Oops! I accidently got a small amount of paint on your solar panels, sorry, don't worry it comes off easily?????
Well it is that time of the year again, the sun is starting to shine for longer periods, the birds are breeding and it is getting warmer. It is about this time of the year we start making our way back outside from the protection and warmth of our abodes. Now we can get serious about the outside maintenance tasks. A lot of people who have solar panels look up on the roof and also notice the roof may be in need of a good spruce up. You may even have had a couple of water leaks during the winter period and now everything has dried, it is time for repair work. One of the best ways to kill two birds with the one stone, is to get your roof repaired and to get your roof repainted to brighten every thing up.
Well I am sure you have spotted the photo's by now!!! In the last month there has been 3 times in which I have either been called out specifically to clean painters overspray off solar panels by painters, or customers have rung me to come and inspect their solar panels because they have just had their roofs painted and they have some concerns of overspray.
The latest customer was happy for me to share the photographs with you.
Now before anybody starts thinking that I have a gripe with all roof painters, the fact is I don't. Most of the people in this trade are truly professionals, being that most of my time is spent on roofs I can vouch for that. However in all industries there is always the few that are in the business for no other reason than making a quick buck and don't care if the outcome for the customer is bad. Quality painters take pride in what they do, they may be slightly more expensive, but for most of the time their reasons are truly justified. They spend a lot of time in prep work and one part of the prep work is covering anything that should not be oversprayed, this always includes solar panels and solar hot water systems.
Now for the clean up explanation
The best protection for solar panels is, cover them before painting!!!!! It is seriously that simple. Give them a good clean afterwards, this saves everybody money and anguish in the long run. Properly and effectively cleaning paint from solar panels is very time consuming and expensive.
Remembering that the majority of solar panels have specialised coatings on them, whether it be anti reflective or hydrophobic coatings. These coatings don't like harsh chemicals being applied to them, and solar panel manufacturers take their coatings very seriously. Effectively, if you damage any of the coating with chemicals that are not recommended by the manufacurers, "kiss" that important warranty of yours goodbye.
I have been in touch with a couple of the manufactures of which overspray has been applied and their response was, there are no chemicals that we reccomend or believe are safe to remove paint from our solar panels, and if you use chemicals or any scraping tools that damage the coating, the warranty will be voided. Are they being harsh? Not in the slightest, their remarks about the painters who didn't cover up the panels was very colourful though!
The only recomended way I have been told for removing overspray is with a clay block. This is slow and lengthy, mainly because you still have to be very careful as to not remove the original coating applied to the panels during the manufacturing process.
Words of wisdom If you decide to get your roof repainted and the painting contractor says they don't have to or will not cover your solar panels, be very concerned, and get another contractor, because that's what some contractors have told some of my unhappy and dissapointed customers. Get a painting contractor that ensures you through a guarantee that your panels will be completely protected from any overspray or damage by them.
|Posted on 20 February, 2020 at 20:20||comments (1)|
HOW NOT TO CLEAN YOUR SOLAR PANELS. 1) Use a hard bristled floor brush on your solar panels or use a soft bristled brush without enough constant filtered water on your panels. 2) NEVER EVER USE those commercial window cleaners in a spray bottle that clip on your hose, They either have chemicals such as ammonia caustic or acidic properties that eat away at the dirt and grime, but at the same time damage your hydrophobic or anti reflective coatings on your solar panels. This photo shows damage to the hydrophobic coating, fine scratches and damage can easily seen. Sometimes trying to save a few dollars just doesn't pay. Get your solar panels cleaned and inspected by a professional and get it done right.
Visit the links below to find out why solar panels should be cleaned and inspected.
|Posted on 9 October, 2019 at 20:50||comments (0)|
Only if you listen to the misinformed, uneducated or the key board Warriors that waffle and baffle you with their writing skills and think they are doing the right thing by their freinds or their readers.
Most if not all Solar Panel Manufacturers have maintenance schedules or a maintenance and care section in their operating manuals, so why do they do this? Basically in a nut shell, they know that products that are well maintained out last and outperform products that are not maintained, it not a conspiracy as some think, it's just common knowledge.
Clean panels = Efficient panels, Maintainted solar panels = safe Solar Panels, it's that simple.
Since starting "Seabreeze Solar Panel Cleaning Service' in early 2017 I have cleaned and inspected many many hundreds of solar panels, have spent many hours reading scientific papers on the effects of solar panel soiling, shading and other environmental factors, there is so much info on-line, depending on who wrote it, it will either help or confuse you.
So instead of showing you fantastic data, incredible graphs or unbelievable percentive gains, I thought I would post a couple of my own on the job images I have taken, and show you why Solar Panel manufacturers state that maintenance and solar panel cleaning is important in the real world.
Whether you use a professional or clean and inspect your own solar system yourself (make sure you follow manufacturers recomendations) there are far more gains than losses.
For more in depth information and photos feel free to check out my website.
|Posted on 1 November, 2018 at 22:15||comments (0)|
Once your solar panels are installed and generating power, there is not much that needs to be done. To keep them operating at their best, a yearly inspection and clean are what manufacturers normally recommend.
But recently I have been recieving a few calls from residents and some roof painters to clean solar panels that have been oversprayed with paint. Now I'm no rocket scientist, but I know that paint and solar panels don't mix. The issue with dealing with this problem is quiet simple.
If or when you are enquiring about getting your roof painted and you have solar panels, ask the painting company if they cover and protect your panels from overspray. If they say you don't need to cover your panels, get a painter that does, or get them to give you a rock solid guarantee that no paint will end up on your panels. Because correctly removing overspray that has adhered to solar panels is not an easy or cost effective task.
Many solar panels have specialised coatings applied to the front glass of the panel, whether it be a reflective, hydrophobic or other types, and although the coatings are designed to be quite tough, they are not however designed to withstand steel scrappers or harsh chemicals that are designed to chemically break down paint. My only suggestion would be a clay bar, clay mitt or the like, and go gentle because once you damage the panel coating, you can kiss your warranty goodbye.
One of the biggest recomendations I can give to owners that have solar panels on their roof is ,no matter what the case, if you are getting any job done on your roof, speak to the contractor about the care of your solar panels. Tv aerials, tv dishes and even roof vents that are placed over or near your solar panels can cast shadows onto your solar panels, which can greatly effect the performance of the whole array. Tv aerials are a great place for birds to land and inspect the surroundings. If they are placed above your solar panels, birds get great delight in leaving you gifts from their rear end, that can severley effect the output and can eventually damage your solar panels.
You have spent your hard earned money on your solar panels, make sure you do all you can to protect your investment.
Clean panels = efficient panels
Prevention is far better than the cure.
|Posted on 8 October, 2018 at 4:15||comments (1)|
This is our first blog on our new website, and what an interesting one we think it is.
Last week I inspected and cleaned a solar array that had only been installed approximately six months previously. The client wanted the panels cleaned and inspected because there had been some branches hanging above and near to some of the array. The branches had been removed and they were concerned that some sap may have adhered to some of the panels. Because of the roof structure, the panels had to be installed in several different locations, approximately two thirds of the panels were nowhere near the over hanging tree branches. Upon inspecting the panels there were small amounts of tree sap where the trees had been overhanging, which was to be expected. But what I was suprised to see was strangely shaped whitish coloured opaque spots over the whole array. Now understanding that this is my second year in this industry, I have seen many interesting soiling issues that can occur on solar panels, but this was a new one. I bent down and with my finger wiped part of the opaque soiling. To my suprise, it felt like it was an oily substance.
Now we all know this type of business requires acessing roofs, one thing you do get is a pretty goood view of your surroundings ( that is why I enjoying working close to the coast and now and then day dreaming about camping and fishing trips). But in relatively close proximity to these residential properties was a major fast food outlet, with large extraction flues on the roof billowing out large amounts of smoke from their cooking system. Now although I cannot be sure as to where the oily substance came from, as this is the first time I have come upon this type of soiling, it is also the first time I have cleaned and inspected a residence that is in close proximity to this type of major fast food outlet. As this took a considerable amount of time to remove this type of soiling, I would really appreciate any constructive feedback from other similar businesses or people that have had similar experiences.