Irregular Clean: Risks for Solar & Gutters | OBMG
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solar panels on roof with visible gutter system

The Potential Risks of Cleaning Solar Panels and Gutters Irregularly for Commercial Properties

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Maintaining a clean and well-cared-for commercial property is essential for ensuring the longevity of any building. And for property managers, we understand your responsibility to preserve and protect the valuable assets under your care. However, there are a couple of areas that often get overlooked when it comes to property maintenance: clean solar panels and clean gutters

But here’s the thing: neglecting these areas can lead to some serious problems. Accumulated dirt can negatively affect solar panel efficiency, and blocked gutters can cause all sorts of water damage. That’s why it’s crucial to give constant attention and care to these aspects. So, let’s take a closer look at why clean solar panels and clear gutters are so important for the well-being of your managed commercial property.

The Importance of Cleaning Commercial Solar Panels and Gutters Regularly

Gutters direct rainwater away from the property, ensuring that the surrounding areas don’t get soaked with water that can potentially cause damage. But when gutters get filled with debris, they won’t be able to perform their task well. As a result, clogged gutters cause water damage, which can be expensive to fix.

On the other hand, solar panels provide an alternative energy source for commercial property. But can property owners really take advantage of their investment’s full potential if they can’t maximise energy output due to caked-on dirt? 

Remember, solar panel efficiency can be improved through regular cleaning. So make sure to pay attention to it. At the same time, clean gutters can function better and keep commercial properties safe from the dangers of water damage. To ensure the job is done correctly, property managers should opt for professional solar panel and roof gutter cleaning services.

The Benefits of Professional Commercial Cleaning

Professional commercial solar panel and gutter cleaning services offer several benefits for property managers. For instance, they provide a cost-effective way to maintain the health and longevity of your managed properties. Professionals can also spot early signs of solar panel damage, helping owners avoid extensive and costly repairs in the long run. Regular cleaning of dirty solar panels can maximise their efficiency, reducing energy costs and extending their lifespan. 

Similarly, gutter cleaning can prevent water damage and costly repairs. Professional cleaners have the expertise to deliver excellent results and avoid common mistakes that can lead to damage. By investing in these services, property managers can save time and money. So, it’s always best to leave it to the professionals to ensure the cleanliness and longevity of the properties under your care.

The Risks of Neglecting Commercial Gutter Cleaning

gutter blocked by leaves
When gutters are not cleaned regularly, several issues can arise, leading to costly repairs and potential health hazards. But what can clogged gutters cause? Here are some of the repercussions of not cleaning gutters:

Water Damage to the Building’s Foundation, Walls, and Roof

When gutters get clogged, water can overflow and pool around the foundation of a building and cause extensive damage over time. If the structural damage becomes significant enough, it could cause the structure to fall apart literally. Water can also seep into the basement or parking areas and facilitate mould growth. Moreover, the excess water can rot the wooden framing of a building and damage tiles as well as other materials. Lastly, water overflowing from clogged gutters can damage roofs, fascia, and soffits, leading to costly repairs.

Insect Infestations

When gutters are clogged, standing water can become a breeding ground for insects like mosquitoes, flies, and termites. The insects can enter the building and make it their home, leading to potential health hazards.

Roof Damage

Excess water on the roof can seep into the shingles or tiles and make them deteriorate, crack, or break. When this happens, it can lead to roof leaks that may damage the interior of the building and even promote mould growth in the ceiling and other areas.

Reduced Gutter Lifespan

When gutters get clogged for a long time, they can become heavy and pull away from the building. This does not only damage the gutter itself but also the surroundings attached to it, making an extensive and costly gutter repair or even replacement necessary.

Overall, failing to clean gutters regularly can lead to a wide range of costly repairs and potential health hazards. Avoid these issues by scheduling regular gutter cleaning from professionals to keep your managed commercial properties in constant pristine condition. Unsure how often to clean gutters? Schedule this twice a year, ideally during Spring and Fall. Cleaning gutters before the rainy season ensures smooth water flow, and cleaning after the fall season removes accumulated leaves and debris.

Signs That Gutters Need Cleaning

There are a few unmistakable signs that indicate when gutters are due for a cleaning. One of the most apparent indications is the sight of overflowing water during rainstorms. When gutters become clogged with debris like leaves, twigs, or dirt, water cannot flow smoothly and starts spilling over the edges. Another telltale sign is the buildup of leaves and debris on the roof or near the downspouts, suggesting that the gutters are not effectively directing water away from the roof. Additionally, if you notice sagging or detached gutters, it’s a sign that blockages have caused excess weight or damage. Lastly, keep an eye out for water stains or peeling paint on the outer walls of your home, as this could be caused by water overflowing from clogged gutters. Regularly inspecting and cleaning your gutters can help prevent these issues and keep your drainage system functioning properly. If your commercial property has several floors, it’s best to just call a professional right away since they have the necessary equipment for checking and cleaning.

The Risks of Neglecting Solar Panel Cleaning

dried leaves on dirty solar panels
Neglecting solar panel cleaning can also lead to a range of issues. Some of the consequences of not cleaning solar panels include the following:

Decreased Energy Production

Solar panels function by harnessing sunlight and converting it into usable electricity. However, just as a window smeared with dirt might obstruct our view, solar panels that are caked with grime or concealed by debris can’t perform at their optimum. Such obstructions hinder their ability to capture and absorb sunlight fully. This not only leads to diminished energy output but also means that homeowners and commercial property owners might miss out on the primary benefit they sought from their solar investment: reducing power bills. Over time, the gradual accumulation of dirt can result in significantly higher electricity costs, eating into the savings anticipated from the solar setup.

Hotspots and Damage to Solar Panels

Dirt and debris buildup can lead to cracks that create hotspots on solar panels, which can cause complete damage or even failure. Hotspots occur when a portion of a system is not working at its maximum capacity and becomes hotter than the rest of the panel. The uneven heating can cause damage to the panel and even lead to a fire.

Reduced Lifespan of Solar Panels

Solar PV panels are designed to stay functional for decades, but their lifespan can be reduced if they are not cleaned regularly. When dirt and debris buildup becomes significant, the panel’s surface can sustain damages like scratches or cracks. When these damages pile up, owners may end up replacing their systems prematurely.

Warranty Issues

Most solar panel manufacturers require regular maintenance and cleaning to keep their panels covered under warranty. If you fail to clean your managed property’s solar panels, your warranty may be voided, and you may not be eligible for repair or replacement of damaged panels.

Overall, keeping your solar panels clean and debris-free is vital to ensure they work at maximum efficiency and produce the most energy possible. So, ensure that you schedule a solar panel cleaning service at least once or twice a year or more frequently if the properties under your care are in an area with a lot of dust or pollution. Regular cleaning will help ensure that the solar panels last as long as possible and that owners get the most out of their systems.

Why Businesses Need Regular Solar Panel Cleaning

Keeping solar panels clean is crucial for businesses looking to maximise the efficiency and lifespan of their solar panel system. Look at it this way, dirty solar panels can reduce energy production by up to 25%, which translates to lost savings and revenue for businesses. However, a clean solar panel system ensures businesses can continue to generate clean energy at maximum capacity, saving them money on electricity bills and reducing their carbon footprint. Additionally, regular cleaning and maintenance of solar panels can extend their lifespan, ultimately saving businesses the cost of having to replace their solar panel system sooner than expected. By investing in regular solar panel cleaning, businesses can earn and save more in the long run.

How Often Should Solar Panels be Cleaned?

Regular cleaning of solar panels is essential to ensure optimal performance and longevity. While solar panels are designed to withstand various environmental conditions but still require periodic attention to maintain efficiency. Ideally, solar panels should be cleaned at least once or twice a year. However, specific factors such as dusty environments or bird droppings may necessitate more frequent cleaning. Vigilant inspection is crucial to identify any dirt, debris, or shading that could impede sunlight absorption. If a significant decrease in energy production or visible dirt accumulation is observed, it is advisable to initiate the cleaning process promptly. Following the manufacturer’s guidelines or seeking professional cleaning services ensures the proper maintenance and safety of the panels. By diligently caring for your solar panels, you can maximise their energy output and prolong their lifespan, enabling you to reap the full benefits of solar energy.

Choose a Trusted Partner for Commercial and Solar Panel Cleaning

Remember that solar panel cleaning isn’t a job for just anyone. You need to trust the right people for the job. So, when looking for a company that can do the cleaning job, property managers should choose experienced professionals with an excellent reputation for always getting things done the right way.

About the Author

O’Brien Maintenance Group is a professional cleaning company specialising in commercial gutter maintenance and commercial solar panel cleaning services. Our team of experienced solar panel and gutter cleaners are equipped with the right equipment and trained on the correct cleaning methods. Book a service with us today, or get in touch to learn more about our services.

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