Can Bird Droppings Damage Your Roof?

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Roof Damage From Birds is a Real Problem…

Do you have pest birds making a mess of your roof? Find out how the professionals deal with such problems!

Having birds constantly perched on your roof can be a frustrating thing, particularly when their droppings begin to cover everything.

Shown here are ‘before and after’ photos of a job completed by McDonald, our Wallan gutter guard franchisee. He cleaned the roof of bird droppings, then installed bird spikes on the ledge to stop pest birds perching in the future. A nearby entry point in the roof was also identified and blocked with our gutter mesh. As you can see, the results were utterly transformative!

Composite showing before photo of a roof with bird mess, and after with a clean roof and bird spikes


This article provides an overview of the dangers of having birds perching on your property, and outlines some of the steps you can take to remedy your problem.

Damage Caused By Bird Dropppings

A building covered in bird excrement is not only an unsightly mess, but letting it stay that way can also cause expensive damage to your property. It’s a real concern, as the damage isn’t always confined to just the area directly below where the birds perch. When birds are perched on a ledge their droppings can end up on the roof, the ledge, and on the walls surrounding the house.

Many bird species have highly acidic scat that is able to corrode paint and various metals, and weaken other roofing elements like tiles and shingles. Pest birds are responsible for millions of dollars of property damage every year. There are even several stories of entire roofs and even a bridge collapsing due to the buildup of pigeon dung.

Bird mess on a roof
Bird mess on a roof

Around Melbourne, pigeon droppings are one of the most common kinds of bird mess you will find, as well as that of Indian Mynas and Starlings. The droppings of these birds are known to contain significant levels of corrosive acid. If left to pile up, the mess will gradually eat away into any materials such as metal roofing, gutters, drains and window frames. So, not only is it messy and ugly to have a surface covered in bird poo, but it can end up costing you a lot of money to repair damage that has been done once it has been left for a significant period of time.

Health Problems Related to Pest Bird Activity

Bird fouling also poses a few health and safety risks. There are over 60 different diseases that can be found in old bird droppings, all of which can be dangerous to humans when inhaled. A few examples of diseases that may be transferred to humans are:

  • Histoplasmosis, a potentially fatal respiratory disease caused by breathing in a fungus found in dried dung.
  • Cryptococcosis, an infection from another fungus that is commonly found in old bird droppings that can cause meningitis.
  • Psittacosis, another disease caused by inhaling the bacteria from old pigeon poop. This can result in pneumonia, and sometimes death.

People are most at risk of contracting these diseases when they breathe in the dust that is created from dried excrement. Usually, the greatest risk is when trying to clean up the mess, but it’s also possible for bacteria-ridden dust to travel through an air vent or a minor crack in a wall. Gastrointestinal illness is another general sickness that can come from being around bird droppings, but that is mostly from direct contact with the germs.

Regardless, the longer that any bird fouling is left to accumulate, the higher the risk of it posing a threat. All these risks are easily avoidable by cleaning up the droppings regularly, or by finding a way to make sure the birds don’t come back and make the mess again. If you or a loved one are currently sick, or have been recently, it’s highly recommended to minimise any risk of exposure!

How to Keep Birds Off Your Roof

If birds are roosting in hard-to-reach areas of your property, engaging a professional to perform a thorough clean-up is usually the first thing to consider. However, cleaning away the bird fouling is only a temporary fix as the birds will inevitably come back, and you’ll find yourself having to pay for a clean-up all over again.

So, what can be done to prevent the problem from returning?

1. Bird Spikes

The installation of bird spikes is a cost efficient, long-term and worthwhile investment. They will last more than 15 years, and once they’re installed, the problem of birds roosting on that ledge or parapet is solved. Bird spikes are simply designed strips with rows of spikes sticking out at different angles. They ensure that birds are unable to find a way of perching on the area again. Don’t worry, the solution is a humane one, as the spikes are blunted so they will not harm any birds, and birds won’t get trapped between spikes as the gaps are too narrow. Birds are unlikely to even attempt to find a foothold on a spiked area anyway!

Bird spikes on a roof parapet
Protective bird spikes on a parapet, installed by McDonald, our Wallan franchisee.

2. Pruning of Overhanging Trees

Trees around your propery are often a contributing factor — not only do they encourage birds by providing a natural place to rest, but any branches overhanging your roof obviously provide a direct place for bird poo to fall onto your roof below! Grayson’s are able to prune back any overhanging tree branches from around your roofline, to reduce the risk of this happening.

3. Blocking of Entry Points & Nesting Areas

Removing any entry points to roof cavities and potential nesting sites on your roof will also discourage birds from returning. Our staff are trained to identify potential nesting and roosting points, including under roof tiles, in gutters, in disused chimneys, and under solar panels. We are able to install gutter guard and protective mesh to block any cativities and nesting areas, which makes it less likely for birds to take a liking to your roof.

Protective mesh installed around solar panels.
Protective mesh installed around solar panels to prevent birds from nesting underneath.

Professional Bird Control Services

Grayson’s offers comprehensive bird proofing services. Our experienced staff can inspect your property for any damage, clean away the bird mess, supply and install bird spikes, and cover up any entry points with protective mesh. Our clean will be very thorough; as part of our gutter cleaning service, we are often cleaning droppings from around solar panels and removing bird nests from underneath them.

Bird proofing mesh under an airconditioning unit
Bird proofing mesh installed under an airconditioning unit.

We can also supply bird spikes if you’d rather a DIY solution — however, it’s recommended to take the appropriate health and safety precautions before you attempt to remove any bird fouling. Without professional help, you’re most at risk of contracting the diseases mentioned previously from breathing in the dust that is created by cleaning the droppings.

We look forward to hearing from you! Call 1800 GUTTER to book today.