Protecting Your Roof: Understanding the Value of Bird Deterrents




Protecting Your Roof: Understanding the Value of Bird Deterrents



Bird deterrent measures are commonly employed to protect roofs from the potential damage caused by birds. Roofs, with their accessible nooks and crannies, often serve as attractive sites for birds to build their nests. This could lead to issues like blocked gutters, damaged shingles, and corrosion from droppings. To address this problem, various bird deterrent methods can be utilized. These include installing bird spikes, which create an uncomfortable landing surface, or using bird netting to physically block access to vulnerable areas. Additionally, visual deterrents like reflective devices or predator decoys can be effective in deterring birds. By implementing these bird deterrent strategies, property owners can safeguard their roofs from bird-related problems, preserving the structural integrity and cleanliness of their buildings.


The Negative Effects of Birds on Roof Systems

In addition to physical damage, birds nesting on or near roofs can create noise and disturbance, affecting the peace and tranquility of occupants. Bird deterrents can help address this issue by deterring birds from nesting in the first place, minimizing the disruptive presence and allowing residents to enjoy a more peaceful environment.

It is important to note that while bird deterrents significantly reduce nesting activities, determined birds may still attempt to nest despite the obstacles. Factors like bird species, population density, and availability of alternative nesting sites can influence their persistence. Consequently, regular monitoring and maintenance of bird deterrent systems are essential to ensure their continued effectiveness.

Bird droppings contain corrosive elements that can deteriorate roofing materials over time. The acidity in these droppings can eat away at shingles, tiles, membrane, and other roofing components, compromising their integrity and aesthetic appeal. By implementing bird deterrent measures, the presence of bird droppings on roofs can be reduced or eliminated which improves overall cleanliness and prevents the corrosive effects. On a flat exposed roof membrane or shingles, bird dropping can cause granule deterioration at expedited rates creating weak points in the roof system which are then more susceptible to water ingress.


The Role of Different Bird Deterrent Methods

Birds are naturally attracted to the sheltered and elevated spaces that roofs provide, making them ideal nesting sites. As they build their nests, they often use twigs, leaves, and debris, which can accumulate in gutters and drains, leading to blockages and water backup. Birds can also cause damage by pecking and scratching at the roof’s surface. This behavior can lead to holes, cracks, and weakened areas, making it easier for water to penetrate and cause leaks. By installing bird deterrents, such as spikes and netting, birds are discouraged from nesting on roofs, thereby minimizing the risk of blockages and damages. Deterrents should be strategically installed at locations where bird activity has been observed or preventatively at covered areas where birds or pests are likely to occupy. Bird deterrents, while effective in reducing the likelihood of nesting, do not provide an absolute prevention. Instead, they create difficulties for birds and encourage them to seek alternative nesting locations. It is important to understand that bird deterrents function by introducing physical or visual obstacles that make potential nesting areas less attractive and more challenging for birds.

Bird Spikes 

Bird spikes are designed to create an uncomfortable and unstable landing surface, discouraging birds from perching or nesting on rooftops, ledges, or other vulnerable areas. The presence of spikes poses difficulties for birds to find stable footing, making those areas less desirable for nesting.


Bird Netting

Bird netting forms a physical barrier that denies birds access to specific locations. By covering openings or vulnerable areas with netting, birds are unable to build nests, thus encouraging them to seek alternative nesting sites.


Visual Deterrents

Visual deterrents, such as reflective devices or predator decoys, exploit birds’ natural instincts and create the perception of danger. These visual stimuli introduce uncertainty and risk, discouraging birds from choosing a particular area for nesting. By employing a combination of these visual deterrents, the overall attractiveness of the nesting site is reduced.


Sonic Deterrents

Our team receives many inquiries about sonic bird deterrents, which emit sound or ultrasonic frequencies to repel birds. When it comes to sonic bird deterrents, we caution that they may not be effective in all contexts. The sonic mechanisms which make an environment unpleasant for birds can also impact pets in the area, as certain frequencies humans do not hear can affect birds and pets alike. Depending on the bird occupant, different sonic levels may be required before you see effects of the sonic deterrent. As the sound level of these devices is adjusted and increased to deter birds, there is a chance that humans in the vicinity may start to hear the sounds as well, leading to annoyance or inconvenience. Considering the potential adverse effects on pets and human occupants, it is important to explore alternative bird deterrent methods when the install location is near residential units. Sonic bird deterrents can be extremely effective in certain contexts where the above noted issues are not present, such as commercial or industrial buildings where occupants are not within proximity of the install location.


The Importance of Non-Interference with Bird Nests During Nesting Season

During nesting season, once birds have already occupied a nest on your roof, it is important to avoid disturbing them. Disturbing nesting birds can cause stress, disrupt their reproductive cycle, and potentially harm the birds or their offspring. It is essential to respect the laws and regulations that protect nesting birds as many countries have legal protections in place to safeguard their well-being. The area where the nest is located should be avoided while occupied to allow the birds to complete their nesting cycle without unnecessary interference. It is crucial to remember that disturbing nesting birds can lead to nest abandonment, leaving the eggs or chicks vulnerable and reducing the overall success of the bird population.


Importance of Using a Certified Roofing Contractor

Using a certified and safe roofing contractor to complete the installation of bird deterrents is of paramount importance. The installation process requires expertise in both roofing and bird control techniques to ensure the effectiveness of the deterrent system and safety during installation. A certified roofing contractor prioritizes safety, has working at heights certification, completes a proper fall protection plan, and ensures proper ladder safety and/or equipment staging and tie off where required. This not only protects the contractor and their team but protects the property and its occupants from accidents or injuries as well as liability. By engaging a certified roofing contractor, property owners can have confidence that the bird deterrents will be installed correctly, without compromising the roof’s integrity.



Deterrents not only prevent nesting and blockages but also safeguard roofing materials from pecking, scratching, and corrosive droppings. By investing in bird spikes, netting, or visual repellents, clients can preserve the integrity of their roofs, extend the roof lifespan, and reduce costly repairs. Every situation is unique, and the pros and cons of each deterrent method should be carefully considered before implementation. There is no ‘sure thing’ in bird deterrent installation and effectiveness can depend upon the pervasiveness of the bird species, population, or availability of alternative nesting sites. In some cases, multiple methods must be used in conjunction to create an adequate solution for complex or pervasive nesting issues.

What Will You Say When the Critters Move In?



Critters, like raccoons, squirrels, and birds, become unwanted tenants in the Spring.  They look for a place to nest and then they build a home for their families.  This can happen on the roof of any building – unless it’s protected. This is where Spring Roof Maintenance comes in.  Not only does maintenance protect buildings from pests, it prevents clogged drains and gutters, vegetation on the roof, general roof degradation and as a result: roof leaks.


Deterring Pests on the Roof

Birds are a major nuisance to roofs. Their nests cause damage and their droppings even more damage.  Check this article about birds.


Last year on a routine Spring maintenance job we cleaned up bird droppings.  But that wasn’t the end of that job.  We noticed some rust and an opening in the soffit above.



Guess what was hiding behind the soffit?  A bird nest.  Luckily there weren’t any eggs in the nest and we were able to remove it. This could have been prevented.



The good news is there are ethical bird deterrents that can be set up to prevent all of this.


Clogged Drains and Gutters


Debris has built up over the Fall and Winter.  As water heads to drains and gutters it carries  that debris with it.  What happens next is obvious, the debris begins to clog the drainage and the water backs up.  This clump of mud never dries and it becomes a great place for weeds to grow.  If left unchecked, the weeds grow and their roots puncture the roof membrane.


Schedule Roof Maintenance

Now is the time to have roofs maintenance done.  Roofs are checked for weaknesses and damage as well as maintenance that should be done like renewing caulking, removing debris, covering rust, replacing damaged shingles and more.


Roof Maintenance

Rusted Hatch Before


Painted Hatch

Hatch After


Design Roofing Maintenance

Lifted Vent Before


Vent on Roof

Vent After


Roof Maintenance Moss

Moss on Shingles Before


Shingles with moss

Moss Removed

There Are Rules About Bird Nests on Roofs

Removing Bird Nests

If birds are a problem at any of your properties you should know that precautions must be taken if there are nests.  According to the BC Ministry of Environmental Stewardship, if a nest is occupied by a bird or its eggs, it is not allowed to be removed or destroyed.

Nests are Usually Hidden

Birds are experts at hiding their nests on roofs.


Birds cannot be occupying a nest when it is removed

They may or may not be occupied.

Nests hidden in the roof

These nests were found up here.

More than a Nuisance

They cause fires, flooding and carbon monoxide poisoning.  When they nest in gutters create a dam, letting water pool, leading to leaks and damage. Nests are highly flammable and if they’re situated near electrical wires or machinery they can easily spread a fire. Vents and chimneys can be blocked by nests leading to carbon monoxide build up.

Remember the Skytrain Fire that shutdown the Expo Line?

That was because a bird nest caught on fire and incinerated a metre of cable.

Nests Can Be Prevented

We offer services to protect your roofs from birds nesting.

Bird Solutions:

  • Bird Spike Installation
  • Anti-Bird Flashing
  • Bird Netting
  • Bird Shock Electric Track
  • Bird Spiders
  • Protective Membrane Installation (to strengthen areas damaged by birds)

Read more in our post about birds from last year.

Birds on the Roof

How can such a light creature cause so much damage?

They’re so cute when they’re chicks.

baby seagull

So it can be surprising to find out exactly how much damage birds on the roof can really cause.

It’s all about strength in numbers with birds.


Birds are loud and when they’re on a roof they sound ten times louder.  Their presence will annoy tenants, customers and employees in any building.  Having to walk under a line of birds on the roof to get into a building can be risky.  And if there are bird droppings around the building you could be setting yourself up for a lawsuit if anyone slips.

Did you know that birds damage roofs with their droppings?  Droppings are acidic and if left on a roof for too long, accumulating over time, they will eat away at the membrane of the roof causing leaks.  Waste can damage the toughest materials like steel and iron.  The life of a roof is cut in half when droppings accumulate.


A bird in the building is problem enough.  What happens if the roof hasn’t been maintained and there are openings in it? It’s only a matter of time before the pigeons or sparrows make the attic a home and eventually collapse the entire ceiling.  This happens to warehouses and restaurants too, not just residential buildings and houses.

Nests are a nuisance.  They cause fires, flooding and carbon monoxide poisoning.  When they nest in gutters create a dam, letting water pool, leading to leaks and damage. Nests are highly flammable and if they’re situated near electrical wires or machinery they can cause easily spread a fire. Vents and chimneys can be blocked by nests leading to carbon monoxide build up.

There’s only one answer to prevent all this; Bird-proof your roofs.  Have a reputable roofing contractor take a look and put the right tools in place such as:

Bird Spikes 2

  • Bird Spikes
  • Audio recordings of hawks attacking birds
  • Anti-Bird Flashing
  • Bird Netting
  • Protective Membrane Installation (to strengthen areas damaged by birds)
  • Bird Shock Electric Track
  • Bird Spiders