Solar Panel Proofing: Preventing Damage from Nesting Birds 

While Australia is a haven for bird enthusiasts with its multitude of fascinating and beautiful birds, introduced species like pigeons, sparrows, mynas and starlings can be a major problem for residential and industrial buildings.

These birds become a nuisance when they build their nests on roofs with solar panels, which are perfect shelters against weather conditions and predators.

Ways Birds Damage Roofs

Birds landing on your roof may seem innocuous, but problems could arise when they start frequenting your roof, or worst, establish their nest there.

When birds leave their droppings on your roof, you have to constantly clean it, or hire someone to do it, or else your roof will be damaged. This is because bird faeces have high acidity levels, and your roof, whatever material it is made of, will not last.

Birds may nest in your gutters for easy access to water. Gutters are an important water-control feature of your house. If they get clogged, water could spill on your roof and may affect the structural foundation of your property.

Bird nests are made of various materials like leaves, piece of wood, etc. These materials could find their way to your HVAC vents and cause the unit to run improperly and eventually break down.

Birds have a habit of pecking – and there is a high probability that they could turn to your roof shingles. The tears may be small, but they can still damage your roof and cause a leak.

Why are Birds Attracted to Solar Panels?

Birds are a serious threat to solar panels installed on roofs, causing damage to them, or unintentionally causing them to function improperly. But why do birds love solar panels so much?

One species of birds that love to nest under solar panels are pigeons. For them, solar panels provide a safe and warm place where predators cannot reach them.

The noise from the pigeons becomes unbearable once they establish a nest, while their constant contact with the solar panels may cause damage and decrease their efficiency.

Effects of Birds Nesting to Your Solar Panels

Solar panels are a great investment for any home or business. It offers energy savings and helps protect the environment against carbon emissions. However, they also attract noisy, messy and potentially dangerous nuisance birds, particularly pigeons.

Rooftop solar panels offer the perfect environment for birds to nest and roost. If left unguarded, you may be faced with the problem of removing a family of pigeons and their nest.

The noise. This will tell you when pigeons have started to nest under your solar panels. The constant chirping, scratching and other bird noises will soon lead to annoyance and frustration.

Reduced solar efficiency. The accumulation of droppings, dirt and mess on your solar panels will eventually impact your solar panels’ performance and effectiveness.

Damage to solar panels. The acidity of pigeon droppings can erode the wirings and the surface of solar panels. Also, bird habits such as pecking and scratching can impact the solar panel’s ability to generate electricity.

Protect your Solar Panels with Bird Proofing

Image of bird nesting in a solar panel

What is bird proofing?

Bird proofing is a method that is used to keep nuisance birds away from roof spaces, gutters and other areas of a property, and therefore preventing them from establishing a nest.

It is a physical barrier that is installed around the solar panels to deter pigeons. If pigeons can’t access the base of the solar panels, they will be forced to search for other nest locations.

Bird proofing services include the removal of existing nests, cleaning the solar panels and the installing the bird proofing barrier of your choice. The types of barriers are Bird Mesh Wire, Anti-Roosting Spikes and Bird Blockers.

Bird Mesh Wire. It is installed around the perimeter of the solar panels to prevent birds from reaching underneath. It is a non-invasive barrier that doesn’t harm the solar panels.

Anti-Roosting Spikes. Made from stainless steel, these are installed on any area of the solar panels to prevent birds from perching nearby. This is a humane method of keeping birds away from solar panels.

Bird Blockers. Works like a bird mesh and also non-intrusive as they can be attached to solar panels without drilling or screws.

Image of bird proofing

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Infographic of ways to keep birds away
Infographic of ways to keep birds away

Ways to Keep Birds Away

If you don’t need professional bird control just yet. There are a few bird prevention tips that you can use to keep birds away. The key is knowing what attracts the birds to your home and avoiding those things.

Change their habitats. To keep birds away from water features like fountains, substitute freshwater with saltwater. They won’t be able to drink the water and will stay away from it.

Don’t let your pet’s food and water dishes lying around outdoors and store them in airtight containers. In addition, birds like to take cover in grass and other landscaping features during windy or rainy weather, so keep your trees and hedges trimmed to take away potential covers for them.

Use aluminium foil. Place strips of aluminium foil in place where birds like to hang around in your property, like the garden. Birds don’t like the feel of foil under their beaks and will stay away.

Install fishing wire. If you have a pool and birds are always landing close to it, install fishing wire high over the pool, between two trees or eaves, for example. This will deter birds as they hate anything blocking their flying space.

Sprinkle baking soda. To protect your patio space or windowsills from nuisance birds, sprinkle baking soda in places where they like to perch. Birds will avoid them as they hate the feel of baking soda on their claws.

Purchase predator decoys. Plastic owls, rubber snakes and other predator decoys, which you can buy from your local hardware store, can be used to scare birds away. Place them in places where birds hang around like the garden, pool, deck, etc.

Common Home Nesting Birds in Australia

The most common species of birds that can nest in roof spaces are Pigeons, Sparrows, Common Starlings and Common Mynas. While it may feel nice to hear birds chirping when you wake up in the morning, they can damage your property through their scratching and nesting habits and can also spread diseases through their droppings.

Pigeons. These birds generally have a dark grey head or other shades of grey. They prefer to build their nest on flat surfaces such as roof cavities and gutters. Pigeon droppings are what you would commonly see on cars, parks and on your roof.

Sparrows. These birds may be small, but they be hostile. Sparrows often build their nests on the roof cavities and gutters of established structures such as homes and buildings.

Common Starlings. These colourful, invasive species have seriously impacted our native bird population. They are highly aggressive and will wrest control of existing nests from other birds, displacing them.

Common Mynas. An introduced species as well, Common Mynas are feral and aggressive. They were introduced as a pest-mitigation strategy, but they soon overpowered native birds and tiny marsupials such as the feather-tailed glider.

Having trouble with nesting birds? Call our team of professionals today!

Potential Cost of Damage Caused by Nesting Birds vs Installation Costs of Solar Proofing Panels

The cost of bird proofing your solar panels depends on a variety of factors, including the type of barrier you choose, if there is already damage that needs to be fixed, and the size of the solar panels.

The cost of preventive measures is significantly less compared to the potential cost of damage if you allow nuisance birds to run wild on your rooftop. The longer you leave your solar panels untreated, the more damage the pest birds are likely to cause.

Over time, the number of birds roosting or nesting on your rooftop will increase, not decrease, if no treatment is implemented. More birds mean greater damage and higher repair bill.

Solar panels are not an insignificant investment. And like any investment, they need to be maintained properly, so you can get the most out of it. One of the ways you can protect your solar panels is by bird proofing it.

Many people attempt to solve their bird nesting problem themselves. However, the task requires physical labour and expensive materials. To save valuable time and money, and more importantly, to ensure its effectiveness, professional bird proofing is needed.

If nesting birds are causing you grief and anxiety, call your local bird proofing professionals now for a free quote.

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