Bird Droppings: The Unexpected Roof Dilemma

Most of us welcome the symphony of birds chirping on a sunny spring morning. Some of us can even identify the species of a bird from its own distinctive song. Despite the allure of listening to (or watching) our favorite feathered friends, the packaged deal poses a handful of headaches and hassles for homeowners. Perhaps the most unexpected source of a world of damage to your roof and home is bird droppings.

Constant bird poo smudged on the vehicles parked in your driveway is a clear warning sign that birds may also be dropping on your roof. However, droppings splotched on your roof can cause more damage than droppings splattered on your SUV. In fact, large quantities of bird droppings left to linger for too long can cut the life expectancy of your roof in half.

Harmful uric acid, clogged gutters, ice dams, and even fires top the list of hazards linked to birds and their droppings. King Quality is here to help you understand, identify, manage, and prevent the destructive path of this unexpected roof dilemma.

Bird droppings and uric acid.  

Birds don’t have a bladder, which means they don’t urinate. Instead, birds store liquid and solid wastes together (that’s what makes their poo so watery). The high concentration of uric acid in bird droppings—usually a pH level between 3 and 4.5.—can harm your roof, your home, and your health.

Bird droppings are corrosive by nature. The gross, white, paste-like goo can weaken roof tar and tar paper, and eat away at asphalt shingles and other roofing materials. (Bird droppings can also eat through paint). Shingles damaged by poo are more susceptible to leaks and more detrimental to your roof and home. 

How to clean bird droppings.

Start by washing away bird droppings with a powerful garden hose—a more forceful power washer can loosen, damage, or blast away shingles. Bird poop cleaner is expensive, so only use it for a serious problem.

Birds can also land and roost in trees—and poop down below onto your roof—so trim overhanging branches above your home. Nests on the roof or in the gutters pose a similar problem, so get rid of them to discourage birds from coming back.

However, beware of one particular type of poo: dry droppings aerosolized in the form of dust, which contains harmful fungi your family and pets can inhale into their lungs. Birds can transfer more than 60 diseases to humans including E. coli, salmonella, and fungal infections. Those same dangerous bird droppings can get into your home through an HVAC unit, attic vent, or extensively damaged roof.

If you decide to clean up bird droppings yourself, wear a respirator designed to filter out harmful particles and protective clothing including gloves, goggles, and disposable coveralls. Hiring a professional is the most effective—but also the most expensive—way to rid your roof of poo.

Bird droppings, seeds, and clogged gutters.

The brown solid substance in bird poo can contain ingested seeds. Seeds still intact can sprout and grow, especially near organic materials such as leaves or around water trapped in gutters after a rainstorm.

Sprouted seeds can clog gutters and back water up into your roof. Raised water levels can rush between the roof layers, into vents, and through other vulnerable areas. Roofing materials under water pressure wear out faster. Gutters clogged with seeds also create another common roofing problem: ice dams.

In below-freezing temperatures, ice can get underneath the shingles, lift them up, and allow more water to infiltrate the roofing materials. Water can leak inside your home and even damage the wood structures supporting your roof and home.

How to manage and prevent clogged gutters.

Inspect your gutters regularly and remove any clogs. Hire a certified roofer to fix any shingles or roofing materials damaged by ice dams. You may also want to hire a structural engineer to diagnose the extent of any ice dam-related water damage to your roof and home.

Bird nests and flammable materials.

Nests made from dry twigs, grasses, bark, moss, and other natural fibers put your roof and home at increased risk of fire. Nests tucked next to electrical machinery such as HVAC equipment or nestled inside of air vents are especially flammable.

Attic vents blocked by bird nests also inhibit your roof’s ability to breathe. Bird nests inside chimneys and ventilation systems can block airflow, reduce the quality of air, and back smoke into your home. Improper roof ventilation can also trap and collect damaging moisture.

Place your biggest asset in our hands.

Trust our certified roofers to reverse the damage caused by bird droppings. Peace of mind begins with the industry’s best warranty with full coverage for up to 50 years. Reach out to King Quality today and discover the royal treatment for you and your home.

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*Only on Simonton 9800 series, King Wall & Millenium 7 part roofing system.