Solar power installation for residential and commercial use is becoming increasingly popular across Southern Nevada. People are discovering that by installing solar panels they can reduce their payments to NV Energy and overall electricity bill, guard against disruptive brownouts and power failures, and increase the value of their properties by adding solar power. In fact some homeowners may receive hefty solar tax credits also.

Key components of clean energy solar arrays are the solar panels.

In the greater Las Vegas area people typically have them installed on roofs. Solar panels typically require little if any maintenance, but from time to time they may need to be cleaned.

Blowing dust, fouling from birds and other critters, blowing debris, and tree sap can accumulate on them and impede performance. If you’ve got a lot of construction in your area, that can add to the problem as well.

Now you typically have two options when it comes to getting your solar panels cleaned.

One is of course to do it yourself, and the other is to hire a professional solar company.

When doing the cleaning yourself you’re going to need some equipment. A ladder, and perhaps even an extension ladder, a software bristle brush, rags and a sponge, perhaps a squeegee, a gentle detergent and vinegar to cut the hard water and reduce the possibility of leaving behind those hard alkaline spots, a bucket and a hose, and soft dry cloth. If you have a pronounced pitched roof or one with a slippery surface, you’re well advised to use a harness and some sort of safety gear.

By the way don’t plan on using any harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaning pads that can scratch and scar the surface of your panels. You might also be sure that tools and any loose hanging metal is securely fastened so nothing accidentally scratches or damages the panel.

Cooler days and early hours of the day are the best times to clean panels. You don’t want to crawl up there when it’s 110 degrees and you have radiant heat beating directly down onto those surfaces.

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Now before you start cleaning, you need to go shut your solar installation off.

Smart folks take their cell phone up on the roof with them so if they need additional supplies, they can just dial someone down on the ground for help. It’s also a smart move to have it along in case you encounter a problem or have an emergency while up there off the ground. 

Before you focus and dedicate your energy to the project at hand, take a well advised look around. Check for any low hanging overhead electrical wires to be sure you do not accidentally come into contact with them. Accidental contact with high tension wires can be fatal.  

Look around for tree limbs and the possibility of overhead debris falling down on you. Of course, if it’s a day with high winds or pending storms you’re well advised to stay off the roof.  And, like I hate to think we have to say this, but never attempt to go up on a roof and clean solar panels if you’ve been drinking, participating in recreational drugs, or using some type of medication that may impede alertness, focus, or dexterity.

Anytime you go up on a roof, it’s always smart to have someone else along with you. Kind of like hiking or swimming, don’t do it alone. 

Okay, if you have shut the system down, checked for safety, properly assembled and prepared your cleaning supplies, you’re set to go. 

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