There’s a Storm Brewing: Can Hail Damage Solar Panels?

Solar Panels

Hail damage insurance claims average $8-14 billion each year. It’s a frustrating experience to have balls of ice falling from the sky, damaging your property. It’s even more frustrating when the property it’s damaging is expensive and difficult to replace.

It can lead you to hesitate when deciding on a solar panel installation. The very nature of the panels is that they have to be placed in a well-lit area, such as on the roof. This puts them front and center when hail starts falling.

This guide will explain if hail can damage solar panels.


Can Hail Damage Solar Panels?

For the most part, solar panel resilience is high. They can withstand most extreme weather conditions. The majority of the solar panels on the market have a useful lifespan of 25 years.

Most solar panel manufacturers claim that their panels can withstand hail that’s up to one inch in diameter and with a falling speed of up to 50 miles per hour. So hail that’s especially large or high speed has a greater potential of causing damage.

Solar panel manufacturers understand that their product gets installed on the roof. Most are certified to withstand hurricane-force winds. The glass and aluminum casing that surrounds the panels is also waterproof.

This helps to prevent corrosion, which could weaken the integrity of the solar panel.


Proof of Durability 

In 2017, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) building in Golden, CO, experienced a hailstorm. The hail shattered car windows and left several homes in the area with dented roofs.

However, the NREL building’s 3,000 solar panels were almost completely intact. Only one panel suffered damage and was broken.

This should give you confidence in having solar panels installed on your roof. Work with a quality company like to ensure only the highest quality panels get used.


Maintain Your Solar Panels 

Don’t have your solar panels installed, and then totally forget about them. Maintain your solar panels to ensure they stay in top condition. This ensures your solar panels are ready should an unexpected hailstorm happen.

Regularly clean your solar panels. Dirt and grime cause your solar panels to degrade faster. Wash the panels with water and remove dirt, dust, hard water residue, bird droppings, and pollen.

Some solar companies will offer to provide you with a cover to protect your panels from light debris. You could also install plexiglass from your local hardware store over the panels.


Install Solar Panels Today

As you can see, hail-damaged solar panels can happen, but it’s a less common occurrence than you’d think. Solar panel manufacturers want their products to last, and so they construct them to withstand extreme weather conditions.

To ensure your solar panels last, work with a reputable solar company that only installs high-quality panels. Then maintain your panels by keeping them clean or even covering them with a clear plexiglass panel.

Check out our other architecture articles for more helpful advice on maintaining and improving your home.

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