Solar Panels and Hail Damage: How Durable Are Solar Panels?

August 25, 2016 | By EcoMark Solar
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While solar panels can be an excellent way to save money and reduce your carbon footprint, you may be concerned about things such as hail damage and solar panel durability. Solar panels are a great investment over time, and it’s only natural to want to ensure that investment can be protected. Fortunately, solar panels are much tougher than they appear to be at first glance. Because they are placed outside, solar panels are specifically designed with the effects of nature in mind.

Solar Panels for Your Colorado Home

Imagine living in a world where monthly electricity bills are eliminated and the Earth’s precious resources are protected. In Colorado, this feat can be achieved by simply installing solar panels on your home’s roof. A solar panel is a device that contains a large group of solar cells across the surface. When sunlight hits the solar panel, it is absorbed within the cell and then transferred into energy, in the form of electricity. With several solar panels on your roof, you will absorb enough light from the sun to completely power your home and eliminate the cost of a monthly electric bill for your household. This form of energy is renewable and reusable, versus traditional electricity, which is generally created using unsustainable fossil fuels.

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If you’ve ever seen solar panels on a rooftop, you may have found yourself thinking about how fragile they appear to be. Fortunately, appearances are often deceiving. Solar panels are designed for outdoor use and are comparable to traditional roofs in terms of durability. The solar cells themselves are covered in a protective glass, laminate or acrylic material that is reinforced and held together with a sturdy frame to withstand the typical effects of Mother Nature.

Your home in Colorado is an excellent candidate for solar panels. The state has around 300 days of sunshine each year, which is an exceptional amount of sun compared to rainy locations such as Washington. With this much sun exposure, your home is powered effortlessly and without harming the picturesque state you love. Additionally, installing solar panels on your Colorado home may mean that you qualify for solar tax credits and rebates.

Hail and Your Solar Panels

As a resident of Colorado, you have most likely witnessed several hailstorms. This is because portions of Colorado are located in an area known as “Hail Alley.” This area sees more hail than any other in North America, and often, the hail is classified as large, ranging from the size of a quarter to the size of a golf ball. Unfortunately, Colorado does have the second-highest number of hail damage claims in the United States. Generally, you can count on some hailstorms each year from the middle of April until the middle of August

While the threat of hail is concerning for all homeowners, in Colorado, you can anticipate which time of the year hail is most likely. This offers a unique opportunity to prepare and protect your home from potentially damaging hail in advance. Taking precautionary measures for your solar panels is especially important. Solar panel hail test results show that most panels can withstand winds of up to 50 miles an hour with quarter-sized (around 1 inch) hail; however, hail of larger sizes with stronger winds can cause problems for homeowners with solar panels.

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Hail larger than 1 inch in diameter (golf ball- or baseball-sized hail) can cause considerable damage to panels, although hail of this size also generally causes damage to most structures. To protect your solar panels, a solar panel protective cover is recommended during the times when hail is expected. For additional protection, you should also have your solar panels added to your homeowner’s insurance policy.

In the event that traditional roof and solar panel durability is no match for a damaging hailstorm with large hail, they can be repaired. In some instances, panels or cells may simply need minor repairs. Other times, however, it may be necessary to completely remove or replace a panel. With traditional roofs, shingles often need replacement after severe hail damage. In these cases, it may be wise to have impact-resistant shingles placed on your Colorado home. Fortunately, in any of these instances, the costs are usually covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy.

We Have Your Solar Repairs Covered!

If you find yourself in need of roofing and solar repair for your Colorado home due to hail damage, you can turn to EcoMark for this service. EcoMark provides a free inspection after damage incurred by hailstorms to assess the situation. After the inspection, EcoMark’s repair service will handle all aspects of solar panel or shingle removal, repair and replacement. EcoMark will even provide assistance when it comes to filing homeowner’s insurance claims to cover the costs of repairs — further simplifying the process for you.

Have you installed solar panels for your Colorado home? Don’t let hailstorms stand in your way. Contact us for a free solar panel consultation today!

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