Which comes first? Solar Panel Cleaning or Roof Cleaning?

Posted on June 17, 2024.

Proper maintenance of solar panels and roofs is essential for their efficiency and longevity. 

Environmental factors such as dirt, debris, mold, and mildew can significantly impact the performance of solar panels and the structural integrity of roofs. 

Regular cleaning and upkeep are necessary to address these issues. This article examines the optimal sequence for cleaning solar panels and roofs, ensuring that your renewable energy investment continues to yield maximum benefits. 

By understanding the best practices and the correct order for cleaning these components, homeowners and business owners can effectively maintain their systems. 

This guide will help you decide whether to clean your roof or solar panels first, enhancing the efficiency and lifespan of both. 


Solar Panel Cleaning: Frequency and Best Practices 

Knowing how often to clean solar panels is key to maintaining their efficiency. In Central Florida’s diverse climate, a general rule of thumb is to clean your solar panels every 6 to 12 months. This solar panel cleaning frequency may vary depending on weather conditions and the level of debris accumulation. 

For example, during the rainy season, panels might require less frequent cleaning due to natural washing by rain, while the late summer and fall seasons, which bring hurricanes and storms, may necessitate more regular attention. When contemplating the best way to clean rooftop solar panels, always opt for a gentle approach. Use soft brushes, non-abrasive sponges, and a mild detergent mixed with water to remove grime without damaging the panel surfaces. 

It’s advisable to conduct cleaning in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the midday sun, which can cause water to evaporate quickly and leave stubborn streaks. If you are uncomfortable performing this task, hiring a professional who follows best practices for solar panel cleaning can ensure the job is done correctly without any risk to your panels or personal safety.  


Roof Cleaning: Ensuring a Clean and Sturdy Foundation 

Safety remains a top priority when managing roof cleaning and roof maintenance with solar panels. If you are handling the task yourself, use a stable ladder, wear non-slip shoes, and consider a safety harness if your roof has a steep pitch. For cleaning agents, opt for eco-friendly solutions to prevent any runoff from harming your garden or local waterways. Use long-handled, soft-bristled brushes to gently scrub away dirt and algae without damaging the roof material or panels. 

Avoid pressure washers unless absolutely necessary, as the high-pressure stream can loosen shingles and even damage the solar panels. If your roof requires repairs, addressing these issues before cleaning ensures that you won’t have to repeat the process soon after.  


The Right Sequence: Which Should Be Cleaned First? 

When it comes to maintaining your solar panels and roof, the order in which you clean them is important. It's crucial to follow the correct sequence to avoid any potential problems. This means starting with roof cleaning before moving on to solar panel cleaning. Starting with roof cleaning is necessary to prevent any debris or dirt from settling on the freshly cleaned panels. This saves you from having to repeat the cleaning process. But what happens if you don't follow the proper cleaning sequence? One possible issue is the buildup of mold, mildew, and moss. These can damage the roof and affect the stability of the solar panels. If left unchecked, they can also impact the performance of your panels. This can result in additional cleaning or repairs, which can be costly and time-consuming. 

By beginning with roof cleaning, you create a strong base for your solar panels. This helps prevent future problems and ensures that your panels can work efficiently. Once the roof is clean and in good condition, you can then focus on cleaning the solar panels. If you prefer to hire professionals for cleaning, it's recommended to look for bundled maintenance packages. These services can handle both roof and panel cleaning effectively, ensuring no damage and optimal performance. By following this sequence, you maintain the efficiency and longevity of both your roof and solar panels. 

Following the proper cleaning sequence is essential for maintaining the efficiency and durability of your solar panels and roof. By addressing potential issues like mold, mildew, and moss buildup through roof cleaning, you can prevent future problems and make the most of your investment in renewable energy. So remember, always start with roof cleaning before moving on to solar panel cleaning. 


Additional Maintenance Tips for Solar Panels and Roofs 

Beyond regular cleaning, there are additional maintenance tips to keep in mind to keep your solar panels and roof in excellent condition. For solar panels, monitor their performance regularly. Sudden drops in energy output can indicate that the panels need cleaning or inspection for potential issues. Keeping a log of cleaning and maintenance activities is beneficial to track their effectiveness and schedule future tasks more accurately. 

For roofs, periodic inspections are crucial, especially after severe weather events. Check for signs of damage such as loose or missing shingles, leaks, and wear around areas where the panels are mounted. Addressing these issues promptly can prevent more significant problems that might affect both the roof and the solar panels. 

Additionally, consider trimming nearby trees that might overshadow your panels. Overhanging branches can drop leaves and other debris onto the panels and roof, leading to more frequent cleanings and potential damage. Ensuring that your panels receive maximum sunlight without obstruction is key to their efficiency. 

For those in hurricane-prone areas like Central Florida, securing both your roof and solar panels against extreme weather is vital. Ensure that all mounts and brackets are tightly fastened and in good condition. Investing in protective covers for your panels during hurricane season can also help minimize damage from flying debris. 


Related - Maximize Solar Panel lifespan with Summer Maintenance

Wrapping Up 

Regular cleanings, especially in areas with challenging weather, are essential to keep your energy system operating at its best. Starting with roof cleaning prevents debris from settling on freshly cleaned panels, ensuring their effectiveness. 

Struggling to decide between solar panel and roof cleaning? Why not do both! Stay tuned for the launch of our professional roof cleaning services, designed to keep your entire home in pristine condition. In the meantime, contact us for expert solar panel cleaning to ensure maximum efficiency and longevity:

Book Expert Panel Maintenance Now

Don't wait until it's too late - contact Solar Soft at 855 925 3267 to schedule a professional cleaning service and keep your solar system in top shape. 


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