How To Protect and Maintain Your Solar Panels

29 Aug 2021 | Apex Environmental Services (UK) Ltd

No modern home is complete without solar panels.

However, many homeowners struggle with the task of keeping pigeons and other pest birds away from their investment.

Here’s your complete guide to maintaining and protecting your solar panels, allowing you to increase their lifespan and get the most from your purchase.

Why Choose Solar Panels?

You will have undoubtedly seen solar panels along the roofs of homes, commercial buildings and even vans.

They use specialist materials that harness the sun’s energy, converting it into electricity.

Homeowners were initially deterred from installing solar panels in the UK due to the limited amount of sunshine. However, as the technology has advanced, the average home can now harness up to 60% of their required electricity from solar alone, heavily reducing their reliance on electricity companies.

As the world becomes increasingly environmentally conscious, solar panels provide a simple, green solution to our energy problems. Additionally, they work out extremely cost-effective, with monthly savings quickly outweighing the initial expense.

What Damage Can Birds Cause?

Solar panels generally sit on the roofs of our homes, with a small gap between the plates and our roof tiles. This allows the device to soak up the most amount of sunlight possible.

However, this space offers pest birds an ideal nesting ground. The solar panel provides warmth and shelter, making the nests almost invisible to predators.

These birds can cause a host of issues to your investment.

First and most obviously, they can break the fixtures. They will peck at the panels and drag debris across your roof, which can cause a considerable amount of physical damage to your investment.

The bird droppings look unsightly, and where build-up occurs, can prevent your solar panels from working effectively. Additionally, the birds can more generally cause a nuisance, damaging roof tiles and making loud noises early in the morning when your family is trying to relax.

How to Best Maintain Your Solar Panels

Clear The Area

Keeping the roof and garden clear is the best way to deter birds from perching on your home and spoiling your solar panels.

As you will be aware, birds build their nests from debris found in the local area. Discarded twigs, leaves and even rubbish provide the perfect building blocks for these creatures. Therefore, setting a little time aside each week, especially in the autumn, to clear the garden can make a huge difference.

Clean Solar Panels Regularly

Depending on the style of solar panel your family has chosen, they will require a weekly or monthly cleaning routine. Your manufacturer will be able to advise on this, and often offer specialised cleaning kits.

Start the cleaning process by hosing down the panels. If you prioritise cleaning and stick to a regular schedule, you may find that a simple hose is enough to keep the area spotless. However, when conducting a more thorough scrub, ensure that you stay away from abrasive sponges and harsh soaps. These can damage the top layer of the panel and make them much less effective.

Of course, when cleaning solar panels, your personal safety is of paramount importance. If you must climb on the roof to reach them, ensure you use a safety harness, and another adult is present.

Invest in Bird Spikes

Bird spikes are an excellent preventative measure for your solar panels.

This is a cost-effective, durable and humane way to stop birds from nesting on your property. Bird spikes are steel spikes fanned at various angles to prevent creatures from resting on the roof. This solution can be adapted to the type of bird that is causing your family an issue. Spikes are commonly used on walls or road signs but can easily be installed on roofs and guttering.

Bird spikes are blunted, so if a bird were to land, it wouldn’t cause any harm. Instead, the spikes simply make the area too uncomfortable for the birds to rest.

Understandably, many homeowners are concerned that bird spikes will look unsightly. But, when fitted carefully, they blend into their background and are incredibly discreet.

Instal Preventative Netting

Netting is the most popular method of preventing pest birds from accessing your solar panels. The netting is placed over the panels and fixed to your roof, making it impossible for birds to land. This solution is relatively inexpensive, requires very little maintenance, and is highly durable.

Apex fit netting that can be easily removed, making the cleaning process very straightforward. Due to the nature of the material, your devices will still be able to absorb the most amount of sunlight possible. Additionally, netting can be provided in various colours, allowing it to blend into the background almost unnoticeably.

Consider Bird Scaring

Where birds have already become an issue, bird scaring might be the best option. This can be particularly useful on large commercial buildings or schools, where birds have flocked in huge numbers.

Here, experts use Hawks to frighten the nested bird. Introducing this bird of prey will in no way harm the nuisance pests, but instead signals that there is a bird of prey in the area, encouraging them to shift their bases elsewhere.

Scaring is highly effective for pigeons or gulls already present on the property, but requires regular attendance over numerous weeks. In between flights, bird experts may use kites to help deter the pests.

Once the birds have fled, your premises may require an egg removal service. This will ensure the birds do not return and cause further issues to your roof and solar panels.

How Apex Can Help

Apex are bird control specialists serving the Reading, Slough, Oxford, Southampton and Portsmouth areas. Our friendly team will be more than happy to pay a visit to your property and recommend a solution to your bird pest issues.

For any concerns relating to your solar panels, or any other bird issues, contact today for a no-obligation chat on 01256 578025 or info@apexbirdcontrol.uk.

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