Solar panels in snow.

4 Ways to Protect Your Solar Panels From Environmental Damage

Solar panels are an investment in your home. Learn how best to protect your investment from wild animals and inclement weather with these tips!

Snow and Solar Panels

Connecticut averages 37 inches of snow per year, 32% more snow than the national average. But does more snow equal the need for seasonal protection for your solar panels?

Does snow affect solar panels?

Solar panels are typically installed at an angle to naturally allow snow to slide off as it melts. This keeps your solar panels clear to continue generating power in snowy conditions, but creates another problem in the process. Large amounts of snow falling off the panels at the same time can harm the integrity of your roof.

Many residential and commercial roofs in North America are built with asphalt shingle roofs. Asphalt shingles are designed with granules—in the winter, these granules help melting water flow away from the piles of snow without dislodging large sections of snow and ice at the same time.

Solar panels have a glassy surface, which creates little resistance for melting snow and ice. It’s not uncommon for large sheets of snow and ice to start melting and fall from the panels all at once—landing on your roof, vehicles, landscaping, and other investments.

What are snow guards?

Snow guards are an additional piece of equipment installed in between or on the edges of rooftop solar panels. They’re designed to catch the snow as it slides off your solar panels and release smaller amounts of snow as it melts—preventing the hazards that come with large sheets of snow falling from your roof.

Do I need snow guards in Connecticut?

Snow guards aren’t typically considered a necessity—until you’ve been burned (or buried) from a lack thereof. Because solar panels are darker, they heat up more quickly than other areas of your roof. Once the panels begin to heat up, the snow and ice will melt off before there’s really time for much of it to accumulate.

The real danger comes in the form of snowstorms, blizzards, and other extreme cold weather scenarios. When many inches of snow fall within a matter of hours, there could be big problems.

How to Protect Your Solar Panels From Wild Animals

Nesting creatures such as birds and squirrels can use your solar panels as shelter—causing damage to wires in the process.

Install Critter Guards

Critter or squirrel guards and bird netting are a great way to prevent animals from calling your solar panels their home. This mesh-like array should be installed by a professional to ensure proper installation.

Critter guards are installed between the surface of your roof and the solar panels, which helps block off the underside of your panels from animals and dried leaves, pine needles, and other debris that could create a fire hazard near the wiring of your panels.

Trim Trees

Fruit and nut trees are both sources of food for squirrels and bridges to your roof and home. Keep your tree branches trimmed back to prevent animals from gaining access to your roof and solar panels.

Clean Your Gutters

Gutters collect the staple supplies animals need to build their nests, such as leaves, twigs, pine needles, and other debris—so make sure you clean your gutters regularly to keep the supplies inaccessible to animals.

PurePoint Energy is Committed To Quality Solar Service

Our team’s priorities are the same today as when we first went into business—to help local businesses and farmers go solar to lower the cost of operations, create revenue, and reduce their carbon footprint. Check out some of our past projects and contact us to learn more about how we can help you!

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