Discovering damage on your solar panels can be worrying, leading to uncertainty regarding the next steps to take. The cost for fixing broken panels ranges from $200 to $1,000. Our article provides succinct guidance on identifying damage and making the decision to repair or replace, ensuring you make an informed decision.

Keep reading; brighter days are ahead!

Causes of Solar Panel Damage

A damaged rooftop solar panel after a storm in an urban setting.

Solar panel damage can be caused by aging, falling debris, water damage, and storms. Understanding these causes can help you identify potential issues with your panels.


Solar panels last a long time, up to 20 years. But as they get older, they may not work as well. Power output can go down and the solar cells might lose some of their ability to turn sunlight into energy.

Even with small drops in performance, it’s important to check your panels as they age.

Most solar panels come with a warranty for 20-25 years. After many years, you might notice more wear and tear on your PV modules. This normal use over time can lead to less power being made by your solar array.

Keeping an eye on this will help make sure you get the most energy from your panels for as long as possible.

Falling Debris

Just as solar panels get older, they can also get hit by things that fall. Things like small sticks, sand, dirt, and leaves might seem harmless but they can hurt your panels over time.

If fallen items scratch the surface of your panels, they block some sunlight and stop the panels from making as much energy.

Sometimes during a fix-up or when kids play outside, balls or tools may accidentally smack into the panels causing breaks or dents. Debris during storms can also slam against solar modules leading to cracks where more dirt can enter.

This makes them work poorly and means you have to fix them sooner than planned.

Water Damage

Water can hurt your solar panels in bad ways. The seals on the panels might not keep water out anymore. This could break down your whole system and cause big trouble. Floods are also a risk, as they can crack your panels or make them move from their right places.

Sometimes, this can even wreck the entire setup.

Making sure solar panels are put in right is key to keeping them safe from water leaks and damage. A skilled person should do it to avoid mistakes that let water get in. If you see signs of trouble like drops of water or damp spots around your panels, act fast! Fixing these problems quickly helps stop more harm and saves you money and energy over time.


Hailstorms and intense winds can cause significant damage to solar panels. Falling debris during storms can also lead to cracks, dents, or scratches on the panels, affecting their efficiency.

Furthermore, the elevated location of solar panels makes them more vulnerable to lightning strikes during storms, potentially causing irreparable damage. Homeowners with solar panels need to be aware of these risks and take preventive measures to minimize storm-related damage.

Moreover, in areas prone to severe weather conditions such as hurricanes or tornadoes, the risk of extensive damage to solar panels from strong winds and flying debris is significantly higher.

How to Detect Damage to Your Solar Panels?

A person meticulously inspects rooftop solar panels for damage and imperfections.

To detect damage to your solar panels, look for signs like cracks or breaks in the glass, blemishes on the surface, low efficiency, power drops, and problems at connection points. Also, be wary of blue spots and hot spots on the panels as they indicate damage.

If you suspect any issues with your solar panels such as open circuit damage or discoloration, it’s crucial to contact the installation company or a qualified repair professional for assistance.

If you notice any of these signs of damage to your solar panels or suspect an issue with their performance, prompt action can prevent further complications and ensure efficient energy production from your system.

Repair vs Replacement: Deciding the Best Course of Action

After detecting damage to your solar panels, the next step is to decide whether to repair or replace them. Consider the type and extent of damage as crucial factors before making a decision.

Repairing a solar panel is usually more cost-effective than replacing it, especially for minor damages like cracks or loose connections. However, if the damage is extensive, such as severe corrosion or shattered PV cells, replacement may be the most practical solution.

When weighing repair against replacement, it’s essential to balance the repair cost with the price of a new panel and its installation.

The type and scope of damage significantly influence choosing between repairing and replacing solar panels; this consideration plays an integral role in maintaining efficiency while managing costs effectively.

Steps to Repair Damaged Solar Panels

To repair damaged solar panels, start by turning off the power source and disconnecting the panels. Then, carefully remove and replace any broken or faulty photovoltaic cells before reassembling and testing the system for proper function.

Additionally, consider consulting with a professional electrician for complex repairs to ensure safety and efficiency.

Including Solar String Lights Repair

Solar string lights can be repaired using simple steps that can save you money and reduce waste. Here’s how to repair your solar string lights:

  1. Cut the broken section of wire and strip the ends of the remaining wires.
  2. Disassemble the solar string lights and remove the circuit board to assess the damage thoroughly.
  3. Check for visible damage on the solar panel, such as cracks or scratches, which may affect the light’s performance.
  4. Utilize DIY methods like using electrical tape to mend minor damages or applying nail polish to reinforce weak spots.
  5. Patience is essential when repairing solar string lights; take your time to ensure a proper fix and avoid rushing through the process.

Preventive Measures for Solar Panel Damage

To prevent damage to your solar panels, consider the following preventive measures:

  1. Regularly inspect your solar panels for any signs of damage such as cracks, scratches, or loose connections. This can help identify potential issues early on.
  2. Keep tree and bush branches away from the solar panels to avoid physical damage caused by falling debris or rubbing against the panels.
  3. Clean your solar panels regularly to remove dirt and debris that can accumulate on the surface, especially after storms, as this can affect their performance.
  4. Conduct routine inspections to identify any potential wear or damage on the solar panels, which can help prevent further issues from arising.
  5. Protect your system by ensuring proper solar panel cleaning as dust and debris can block sunlight from reaching the panels, impacting their efficiency.


In conclusion, repairing solar panels is crucial for maintaining their performance. Regular maintenance and timely repairs can help to extend the lifespan of solar panels. Whether it’s detecting damage or deciding between repair and replacement, seeking professional help is essential for effective and safe repairs.

By taking preventive measures and addressing issues promptly, homeowners can ensure that their solar panels continue to generate renewable energy efficiently.

For a detailed guide on fixing your solar string lights, don’t miss our comprehensive article on how to repair solar string lights.


How can I tell if my solar panels are not working right?

You can track the energy output of your photovoltaic (PV) cells to notice any changes; a drop might show there’s damage or potential-induced degradation.

Can fixing a solar inverter help my solar panels work better?

Yes, repairing or replacing a faulty off-grid inverter or power inverter that uses maximum power point tracking can improve how well your direct current from the sun is turned into useful energy for your home.

Why would I need preventive maintenance on my solar photovoltaic panels?

Preventive maintenance keeps your renewable energy source working well and avoids problems like short circuits, rusting, and insulation issues which could hurt the panel’s ability to create energy.

Are all parts of a broken solar panel recyclable?

Not everything – while many parts of a photovoltaic system can be reused through recycling programs, things like glue or epoxy from thin-film panels may not be accepted.

If my home loses power, will personal protective equipment help me fix it safely?

Always wear personal protective equipment when dealing with electrical systems, like those in off-grid homes using direct current from renewable energy sources such as sunlight for hot water and new energy needs.

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