Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
We recommend installing a squirrel guard as soon as possible. Do not wait to have a squirrel or bird infestation before you decide to protect your solar panels with our squirrel guard. Get peace of mind today by ensuring that your panels are protected from squirrels, pigeons, small birds and rodents. Our critter guard will provide you years of protection against squirrels, birds, roof rats, etc.
Our critter guard system works with almost all solar panels that have a frame around them which is probably over 98% of all residential solar panels installed. Our system will work with almost any solar panel that has a lip. What is needed is a frame with a lip around the bottom edge, where it rests on the racking. Very few solar panels do not have any lip at the bottom. Solar panels that do not have a lip may still have mounting holes which may be used to attach the hook.
The amount of time required to install a squirrel guard around the perimeter of your solar panels will depend on the size of your solar array as well as the layout of your panels. A simple array of 20 panels laid out in a rectangle can take just a couple of hours while a more complex layout with a non-rectangular configuration could take 4-5 hours. While it is possible to install the guard on your own, it is much easier if you have 2 people installing the guard together. Make sure that you do not leave any areas that are not covered as squirrels will find a way in through these openings. Please view our gallery for installation examples that could help you prepare for your install.
The Squirrel Guard kit includes 100′ of our PVC-coated galvanized steel wire mesh along with our easy to install squirrel guard fasteners (clips) that are designed to work with most brands of solar panels. Each kit comes with 100 fasteners. A 100′ wire installation requires between 75-80 clips so you will have sufficient for a 100′ installation.
Professional installers usually charge between $7 – $12 per linear foot. With a DIY kit, you can do this for $1.30 or less per linear foot. If you need 150 linear feet installed, the savings could be over $1000. If you are located in New Jersey, we offer an installation service starting at $8 / linear foot including materials. Costs in New Jersey will be slightly higher if the roof pitch is greater than 25 degrees and / or the panels are close to the roof edges. We also install in New York City, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and parts of upstate New York. Prices for States outside New Jersey are slightly higher depending on distance from our office. We use our own squirrel guard materials so you can be confident that the materials you purchase from us are of the highest quality and will provide years of service. If you would like a professional install, please call us at 973 408 9110.
Physical dimensions, rather than system output, is the best way to measure your needs. The geometric shape of the system layout, and if the array is split into multiple sets of panels, are the true determinants. This, of course, varies greatly from installation to installation. Therefore, we recommended that you calculate a precise number before ordering, as we’ve seen a single roll be sufficient for an 8+ kW system and yet not enough for a 4 kW. To get this figure, simply calculate a linear foot measure of the entire system perimeter. For reference purposes most solar panels are approximately 5½’ X 3 ½’. If you have an array that is 5 panels across and 3 panels high placed horizontally, you would need approximately 5 ½’ X 5 for one side and 3 ½’ X 3’ for the second side. So to cover all 4 sides you would need 5 X 5½ X 2 = 53’ + 3 X 3 ½ X 2 = 21’ = 74’. We realize that all arrays may not be this simple and there may be multiple arrays on a roof. If you can map out the arrays, you can easily calculate your requirements for the screen. Our Screen may be purchased as part of a kit with a 100’ roll with 100 clips or you may purchase it separately.
Ordering one box of clips per single roll of screen will almost always suffice. On average, 70 to 75 are needed per 100 linear feet, but no two systems are the same. Our kit includes 100’ of screen with 100 clips. You may also choose to purchase additional screen or clips separately. Long straight runs require fewer clips, while corners require more. We recommend using more clips on the lower edge of the roof near the gutters to prevent snow that land slides off your roof from loosening or removing the clips. We also recommend using additional clips around corners and if there is a split in the system, on either side of the split. The type of racking used can make a difference as well, most often requiring fewer, other times requiring more.
The reason for including 100 clips is that you may damage a clip or two while installing or you may end up dropping a couple of them on the roof or the ground. Occasionally, you may come across a defective hook or washer. It would be very frustrating to find yourself short of just a couple of clips so why not just include sufficient clips so that you won’t run out and you can successfully complete your install.
If you are unsure, the 8″ screen is always a safer bet. The 6″ screens is acceptable for low profile installs. On racking systems that are extremely low profile the 4″ screen may serve your needs. We recommend this only for professional installers who carry multiple sizes on their vehicles so they can choose which screen works best on a particular solar system. Our screen is flexible so it is easy to fold while being strong enough that critters cannot chew through it. The 8″ screen works on all but the most extremely elevated systems. If you find that the screen is too tall, we recommend folding the screen to the height needed. Folding adds rigidity to the screen — a good thing. Folding also saves a lot of time and reduces the risk of module damage if trimming after installation. The screen may be folded with the fold inwards or with the fold outward. While an inward fold looks neater, an outward fold will make it harder for a squirrel to push against and breach the system. From the ground level one can barely see the fold so it makes little difference for an aesthetics point of view.
After testing screens in different colors, we settled on black. This is what our customers like (we like the black screen and fasteners too). The black screen will blend perfectly with panels that have a black frame. On frames that are silver (aluminum) the black screen looks great too. It matches most roof surfaces that are usually black or at least a dark color. We want your systems to look great and a product such as this looks best when it blends into the roof and panels. The PVC coating provides an additional layer of protection against corrosion and will provide additional years of protection especially in seaside locations that have a higher probability of corrosion by the salt in the air.
Yes, a properly installed system will definitely keep out squirrels, pigeons, small birds, raccoons, roof rats, etc. Prior to installation, we strongly recommend checking under your solar panels for any birds, animals, nests, babies and eggs. You should definitely remove these prior to installation as these birds and animals with die if left trapped below the panels. Squirrels and other rodents could also cause damage while trapped under the panels as the only food they can find under the solar panels will be your precious wiring. Our system does keep them out from beneath the modules as intended. Once evicted and finding that the system has been sealed, they will move on and look for another home.
We recommend installing our critter guard system even if you have not yet been attacked by squirrels or rodents. You could go months or even a few years before your system may become home to pigeons, squirrels or other rodents. Once rodents decide to make residence below your solar panels, it could be just days if not weeks before they decide to chew away at the wiring on your expensive solar panels. Damage to the wires could not only cause your solar panels to stop functioning but could also be a potential fire hazard, especially if there is a nest below your solar panels. If you have a solar system on your home, you need a squirrel guard to protect it from intruders who want to make it their home too.
Pigeons seem to like the shade and, more importantly, it protects them from exposure to predators. Composite shingles are the perfect texture to keep nest building material in place and the stand-off posts make a perfect anchor. In areas with little other protection, solar modules make a great home while the rooftop ridges are perfect perches. Our bird deterrent screen is the perfect solution to prevent birds nesting under your solar system.
After years of installing these pest abatement system, we believe that this problem is now widespread. When we first started installing these back in 2011, we found that this was extremely rare. Today we feel this problem is widespread. Several of our customers tell us that they have had solar for 5-10 years and now they are noticing that their systems are being inhabited by squirrels and pigeons. This is a problem that is not going away so we recommend everyone who has solar should install a squirrel guard.
Our system is the exact same product for dealing with birds, squirrels, pigeons, roof rats and all other rodents that could potentially attack your solar panels. Our critter guard screen is used by professional installers as well as DIY individuals throughout the country. We feel confident that this is the absolute best solution for squirrel protection and bird protection on your solar array.
We have been installing our critter guard screens since 2011. We have not seen any problems with the screen or our fasteners in over 10 years. We expect that it could last as long as the warranty provided by your PV manufacturer. We provide a 5 warranty on our squirrel guard screens and fasteners.
All orders are shipped within 1 business day of receiving the order. Orders placed before 12pm EST are shipped the same business day. All orders are shipped by UPS ground. Depending on your location, the product will usually arrive in 2-5 days or the order date on the east coast and 6-10 days on the west coast.
Currently, we only offer our rolls in 100 linear feet length. Due to the dimensions and weight, we find that selling the rolls in 50 linear feet lengths would cost almost as much as a 100 foot roll. We have therefore decided to offer the rolls in only one length for now.
Please feel free to give us a call at (973) 408 9110 and we will do our best to answer your questions or concerns.