The average roof should last anywhere from 20 to 50 years depending on the materials it is constructed from. There are many factors that affect the lifespan of a roof, such as the color of the roof, weather, exposure to the sun and ventilation. However, even if these conditions are all favorable, there is another, less predictable factor that is often much more destructive: birds.
While they may be pleasant to have around at times, if they get too comfortable they might just decide to take shelter in your roof. When that happens, all kinds of problems can occur.
Acidic Bird Droppings
Birds aren't fussy about where they poop. If they choose to nest in or on your roof, that's where they'll do the business. Not only are bird droppings unsightly, but they are also highly acidic and contain uric acid, which has a pH value of up to 4.5. Eventually, a buildup of bird droppings will damage your roof and cause leaks, especially if your roof is tar based.
Blocked Gutters Lead to Corrosion
Birds often choose to build their nests in gutters. This will obstruct rainwater runoff, causing water to pool on your roof and eventually corrode it. This means holes, and holes mean leaks.
Nests are Fire Hazards
Birds' nesting materials constitute fire hazards, as they are generally made up of dry twigs, straw, and droppings, all of which are highly flammable especially in hot climates.
Bird nests can also put your life at risk if birds choose to situate their nest in your home's flue. This could be deadly as once winter rolls around and you decide to use your furnace or fireplace, carbon monoxide could seep into your home undetected posing a health risk to anyone inside.
Some birds, especially pigeons and mynas because of their reliance on humans for survival, find their way into your attic and build nests. Eventually, the buildup of bird droppings could cause your ceiling to collapse causing extensive damage.
Whilst hunting for insects, birds can puncture your roof and damage the roof membrane as they peck at it in an effort to dislodge insects.
Nest Under Roofing Tiles
Birds such as starlings are notorious for nesting in roof cavities, and can damage sarking and insulation as they make room for their nest.
A good way to prevent birds from making a home out of your roof is to keep food sources as far from your house as possible. If you have a large garden and enjoy watching the birds, keep your bird feeders near the ground in the garden to discourage them from nesting in your roof. Check your roof regularly to make sure there are no nests and that your gutters aren't clogged, and your roof should stand the test of time.