Home Inspector Solar Panels Fire & Findings

Real Estate Agent with DFW FINE PROPERTIES 0506509

The sun in Texas is hot and the sun can shine brightly for days. For this reason Solar Panels may be under the radar to purchase from a sales person who comes to the door to sell you their products or sends you marketing materials. Homeowners may be tempted, especially when they hear the pitch about energy savings on electric bills. Did you know that Solar Panel Sales People are not licensed by the Texas Occupational Licensing ?

If you have an interest in Solar Panels, you may want to ask if their company has licensing and permitting requirements based on the type of service or products associated with their business. When it comes to purchasing any products, it is wise to know if there are any safety issues to be aware of. In a Solar Panel Class on January 4, 2023, the Instructor/Certified Home Inspector mentioned issues that raised awareness for buyers buying or owning homes with Solar Panels.  Below are issues that were brought up in class:


The Certified Home Inspector/Instructor discussed many issues he is aware of when it comes to Solar Panels. The scariest issue was reported on the News Channel on May 2, 2022. A Homeowner in the City of Melissa in Collin County in Texas had a house fire caused by his Solar Panels while he was away. His neighbor noticed the fire and attempted to put out the fire and he called the Fire Department. For more information and to watch the news report search Melissa Solar Panel House Fire or try the link for "A Warning about solar panels after man's home almost burns down". It may be an anomaly, but do you want to take the risk without asking questions or knowing a fire is possible?

Other issues and deficiencies the Certified Home Inspector mentioned that has come up on his reports are as follows:

  • Leaks
  • Bowing
  • Flashings
  • Power Surges
  • Penetration
  • No Access for Evaluating Maintenance
  • Ladder not tall and wide enough to get to top Solar Panels
  • Owners don't know what the SOP says about Solar Panels purchased
  • Critters dead or alive under panels (primarily squirrels)
  • Missing Fasteners
  • No Sealants on Fasteners
  • Grounding/Bonding & Missing Covers
  • Potential Hidden Deficiences or Objects Inspector Can't Access
  • Inability to get up on a ladder to inspect each panel
  • Damage to Roof and Inability to see what is under the panels
  • How many layers are under shingles that are obstructed by panels
  • Roof Does Not Appear To Support the Weight of the Panels 

As explained in class, "when the sun shines onto a solar panel, energy from the sunlight is absorbed by the PV cells in the panel." Potential buyers need to know many Home Inspectors are not Certified to Inspect Solar Panels. If issues come up and roofs need to be replaced, the Solar Panels have to come down. Who is going to pay to take the panels down and who will pay to put the solar panels back on when the work is done? Deals have gone dead when Sellers agreed to replace the roof but the cost to remove and put the panels back on were unexpected costs. Buyers and Sellers should check with their Insurance Company to see if Solar Panels are covered. Also, just like roof, there are no guarantees how long Solar Panels will last. Hail is a common issue why people need  to replace their roofs.

In sum, per the Certified Home Inspector, no one has any idea on Solar Panel performance or Resale Value. Why would I trust Brian Greul, Home Inspector on classes for Solar Panel? Because he has Solar Panels on his own home and he is an excellent Instructor for Real Estate Agents. 

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Comments (13)

Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo and Home Specialists

Never heard about this before about solar panels Patricia. Now I will certainly look into this before having them installed.

Jan 07, 2023 07:18 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP

Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400 - I did not know about it either and missed it when it was on the news. Thankfully, this great Home Inspector raised awareness! There certainly are issues to think about when buying solar panels. 

Jan 07, 2023 07:22 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Patricia... you've brought up a lot of issues about solar panels that most people have no idea about. I've long felt that the jury is still out on the value of them.

Jan 07, 2023 07:44 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP

Nina Hollander, Broker - another point the Home Inspector pointed out as to resale value, he said it is like an inground pool. Very subjective. Appraisers, well... it depends but their job is to appraise the purchase of the home and may give little or no value. As we know, it all depends. 

Jan 07, 2023 07:56 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Patricia,

There are issues to think about when buying solar panels and you raised some important ones in your post! I like Nina Hollander, Broker have concerns and I for one am not ready to jump on board!

Jan 07, 2023 07:57 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP

Dorie Dillard Austin TX - one definitely has to do their due diligence when considering buying a very big investment on top of their bigger and larger investment over time. I am not convinced either. 

Jan 07, 2023 01:27 PM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

Living in a cloudy area we have but a handful of solar panels in our county. Our state keeps pushing rebates however the overall cost still is rather high and the rate of return is low Patricia. Have a wonderful day 🙂

Jan 07, 2023 09:00 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP

Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS - I posed a question to the Home Inspector about how productive could Solar Panels have on a property in Texas if we have cloudy weather and rain for thirty, forty days in a row or more? He said, "not productive at all." And to myself I thought about all the seniors and people with arthritis and just how painful it would be to live without the warmth of heat to take out the chill from their bones. 

Jan 07, 2023 01:31 PM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Patricia and happy Saturday and great information in your blog to share with us here in the Rain.  Make it a great day!

Jan 07, 2023 09:34 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP

Will Hamm - happy to share an important topic.

Jan 07, 2023 01:32 PM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em: golfArizona@cox.net

Great information.  Thanks for sharing, enjoy your weekend, and here's a GOOD LUCK to your favorite NFL Team! Go Cowboys! 

Jan 07, 2023 09:43 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP

Bill Salvatore - East Valley - You're welcome. I was happy to share.

Jan 07, 2023 01:32 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Patricia this is very good information.  Solar panels are not for every home.  For example my house is ALL electrical, so my electricity bill in the Winter is very high.  So you would think my house would be a prime candidate for solar panels.  It is not.  There isn't enough space on my roof to produce enough electricity to have much of an impact on my usage.  I have had 3 different solar panel companies give me quotes, and at best I would save about $50 per month on average.  That is not enough of an incentive for me to put solar panels on my roof.

Jan 07, 2023 12:07 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP

George Souto - I agree! My home is also all electric. Even though TX gets a lot of sun, it doesn't make it right and cost effective to me because of the frequency of hail storms and the probability of having the roof replaced more frequently than what I expected. I don't think many people understand that there is also a big difference between someone who pays in full or pays off their solar panels and leasing panels. Leased panels is something Buyers need to explore and understand what it means to them when they buy a home with Solar Panels and the Lease continues because the price sticks to the house. I don't want the risk or liabilities. 

Many sales are dead during the Underwriting Process and negotiations can't be reached. 

Jan 07, 2023 01:38 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

This is probably the first incident I've heard of that involved solar panels.  It is so important to know the risks of each type of energy associated with our homes.  Natural gas is beginning to come under scrutiny for its risks, now.

And, it's very important for home buyers to have a whole house inspection performed on homes they are buying.

Jan 07, 2023 03:44 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP

Myrl Jeffcoat - this was the first case I knew of too, thanks to the Home Inspector. Seeing the News Report was frightening to think of, let alone experience for that man. Natural gas has also been under scrutiny in some of the older bordering cities around Flower Mound. There were gas explosions! As you say, "it is so important to know the risks of each type of energy," whether that is purchasing a home or living in your exisiting home! 

Jan 07, 2023 03:52 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

CONGRATULATIONS Patricia, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Jan 07, 2023 03:44 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Myrl Jeffcoat - thank you for taking this matter seriously and the FEATURE in the Old Farts Club group! Raising awareness is paramount!

Jan 07, 2023 03:53 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Patricia we have the same issues here in Los Angeles, the installers do a mediocre job and usually cause roof leaks in the rainy season to name one particular issue, Endre

Jan 07, 2023 10:21 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP

Endre Barath, Jr. - I am so glad to hear that you heard about the leaks and having mediocre work done in your area too! There are pros and cons to all products and there are good sales people and con artists too. It is getting harder and harder to find quality products and workers who do quality work. I heard solar panels are not made in the USA and they are coming from China. 

Jan 08, 2023 01:31 AM
Charles Ross - eXp Realty LLC
eXp Realty LLC Salina Group - Salina, KS
Love To Help People

Wow sounds like there could be some issues with solar panels.Great info

Jan 09, 2023 06:53 PM
Vincent Perrone
Perrone - Denver, CO
Home stager extraordinaire in Denver

This insightful post highlights a crucial aspect of solar panel purchases that many homeowners might not be aware of. It serves as a reminder to homeowners to exercise caution when approached by salespeople or considering solar panel installations. This information prompts readers to think critically about the legitimacy of sales claims and the need for thorough research before making a decision. Also check out my site

Oct 24, 2023 03:51 AM