Informational Guide

Can You Use A Gutter Guard To Stop Birds?

We talk about bird proofing your roof and explain whether using a gutter guard to stop birds from nesting is a thing or not.

by Josh Mitchell

Gutters are important for maintaining your home, and people often take steps to guard against common issues, like leaves, sticks, and excess water. What people don’t always realize is the strain that animals and wildlife can have on them.  

It’s becoming increasingly common for birds to nest in gutters. This is generally because there are fewer trees in an area, making this a bigger issue in towns and cities. Birds nesting in your gutters can cause you serious issues, and it’s important to take preventative measures.  

This guide will help to give more information about bird proofing your roof and explain whether using a gutter guard to stop birds from nesting is a thing or not.  

  • Clogged Gutters 
    Birds tend to nest in the corners of the gutters where there’s plenty of fresh water, and it's a good height to spot predators. Nests are literally made up of leaves, sticks, and other debris you want to keep out of your gutter. If you allow birds to nest, it will clog your gutter, which can stop rainwater draining correctly, and this can lead to structural damage to your roof.  
  • Gutter Leaks  
    Birds, and the debris they bring in, can damage the gutters and cause leaks. They will often build their nests over downspouts so water can’t flow down and spills over the side rather than going to the drains as intended. In heavy rain conditions, this can cause damage all over your home 
  • Sagging Gutters 
    Gutters are designed to deal primarily with water, and the added weight of the nests in your gutters can damage them and make them sag. This means that the water won’t flow correctly and impacts the overall performance of your gutters.  
  • Acidic Droppings 
    In large enough quantities, bird droppings are actually acidic due to the high concentration of uric acid. This can weaken your roof and even cause shingles to disintegrate, which can lead to leaks and other damage that is expensive to repair.  
  • Compromised Chimneys/Roof Damage
    If left unchecked, birds will continue to expand their nests until it spreads onto your roof. This can lead to more widespread damage. They may even start building nests in your chimney, which can impede the airflow and lead to smoke or carbon monoxide poisoning.  
What Damages Can Birds Cause To Your Roof

Can You Use A Gutter Guard To Stop Birds Nesting On Your Roof?  

Yes, gutter guards will help keep birds off your gutters because they physically stop them from settling. Most gutter guards will prevent them from accessing the water in the gutters entirely, and others will limit them to very small holes they can only fit their beaks through.

Without easy access to fresh water to bathe and drink from, they are unlikely to set up a nest, and without any physical space to set up a nest, they’ll find somewhere else.  

Gutter guards are one of the most effective ways of stopping birds nesting on your roof, and they have the added benefit of protecting your gutters from other debris and blockers.  


How To Bird Proof Your Roof? Ways to Keep Birds Off Your Gutters

Install gutter guards  

Gutter guards are the best way to protect your gutters from birds and have been proven to be really effective. You first need to choose your gutter guard, and there’s a variety of options to choose from, and follow the installation instructions.

The majority of gutter guards can just be snapped in or slid in, but there are sometimes a few screws or nuts and bolts. Make sure you have a sturdy ladder so you can carry out your work safely.  

Aluminum gutter covers  

A screen can be placed over the gutter to completely limit the bird's access to the gutter. These are effective but can impact the flow of water into your gutter. All you need to do is measure your gutters, find the right size cover and slide it on top.  

Fix gaps in roof 

Birds will look for opportunities to nest in the gaps in your roof because it provides a lot of shelter and security. Fixing any gaps will help stop birds from nesting and make it less likely they build a home in your gutter. For small gaps, you can probably use filler, but for larger openings, you may need professional help.  

Remove sources of food 

Birds nest near reliable food sources. If there are bird feeders nearby, then consider moving them further away from your roof and gutters.  

Bird repellent/spikes 

Bird spikes are little plastic ridges on top of a plastic sheet that slides over the top of your gutter. They make it uncomfortable for birds to land, making them much less likely to build nests in the area.  

Install fake predators  

You can install small models or images of fake predators to discourage birds from nesting there in the first place. Owls and hawks can be really effective, but you can even put snakes up there.

These fake predators will make the area seem unsafe, and birds will likely avoid it. Make sure these are installed somewhere really obvious so all the birds in the area can see them. 

Bird Decoys 

Fake birds, or a floating kite shaped like a bird, can also discourage birds from coming near your roof or gutters. This is particularly effective at stopping starlings and pigeons from nesting in your gutters.  

Sound technology  

Birds' hearing predominantly works on a different frequency to us, so you can use ultrasonic technology to emit a high-frequency pitch that we can't hear but which frightens them off. 

These sound systems can be installed on your roof but make sure you read all the instructions so that you aren’t impacting other animals in the area.  

How To Bird Proof Your Roof

How to Get Rid of the Bird’s Nest From Your Roof Safely

If you’re too late and you’ve already got a bird's nest in your roof, then you need to remove it. However, many species of birds are actually protected, and you need to be careful you don't break the law. You’ll need to follow these steps: 

  • 1
    Check The Activity Of The Nest 
    Check to see if the next is active. Ideally, you'll catch it before it's fully built, but if not, then you should watch to see if birds are coming and going to determine if it’s active.  
  • 2
    Check For Eggs 
    Climb up your ladder and carefully check the nest for eggs. If there are eggs in there, then you can't move it, and you'll have to wait until they're hatched. Try not to disrupt the nest because this can lead to the eggs being abandoned by the parents.  
  • 3
    Wait Until After Nesting Season 
    Most birds will only nest once a year, though some species will do it more frequently. These nesting seasons can stretch anywhere from 2 to 10 weeks, and you’ll just have to monitor it to determine when they're finished. As soon as the nest becomes inactive, you should get up there and remove all the debris from the nest.  It can be a bit of a legal minefield when it comes to bird's nests, and in most cases, you just have to wait once they're up there, no matter what it's doing to your gutters. Take preventative measures wherever you can to avoid this headache.  
How To Get Rid Of The Bird’s Nest From Your Roof Safely

People also Ask (FAQs)

Why are birds in my gutters? 

Birds generally nest in gutters because they give a high vantage point and a supply of fresh water. This is more common in areas with fewer trees.  

Will a gutter brush stop birds? 

Yes, the hard bristles should prevent birds from landing comfortably and setting up a nest.  

Can birds build nests under gutter guard? 

No. Most birds won’t be able to get under the gutter guard, so it's extremely unlikely they can nest down there.  

Do gutter splash guards help to keep birds out? 

Gutter splash guards can prevent some birds from nesting because they seal off the corners near your roof, but they aren’t the most effective way to keep birds off your roof. Full gutter guards are generally more effective 


Conclusion

If you allow birds to nest in your gutters, it can cause many issues that could be expensive to fix. It’s challenging to remove nests once they're there, so the best option is to take preventative measures.  

Gutter guards are one of the best ways to prevent birds from nesting in your gutters, and they have the added bonus of helping to keep all debris out. If you live in an area where birds often nest in gutters, or your neighbors are having problems, then you should consider investing in a new gutter guard.   

Josh enjoys researching, testing and diving into home improvement & DIY products. He has a passion for tools, learning new skills and fixing the everyday problems that arise around the house.

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