Now that the 4th of July festivities have passed, it’s time for us to get back into the swing of things and get back to work. Since the beginning of the warm weather season we’ve been talking about ways we can improve our patios, porches, garages, decks and siding. We all know that making improvements to our homes is a great way to increase curb appeal and resale value. Sometimes, however, the work we need to put into our homes doesn’t come in the way of making improvements, but rather making badly needed repairs.
There is regular maintenance and repairs that most of us become aware of as we become seasoned homeowners. Hosing off the outside of our homes from time to time, cleaning out gutters, and checking our roofs for damage after a long winter are all common examples of routine maintenance.
Today we want to discuss something many homeowners might not be aware of; homes have a natural predator .... they are lurking, waiting and watching. We’re talking about birds, people! While they do make for visually appealing sights and sounds, they can also create extremely unsightly damage to your home, inside and out. While birds can be beautiful, they can be considered just as much a nuisance as rodents. Let’s talk about why.
Sometimes the first sign that you have a problem are little things that can easily go unnoticed; an increase of the number of birds in the area, bird droppings or funky smells. One good thing about nesting birds is that they are noisy, so if you hear something poking around in your attic, it probably isn’t just nothing.
There may be an assumption that only woodpeckers will damage a home, but that is far from true. Any type of bird can cause damage; woodpeckers, flickers, finches, starlings, sparrows, swallows and pigeons are just some of the few we have encountered.
Common areas where you might find a bird’s nest include the soffits of your home, an attic, decks, underneath your home, chimneys and around storage areas and sheds. Birds can really get into just about any area of a home; it’s a good idea to routinely inspect your home for bird damage before it gets any worse as birds are known to revisit favorite nesting spots.
Bird damage comes in many forms. Damage can look like pin holes in your siding or mounds of insulation littered across your lawn. Ideally, you’d catch bird damage before it gets to the point of replacing insulation, but beware, birds can wreak havoc on a home quickly.
A big concern for homeowners is that more often than not bird damage is outside of what qualifies for coverage by your homeowners insurance policy. In most instances, damage caused by birds or rodents is avoidable, so it’s important to stay on top of these issues.
Stucco on homes is favorable among birds for nesting as many of them are able to surpass the hard outside easily, chipping away to get to the warm innards of your home; check your chimney, soffits (the overhang where your roof meets a wall) and vents early as the weather begins to warm up. Some common things to look out for include:
Birds will sometimes tear up shingles, but usually this is not the case. If a bird ends up building a nest under shingles it’s likely because there was already damage there, making the area an easy target.
There are many things homeowners have tried over the years to deter birds from creating nests in less than ideal locations. We hear a variety of things from different homeowners; some have tried everything to no avail, while others have luck by making the smallest of changes around their homes. Some of these ideas likely work better than others, and while there is no fail-safe here, it might be worth the time to try a few of the following:
As expensive as it might sound, it may also be a good idea to replace your siding. Fiber Cement Siding is made from a mixture of materials and is less susceptible to damage by birds; this may be in part because it is tougher to destroy considering it is partly made of concrete. If you'd like to learn more, or are curious about siding options, check out our blog post titled “Siding 101 With Webfoot: Pick The Siding That's Best Suited For Your Home!”
So you took all the necessary precautions and still ended up with bird damage? It happens, unfortunately. As you can imagine, the cost of repairing bird damage varies; as with many home repairs, it will depend on the amount of damage you have. Many times a contractor is able to make a small repair by patching up the damaged area, but only if the damage is caught soon enough. Oftentimes homeowners don’t realize they have a real problem on their hands until there is significant damage. Trust us—we’ve had to replace siding, insulation and entire deck beams if you can imagine it.
If the situation is ongoing we can install a piece of tin or mesh wire over the area to keep birds out. If the birds have moved on and the situation is no longer ongoing, it makes things a bit easier. Be aware that some species are protected and tampering with their nest or eggs can be grounds for a penalty or fine. So check your local area to make sure you aren’t breaking any laws by hiring a contractor to help with your problem.
We can repair corner boards, shingles, and siding. Siding does become a little trickier as the materials are longer (sometimes as long as 16 feet), but if the damage is minimal it’s possible that a repair can be done instead of a replacement. Cost depends on a combination of factors, but repairing bird damage can start from around $450.00 and upward. Examples of things that can affect cost include:
The best way to determine cost is to book an estimate with the contractor of your choosing. If a contractor is insistent on giving you a price over the phone without looking at or seeing your specific situation, be wary. In a situation like this, your contractor should want to see the property for themselves to determine which materials will need to be used and if an extensive replacement will need to be done. Hiring a dependable and honest contractor can be tricky; if you have concerns about what to look out for when hiring a contractor, read our post on 9 Warning Signs That You’re Dealing with a Bad Contractor.
If you think you might have a bird issue and would like us to take a look, give us a call at 541-204-8779 or visit us online. You can book a free, contactless quote with us by filling out our online contact form. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have and our quotes are always free of charge!