Can Bird Droppings Damage Your Roof?

One of the top questions we get from people is whether bird droppings can damage your roof. Unfortunately, the answer to that question is yes. In fact, these droppings can damage a variety of different surfaces. To understand why and how bird droppings can be caustic to a number of outdoor surfaces, it is important to understand a little bit about the chemistry of bird poop.

Bird droppings are acidic

To understand why, you need to know a little bit about bird anatomy. Birds eliminate solid and liquid waste together instead of separately. That means that birds eliminate their nitrogenous waste in uric acid or guanine. The result is that their droppings contain high levels of acid.

How much acid do bird droppings contain?

This answer can be a little trickier to nail down, as it varies by bird species, diet, and much water a bird has been drinking. However, these dropping tends to range from 3 to 4.5 on the pH scale. That is considered significantly acidic.

If you are like many of us, knowing the pH of bird droppings does not really help you understand how acidic they are. To put it in perspective, Coke and Pepsi have a pH of around 3. Grapefruit and orange juice are around 3.5. Tomato juice is somewhere around 4. The pH of acid rain is about 5. So, comparing bird droppings to these other common materials lets you know that their droppings are more acid than acid rain and about as acidic as some citrus juices or sodas.

Other than acid rain, we may not think of these agents as corrosive. However, when you think about the fact that you can use sodas to remove accumulated minerals from battery cables, you realise that they are relatively corrosive. You would not pour them on your roof and let them sit.

Likewise, bird droppings can be corrosive if they accumulate or are present in large amounts. Over time, the acid in them can slowly eat away at the surface of your roof. While bird droppings will not create huge, dramatic holes, they can impact your roof’s structural integrity. In fact, roofs with significant bird droppings may have half the lifespan of roofs kept free of droppings.

We have a variety of bird control solutions!

Flick’s pest bird control program is designed to keep birds away from your roof. We evaluate your property to determine the best way to control pest birds and keep them away. Then, we install our systems and provide monitoring so that you have worry-free pest control.