Monsoon season started later than usual this year, but it’s definitely here now – and for the next couple of months. This weather pattern is unique – pulling in moisture from the Gulf to create periods of heavy rainfall and major dust storms.
While most homeowners are very aware of monsoon season, many are unprepared when storms hit. And for those with home solar power systems, being caught off guard can mean a loss of power and damage to panels. So, with the storms now here, we thought it was a good time to share some basic reminders and tips to help keep you, your home and your solar power system safe.
With monsoon storms come heavy gusts that can cause trees to easily snap and break. Make it a regular task to cut back plants and trees that can land on your roof and damage solar panels.
Secure Your Yard
Wind can also cause backyard items to take flight – things like umbrellas, pool toys and patio furniture. Before storms hit, secure items that you have lying around.
Check Your Roof
With roofing and solar panels, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Don’t wait for a leak to get a roof inspection and make repairs if they’re needed.
Rinse Off Panels
Following a dust storm, your solar panels will likely be covered in dust or mud (if it also rained). This residue can cause panels to lose efficiency and reduce your ability to produce electricity. Once a storm has subsided, check out panels and hose them down as needed. In some cases, you may need to use a soft brush to clean them and return them to a full-functioning state.
Be Prepared for a Power Loss
While you’re much less likely to suffer from a power loss when you have a home solar power system, there is always the possibility. Thus, it’s always a good idea to have an emergency kit handy if you lose electricity for a few hours. Pack a flashlight, batteries, candles and matches. The Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs also suggests having on hand extra food, water, a radio and medical supplies.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Even with the extra protection that a solar power system provides, a little advanced planning and proactive maintenance can go a long way to keeping you up and running throughout monsoon season.