Birds can cause extensive damage to residential shingle roofs. Catching the problem early means that your roof can be repaired more easily.
Types of Damage
The most common type of damage on a shingle roof is likely from nesting birds. The birds build nests in uncovered vents, which then prevents the proper flow of air through the vent. For attic vents, this can lead to moisture buildup in the attic, which then causes condensation to develop on the underside of the roof decking. The condensation in turn leads to water damage and decking failure, which can then lead to shingle damage and the need for a new roof.
Birds may also make holes in roof eaves so that they can nest in the protected area within. These can be new holes, or they may enlarge existing holes or remove soffit vent covers in order to gain access.
Something that is less common but still possible is dropping damage. This generally occurs when there is a heavy bird presence on the roof, such as a whole flock using your roof or nesting in a tree that overhangs your roof. Uric acid in bird droppings will eat through your shingles over time. This speeds up the degradation of the roof so that it has to be replaced prematurely.
Repairing issues caused by birds depends on the extent and type of damage. Blocked vents, when caught early, can be repaired quite simply. Your roofer clears out the nest and then installs a vent cap so birds can't gain access again. If moisture has already begun to collect in the attic, they may also use industrial fans to dry out the decking before rot sets in.
Bird damage to eaves is also repairable once the nests are removed. Any damaged boards are patched or replaced, then repainted so rot doesn't set in. Soffit vent covers may also require replacement. Going forward, the eaves need to be repainted regularly so that they don't develop wood rot, which makes it easier for birds to force their way in. Another repair option is to simply replace the old wooden eaves with metal eaves, which are more impervious to bird incursion.
Droppings require a thorough roof cleaning to remove them before they begin to eat into the shingles. Your roofer will then inspect the roof to see if damage has already occurred. If so, then the damaged shingles must be replaced since they may no longer shed water properly.
Contact a roof repair service if birds have caused damages to your roof.