Orlando, FL 6:55:07 PM 6/19/2017 - Solar panels don’t need much maintenance, don’t need planning permission and can be particularly economical for businesses that use lots of hot water, like restaurants, pubs and cafeterias.
Businesses taking advantage of renewable energy sources like solar panels must take precautions before and after severe weather and storms.
In Florida, where hurricanes are commonplace, many insurance companies require installations to withstand 150 mph winds. Installers must secure the panels with extra mounting and racking equipment for maximum protection.
It is important to know that, as advised with any other damage claims, after the initial installation, you should document the location of the solar panel array, its panels and ballast. You have to make sure to inspect and photograph the solar panel array and the roof cover condition prior to damage.
You must also record the distance between the solar panel array system and other roof-mounted equipment. That, will give you an immediate reference of changes occurred after a weather event and proper assessment of damages.
A solar panel array system and its components can shift gradually moving toward the roof edge. Other components that can shift after a severe weather event include the electrical tray, conduit, and mounting block with roof cover sheet carrying the power line, which can also be shifted away from the solar panel array system. This may cause tightening or disconnection of the cable, and could be the cause to another unfortunate event like a fire hazard.
It is highly recommended that following a strong wind event—with wind speeds in excess of 70 mph—you take the following steps to identify and address any change or damage that may have occurred.
A list of items/actions to take care of after the strong wind event may include the following:
- Assess damage to roof cover including tears and abrasion.
- Damage to solar panel arrays including panels, connecters and ballast.
- Loose or disconnected conduit, wiring or electrical connections.
- Overly tight cables and any signs of fraying or damage to cables or conduit, which could result in an electrical short or broken connection.
- Movement of solar panel array system and components, particularly changes in proximity to other roof-mounted equipment to determine if collision has or could occur.
- Inspect the entire array for missing components which may have become dislodged and become wind borne debris.
We would like to suggest you that right about the beginning of the storm season, in our case in Florida as soon as possible, you take the time to discuss liability, maintenance, and repair responsibilities with your solar panel installer and insurance company.
In Garzor Insurance we are here to help and assist you with any questions regarding your current insurance policy and how you can safeguard and maximize the value of your property.
For personal insurance solutions check out our sister company Orlando Insurance Center