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4 steps to solar panel cleaning

4 points to help you clean you solar panels

In this article we explain why you need to carry out solar panel cleaning and provide step by step instructions on how to do it. This will help you to maintain your solar power system.

When do I need to clean my solar panels?

Well, simple answer is that there isn’t a recommended interval for cleaning your solar panels. The time to consider cleaning them is when you can see a lot of bird droppings and or debris sitting on the panels. More often than not, rain is enough to keep you solar panels clean. Don’t rest on this though as sometimes dirty solar panels can lead to poor performance from your solar power system and in time may degrade the product itself.

How to clean your solar panels safely

As most of the time solar panels are situated on your roof, it will be necessary to use ladders or other means to access the solar panels for cleaning. Here are some guidelines for your safety when carrying out solar panel cleaning:

  • Try not to go up too high: The safest way to clean your solar panels is from the ground using a long-handled tool like a broom or sponge. If you have a one-story home, this will be no problem. But if you have a three-story home, it might not reach. In that case, taking some precautions before getting on the roof is key.
  • Use of safety equipment: Avoid going onto your roof without the proper safety gear, including a hardhat and harness. If you lack these tools or don’t know how to use them properly, consider using a ladder (Safely) instead when cleaning your solar panels.
  • Avoid cleaning in high temperatures: Remember that the purpose of solar panels is to harvest energy from the sun. They get quite hot during peak sunshine hours. If you’ll be handling them while doing your solar panel maintenance, consider cleaning them early in the morning or late at night when the sun isn’t as high in the sky. On a cloudy or overcast day, clean your solar panels instead.

What do I need to clean my solar panels the right way?

In essence, you won’t need to buy much in order to clean your solar panels. Harsh chemicals or detergents can harm your panels, as well as powerful streams of water produced by a power washer. We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of cleaning equipment below for you.

  • Sponge: You should always use a soft sponge, the bigger the better. Don’t be tempted to use a scouring pad or anything like that as this will damage the protective coating on your solar panels.
  • Soap: What ever you do, do not apply any harsh chemicals such as household bleach to your solar panels. A simple dish washing detergent is all that is needed and all that should be used.
  • Extending rod: Using a long rod or an extending rod will avoid you having to climb up ladders or access the roof which can be dangerous and we do not advise it.
  • Use a ladder: If you have to access the roof and you do not have an extended pole to reach then a set of sturdy and safe ladders could be used to access the solar panels. However, if in any doubt then call in an expert to carry out this task for you.

Instructions on how to clean your solar panels

Below is a step by step guide to follow if you want to clean your solar panels yourself:

Make sure you mix warm water with your detergent

This may sound obvious but you would be surprised how many people simply squeeze the undiluted washing fluid onto their solar panels. Using warm water with detergent mixed in will help to avoid streaks when soap sticks to the solar panels. Think of it like washing a car, you wouldn’t simply squirt washing up liquid on to your car would you?

Ensure that the solar panels are wet first

Hosing down your solar panels first allows you to get a nice fine wash and again will help to avoid soap sticking to the panels.

Scrubbing your panels

Although we use the term scrubbing here, we don’t mean use a scouring pad to scrub the panels. What we suggest here is to use a large soft sponge and gently scrub your solar panels.

Clean off any remaining soap residue

Hosing down your solar panels once again after scrubbing will ensure that all of the soap has been removed.

If in doubt then call a professional

Safety must be seriously considered when cleaning your solar panels. Ignoring health and safety advice can lead to serious injuries. If you are in any doubt then call in an expert company to carry out your solar panel cleaning.

Call on 0800 0096625 or email us on info@myevergreenhome.co.uk if you would like a no obligation quote for us to carry out your solar panel cleaning for you.

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