When you’re researching materials for a new roof, you likely consider aesthetics, durability and price. However, do you think about the animals that might make their homes up there? Most people don’t realize that certain types of roofs create the ideal shelter for birds.
Clay tile roofs are especially attractive for birds because they have lots of protective nooks and open eaves. Learn how to stop birds from nesting in your tile roof to avoid damage and safeguard its life span.
Why Shouldn’t You Let Birds Nest in Your Roof?
No matter how cute you think birds are, you shouldn’t allow them to make homes in your roof. They can damage the structure in many ways, including the following:
- Bird droppings – When birds are living in and visiting your roof regularly, they’re going to have to do their business somewhere. The excrement from regular bird inhabitants can ruin the appearance of your home, driveway and car. Bird droppings are also acidic and can weaken roofing materials over time.
- Cracked and loose tiles – As the animals make space for themselves, they can widen existing gaps and cause tiles to loosen or break. This causes structural issues and leaks.
- Health hazard – Birds don’t clean up when they leave their nests. If your roof is especially enticing, the animals will return year after year. They may leave behind rotting organic materials, which can pose a danger to human health.
- Blocked drainage – Your roof needs to drain properly to prevent moisture from building up and leaking into your home. However, nests can block drainage channels and gutters.
- Fire hazard – Tile roofs are some of the most fire-resistant. But if they’re dotted with dry nests, they lose some of their fire protection because nests are extremely flammable.
Be Careful When Moving Nests
Preventing birds from nesting is easier than dealing with the problem once it has begun. In many areas, you have to be careful when moving or eliminating active nests. It’s illegal to tamper with an active native bird nest.
The best way to deal with an existing bird problem is to wait until the animals abandon their nests. Then, remove the debris and clean the area before sealing it off to prevent the animals from coming back.
If there are eggs or baby birds in the nest, you should wait until they’re gone. If you’re adamant about dealing with the nesting animals right away, you may want to contact a pest control company.
Tips for Stopping Birds From Nesting in Your Tile Roof
There are several ways to stop birds from nesting in tile roofs. You may need to use a combination of these methods to keep them away for good.
One of the reasons that birds like to nest in tile roofs is that the eaves are open. Because the tiles have a concave shape, their ends form small archways into which birds can easily fly.
Eaves closures, which are called bird stop in the roofing industry, seal the gaps at the ends of roof tiles. They’re made of thin metal sheeting and come in a variety of colors. They must fit the eaves precisely because birds can squeeze into small gaps. The best eaves closures contain ventilation holes to promote drainage and airflow.
Proper installation is essential for keeping out critters. As a bonus, bird stop helps to protect your home against wildfires.
Some homeowners use visual deterrents, which work in the same way as scarecrows do. Some examples of visual deterrents include:
- Decoy birds – Placing a statue of a predatory bird, such as an owl, on the roof can scare away smaller feathered friends. These work better if they offer some movement. Some decoys are as light as a kite and move in the wind.
- Bird balloons – These round, brightly colored balloons bob around in the wind and scare birds. Many are designed with shapes that look like the eyes of a predatory bird.
- Reflectors – Place reflectors in targeted locations on the roof or in nearby trees to direct sunlight toward the birds. The glare irritates the birds and prevents them from making their homes in your tile.
Visual deterrents are relatively affordable and easy to install. They usually require little maintenance. However, they can look unattractive. Also, birds can get used to them over time, eventually ignoring them.
- Audio deterrents use sound to scare birds away. Some effective audio deterrents include:
- Ultrasonic devices – These emit sounds that are undetectable by most humans. The noises agitate the birds, however, driving them away from your roof.
- Reflective tape – Hanging reflective tape from trees near your roof serves as an audio and visual deterrent. The tape moves while reflecting sunlight. As it ripples, it makes a noise that disturbs the birds.
- Loud noises – You can install something that makes a loud noise, such as the call of a bird of prey, when animals land on the roof. However, these may be irritating for homeowners and their neighbors.
Audio deterrents have a similar disadvantage as visual deterrents. Birds become accustomed to the sound over time. That’s why it’s important to use a few different bird control measures to protect your home.
Bird spikes are rows of sharp barbs that you can install on different parts of the roof. These spikes don’t hurt the birds; they simply make it difficult for the animals to land.
Some homeowners install bird netting during nesting seasons because it keeps the animals from landing and roosting on your roof. You can use this as a temporary measure and remove it when the threat has subsided. Bird netting can also be limited to areas that are particularly problematic.
Bird Repellent Gel
This gel comes in a tube similar to caulk. After you apply it to the roof, its stickiness deters birds from landing. The material is invisible and easy to install. It stays tacky for up to six months.
Remove Food Sources
Removing food sources from roof areas can make your home less appetizing for the critters. Prune trees and shrubs away from the house so that birds don’t perch to access their berries. Remove containers or divots that collect water. An experienced roofer can recommend the best anti-ponding devices for your home.
Inspect Your Roof
If birds congregate on your roof, you may want to ask yourself why it’s so enticing for them. You may have a missing or damaged tile that creates a convenient opening and sheltered spot. You need to get on the roof to inspect it properly. But doing so can be dangerous for the homeowner and the roof.
A reputable roofing company knows what to look for. At Presidio Roofing, we inspect tile roofs carefully. We know how to spot signs of damage and look in common bird nesting locations, such as plumbing air vents. We can repair compromised parts of the roof as well as recommend appropriate products for stopping birds from nesting there.