While many people may not even consider this, small critters and even birds can be a surprising risk when it comes to the integrity of a solar panel system. Animals including squirrels or birds that tend to nest in elevated spaces can sometimes attempt to use a solar panel array as shelter or as a nesting area, and this can lead to unexpected damage of the wiring or the panels themselves. At Kosmos Solar in Grand Prairie, TX, our team of experienced solar panel installation specialists knows just how big of an investment a solar panel system can be, and why it’s important to keep this investment safe against potential threats including small animals.
What’s the Point of a Critter Guard?
Home solar panels are usually installed on your roof so they are exposed not only to the weather but also to local wildlife. Birds and squirrels in particular are known to cause damage to solar systems positioned on a roof. Squirrels sometimes nest under the panels and can chew through any exposed wires. They might even disconnect the power cord from the solar panel by chewing the right wire, which causes expensive repairs and lost energy. Birds also have a habit of trying to nest under and around panels, which can create a buildup of dirt, debris, and even fecal matter which can significantly affect a system’s performance.
In addition to the animals that might disturb your solar system, environmental debris can also pose a risk of damage or efficiency loss. Dry leaves and branches can accumulate under your panel and pose a dangerous fire hazard near the electrical wires that lead from the panel to your home. To combat animal damage and buildup of combustible materials, solar installation professionals usually offer “critter guards” which are essentially metal screens that resemble high-quality chicken wire and can be mounted on the sides of rooftop panel systems. Because solar panels are installed with a gap between them and the roof for ventilation reasons, critter guards and bird netting can be an effective way to prevent squirrels, birds, and other small animals from entering the spaces between your modules and causing costly damage. They also block the accumulation of leaves, twigs and other flammable residues under panels and near cables, preventing potential fire hazards.
How Can I Get a Critter Guard Installed?
Many solar installers recommend installing a protective system as part of a new installation. If you want to install a system like this with your panels, you should always make sure to confirm with your solar installer that they offer this service. If you are thinking about adding this type of protective system to an existing system, then you should still work with an experienced installation team instead of attempting to DIY the project to save money.
When looking into critter guards, it’s important to find a company that will take care of the process for you, especially if you want to add it to an existing solar power system. Trying to install this type of system yourself can be physically dangerous, and also be a risk for your existing system. A rooftop solar panel installation can be complicated, and pulling cables or moving panels can inadvertently endanger your entire system. It is always best to allow professional installers to add protection measures for you.
Trust Kosmos Solar in Grand Prairie, Texas to Get the Job Done Right
If you’re concerned about small animals or birds trying to nest in your solar panel system, then now is the best time to look into a critter guard or other protective system. Instead of struggling to make sense of the installation process on your own, don’t hesitate to contact our team right away to learn more about the services we offer, or to schedule an appointment so we can work with you to make sure you have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your solar power system is safe.