What You Need To Know If Pigeons Roost On Your Roof

Posted on: 12 May 2016

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If you notice pigeons roosting on your roof, it will be important for you to install deterrent devices to keep them away. Pigeons can damage roofing materials and clog your gutters and downspouts. Here's what you need to know.

Pigeon Droppings Damage Roofing 

Bird droppings are really a combination of poop and uric acid, which is the white goo. Uric acid can damage your roofing material, especially asphalt shingles. When the acid damages the asphalt shingles, your roof will become more susceptible to leaks. This is particularly true when the droppings are centrally located in one area on your roof and the droppings become a thick layer that doesn't easily rinse away when it rains.

As the acidic qualities of bird droppings eat away at asphalt shingles, the granules of the shingles are detached. Then when it rains, the granules will wash away from the shingles and down into your gutters. If your gutters are already clogged with debris, such as leaves, the granules can make it more difficult for the debris to separate and wash away into the downspouts. 

Seeds in Droppings Clog Gutters 

Sometimes, seeds can also be found in droppings. If a pigeon does not digest a seed, that seed will be in the poop. When these seeds are intact and in water or organic material, they can easily sprout and grow. Therefore, if the droppings contain seeds and the seeds wash into your gutters, you may find seedlings and saplings growing in your gutters. This is particularly true if the gutters are clogged and full of debris. With the seedlings and/or saplings in your gutter, they can easily create further blockage in your gutter and downspout. 

Blockages can cause water to remain in your gutters, which can lead to water damage on your roof and/or the formation of ice dams as the water seeps into the roofing material. Or, the water may run over the side of the gutters and overwhelm the ground below, which can cause leaks in your basement if your foundation or crawlspace is not waterproofed. 

Install Bird Deterrent Devices 

To keep the pigeons from roosting on your roof, install deterrent devices such as spikes and owl decoys. Typically, pigeons roost at gabled ends, so that's where you will want to install the spikes. Owl decoys can be installed anywhere on the roof. If you don't want to install these devices, be sure to at least regularly rinse bird droppings from your roof and protect your gutters from getting clogged by installing gutters that have no seams where seeds and debris can get trapped in. 

For more information and tips, contact professionals that specialize in gutters, such as A - 1 Seamless Gutters Inc.