solar panels, and how you can protect them from harm. We will also provide some tips for dealing with hail damage if it does occur.
What is a Hail Damage?
Hail damage is caused by the impact of hailstones on surfaces. This can include roofs, windows, and even cars. Hailstones are formed when water droplets freeze in the atmosphere and then fall to the ground. They can range in size from very small pea-sized hail to large golf ball-sized hail. When hailstones fall, they can cause a lot of damage.
Can Hail Damage Solar Panels in Colorado?
Colorado is known for having 300 days of sunshine per year, which makes it an ideal state for solar installation. However, the state is also known for its severe weather conditions and which can include heavy hail storms.
It's good to note that most brands of solar energy systems on the market have undergone extensive testing to ensure they can withstand hail damage. One test that's being done by testers is hurling hailstones that are bigger than a golf ball at a solar panel with a speed that's carrying them at 170 miles per hour. So it can be reasonable to assume that your solar panels can withstand a hailstorm.
But despite this, hail storms can still cause damage to solar systems. If a hailstone is large enough and hits your solar panel with extreme force, it could crack the solar panel glass or break one of the panels. This can reduce the amount of sunlight that is able to pass through the panel, and it can also cause leaks that allow water to enter the panel. In extreme cases, hail damage can destroy a solar panel completely. This is why if your solar panels are damaged by hail, it is important to have them repaired as soon as possible.
What to Do When Your Solar Panels are Damaged by Hail
If your solar panels are damaged by hail, there are a few things you can do to minimize the damage. Some of them are:
Have Your Solar Panels Professionally Inspected
The first thing you should do is have your solar panels inspected by a professional. They will be able to determine the extent of the damage and whether or not the panels need to be replaced. In some cases, hail damage can be repaired. There are a few different methods that can be used to repair hail damage, but it is best to leave this to the professionals.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Once you have had your solar panels inspected, you will need to contact your insurance company. Depending on your insurance policy, you may be covered for hail damage. If you are, then you can file a claim and have your insurance company cover the cost of repairs or replacement.
Once you have filed a claim with your insurance company, they will send an adjuster to inspect the damage. The adjuster will determine how much money you will receive for the repairs. After the adjuster has inspected the damage, you will need to hire a contractor to do the repairs.
But if your insurance policy doesn't cover hail damage, then you will have to pay for the repairs out of pocket. This is why it is important to have solar panel insurance. Solar panel insurance is a type of insurance that covers the cost of repairing or replacing damaged solar panels. It is important to get this insurance because hail damage is not covered by most homeowners' insurance policies.
Contact Your Solar Panel Manufacturer
You should also contact your solar panel manufacturer to see if they offer any warranties or protection plans. Some manufacturers offer protection against hail damage, which can help reduce the cost of repairs. If your solar panels are still under warranty, then you may be able to get the manufacturer to cover the cost of repairs. Most manufacturers will have a list of authorized dealers or contractors that you can use for the repairs.
Have a Reputable Contractor Repair the Damage
Once you have your solar panels inspected and the damage is assessed, you will need to find a reputable contractor to do the repairs. Make sure to get multiple estimates before hiring a contractor. And make sure that the contractor you hire is experienced in repairing hail damage. It's also a good idea to ask the contractor for references from past clients.
Preventative Measures to Protect Your Solar Panels
Hail storms can be unpredictable, and they can cause a lot of damage. But if you take the necessary precautions, you can minimize the damage to your solar panels. There are a few things you can do to protect your solar panels from hail damage:
1. Do Your Due Diligence in Researching
When you are shopping for solar panels, make sure to do your research. Not all solar panel manufacturers are created equal. If you're living in an area that is prone to hail storms and other severe weather, then you need to make sure that you buy solar panels that are designed to withstand those conditions.
2. Have Your Solar Panels Installed Properly
One of the most important things you can do to protect your solar panels is to have them installed properly. If they are not installed properly, then they are more likely to be damaged in a severe weather event. Make sure to hire a reputable contractor who has experience installing solar panels in your area.
3. Invest in Weather Proofing
Another way to protect your solar panels is to invest in weatherproofing. There are a few different products on the market that can help weatherproof your solar panels. These products can help reduce the amount of damage that is caused by hail and other severe weather conditions.
4. Be Proactive and Prepare for Severe Weather Conditions
You can also reduce the amount of damage to your solar panels by being proactive and preparing for severe weather conditions. If you know that a hail storm is coming, then you can take steps to protect your solar panels. For example, you can cover them with a tarp or blankets to help reduce the amount of damage that is caused by hail. If you live in an area that is prone to hurricanes, then you should also invest in hurricane straps. These straps can help keep your solar panels in place during high winds.
5. Inspect Your Solar Panels Regularly
The most important thing you can do to protect your solar panels is to inspect them regularly. This will help you identify if there is any damage that you need to repair prior to the next severe weather event. It's a good idea to inspect your solar panels at least once a year. But if you live in an area that is prone to severe weather, then you should inspect them more frequently.
By following these tips, you can protect your solar panel system from hail damage and keep them in good working condition for many years to come. Solar panels are a significant investment, and it's important to take the necessary steps to protect your investment. To learn more about the usual problems and solutions for solar panels, you can check out this blog post from Energy Genius Solar. Don't wait until after a hail storm to take action. Be proactive and take steps to protect your solar panels today.