If you have solar panels on your home, you know the world of benefits these structures can produce for your lifestyle, energy bill, and carbon footprint. Solar panels are an excellent investment, and millions of homeowners nationwide are switching to solar power every year.
Unfortunately, solar panels can experience problems just like any other outdoor structure. Precipitation, improper installation, and lack of maintenance can all create issues that will affect how your solar system generates power and how long your panels last.
However, becoming aware of common solar panel problems can help you identify any issues as they occur so that you can schedule repairs before they worsen. Read on to learn about a few common problems with solar panels and steps you can take to prevent them.
Common Problems with Solar Panels
Solar panels often disrupt water flow on the roof, creating leakage issues. Traditional roof tiles utilize specific designs and builds to allow precipitation to flow freely from the tiles to the gutters and down the drainage spout. However, adding solar panels on top of roof tiles prevents water from ever reaching the tiles, creating inefficient flow and seepage into the roof. While proper solar panel installation can prevent a disruption of water flow, many contractors fail to account for water flow during installation. As a result, leaks are a common solar panel problem for many homeowners. “Snail Trails” Another common issue with solar panels is snail trails. Solar panels utilize a sleek, silicon wafer surface that maximizes solar PV and produces the most energy from the sun. Unfortunately, this panel material often allows for discoloration to occur over time, which researchers refer to as “snail trails.” Snail trails are dark brown lines or areas of discoloration that occur after several years of solar power production. These trails occur when moisture seeps through the back sheet and diffuses into the glass cell surface. While snail trails do not affect solar power production, they may indicate deeper issues—such as micro-cracks—that can impact energy generation. As a result, if you notice snail trails on your solar panels, you may want to schedule an inspection. Micro-Cracks in the Solar Cells Micro-cracks, also known as micro-fractures, are small cracks in the silicon within solar cells. These cracks may occur for various reasons, including:
- Extreme temperature changes
- Harsh precipitation
- Heavy snowfall
- Manufacturing defects
- Incorrect packaging and handling
- Improper installation
Micro-cracks in solar panels can lead to inactive cell parts, causing a portion of the panel to stop generating energy. However, some micro-cracks do not produce any adverse effects on energy production. If you notice micro-cracks on your solar panel or suspect that your energy production has diminished, scheduling an inspection with your installer can help determine the best next steps.
Internal corrosion occurs when moisture seeps into the solar module. If the module is not air- and water-tight, water can easily penetrate the inner structure after installation. Manufacturers should conduct quality control tests to ensure that each module meets lamination and production standards to prevent corrosion. However, some manufacturers overlook these standards, setting homeowners up for issues with their solar panels down the line.
How to Prevent Solar Panel Problems
Sometimes, solar panel problems occur regardless of the steps you take to prevent them. However, working with a professional installer, scheduling routine inspections, and installing your panels over Brava Roof Tiles may help you avoid experiencing problems down the line.
1. Work with a Professional Solar Panel Company
Solar panels are a significant investment, and you want to be sure when you purchase them that they will hold up to years of use so they can maximize benefits for your home. One way to prevent solar panel problems is to work with a professional, reputable solar panel company. We recommend reading reviews of several companies in your area to determine the best one for your needs.
2. Schedule Routine Inspections
Solar panels require regular maintenance just like other roofing structures. Scheduling routine inspections and maintenance appointments with your contractor can help you catch issues before they worsen and ensure that your panels are in the best working condition.
3. Install Solar Panels Over Brava Roof Tile Products
Finally, the base roof tiles on your home have a significant effect on your solar panels’ durability, functionality, and seal. Installing solar panels over high-quality roofing materials like Brava Roof Tile products can prevent issues from occurring. Thankfully, solar panel installation over our Brava tiles is easy using the Q-Base Composition Mount. Brava Roof Tile products are composite roofing solutions that can withstand extreme temperatures. They resemble traditional roofing tiles and will last for several decades on your home. We offer custom colors and style combinations, allowing you to choose the design that best matches your curb appeal and home’s style. Brava Roof Tile products can help prevent common problems with solar panels on your roof. Contact Brava Roof Tile today at 844-290-4196 to schedule a consultation.