A Bird Damage Guide For Commercial Roofs

Your roof protects your business from the elements, but what is there to protect your roof from dangers? One often-overlooked threat to flat commercial roofs is birds. Pigeons, gulls, sparrows, and other birds can all see a roof as the perfect home – it's far above predators, HVAC systems and equipment provide cover, and there is plenty of room to congregate. This guide will help you understand the dangers birds pose and provide you with ways to prevent it.

Understand the Damage

Concerns about birds go beyond droppings raining down from above or staining your walls. The following are real concerns that can damage your roof and rooftop equipment:

  • Acids in bird droppings, especially when they collect in a large quantity on a flat roof, can eat into and damage the roofing membrane.

  • Birds sometimes nest in drainage spouts, causing blockages that can result in poor drainage and too much weight on a roof. This can lead to damage or even collapse.

  • Birds can also get into rooftop machinery, which can cause breakdowns or even fires.

  • Dried droppings can get sucked into air intakes on HVAC systems, resulting in a health concern and a foul odor inside your business.

Prevention Plan

You will need to work with your roofing contractor to overcome bird damage and to prevent it from happening again. Your contractor can clean the roof of all droppings and survey the damage. If the bitumen membrane has developed holes, you will need to have a new membrane installed. Otherwise, you may begin to develop leaks.

Once the roof is repaired, you will need to install a barrier. There are several options. One popular option is to have bird spikes installed on your roof. This will limit roof access to only cleared pathways to machinery. These spikes also aren't suitable in areas with heavy snowfall, where it is sometimes necessary to clear a roof. Bird netting is another prevention option, and it can be moved aside if sections of the roof need to be accessed. You may also want to work with your roofer to redesign any areas of the roof that provide comfortable perches. For example, they can change flat ledges to slopes, which are less likely to attract nesting birds.

Ongoing Maintenance

Ongoing maintenance is also a must. Roof drains must be checked regularly for nesting materials and blockages. Equipment will also need to be checked. You may also want to consider having a roofer inspect the roof once a year for any signs of bird dropping damage to the membrane. Contact a local roofer like A-J Roofing & Waterproofing Co for more information.


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