Solar Panel Bird Proofing
Why do rooftop solar panels need protecting from birds?
There are over one million houses and office buildings in the UK with rooftop solar panels. Solar panel bird proofing is necessary because the area below the panels is the perfect space for birds to roost and nest because it provides year-round shelter from the weather and predators. However birds pushing underneath the solar panels can cause damage to the panels and fixings which may void the manufacturer’s warranty and incur long term, avoidable maintenance costs.
Once birds have moved in they create a build-up of nesting materials, feathers and droppings which can block light from reaching parts of a panel and preventing the current from flowing efficiently. This creates an extreme temperature increase resulting in a ‘hotspot’ which lowers the power output of the whole panel, reducing its effectiveness.
What other problems are caused by birds roosting and nesting on a roof?
- Nesting birds and their young are noisy.
- Large amounts of droppings smell unpleasant and make a building look unsightly.
- The droppings contain pathogens and bacteria which can cause very serious illness if breathed in (once dried) or ingested.
- Pigeon droppings are acidic which can corrode and erode brickwork, metalwork and stonework.
- Birds’ nests have mites, ticks, fleas and beetles which can find their way into the building.
- Nesting materials, feathers and droppings can block gutters and drains.
- Gulls can be aggressive to people, particularly in spring and summer when they breed and raise their young.
- Birds use the cabling under the solar panels to build nests. The weight of the nests can pull the cables out, stopping them working and causing damage.
Why is solar panel bird proofing the most effective solution?
Preventing pigeons and gulls from accessing the area under and around rooftop solar panels is easier than culling them and removing the mess and debris they make. It’s against the law to disturb eggs, nests or their young so this can only be done once the breeding season is over. Pigeons are exempt from this legislation as they are legally considered a ‘pest species’ so we can remove their nests year-round.
Birds will continue to use an area unless they are deterred. Pigeons are particular about where they roost and nest and will be determined to return. Long term, birds are learning that the area below solar panels provide a nice place to roost and nest so will seek them out. Over time they will pass this behaviour down to their offspring so it will be an ongoing problem for any solar panels.
How to protect solar panels from birds
- Deter birds from landing on or near solar panels by using a repellent gel.
- Prevent birds from pushing underneath solar panels by fitting mesh using specially designed clips around the sides of the panels or installing Solar-Guard Spikes.
- Proof anything on the roof which birds can perch on by installing anti-perch spikes.
Bird Free repellent gel is a harmless, unobtrusive and humane method of deterring all types of birds. It creates a glow similar to shimmering fire whilst emitting a pungent odour which together cause an aversion response in birds. Our technicians place the gel around the rooftop solar panels to protect them from pigeons and gulls.
Left undisturbed the gel remains completely effective for two years, even in the most exposed and polluted environment, without maintenance. The cost will vary depending on the size of the area that needs to be treated.
Mesh and clip system for solar panels
Professionally installed mesh with clips designed specifically for use with solar panels is a proven and effective way of stopping birds from accessing the area below the panels. Strips of the mesh are fastened under the lip of each side of the solar panels. The mesh is curved onto the roof to improve its rigidity and prevent leaves from gathering. Ventilation remains unaffected so the panels can function efficiently. Correctly installed, the mesh will not compromise the manufacturer’s warranty.
Solar-Guard Spikes are used if the solar panels do not have a suitable frame with a lip underneath to attach mesh e.g. older solar panels or those manufactured by Hitachi. This may also be the only approved method of proofing the panels if they have been leased rather than purchased by the homeowner e.g. solar panels owned by the company ‘A Shade Greener’ are recommended to be proofed by this method.
The adjustable metal spikes are attached to the side of the solar panels with a super strong adhesive called ‘Soudal Fix All’. The spikes are then pushed down so that they fit exactly against the roof tiles.
During the proofing works, our technicians will remove any nests and live birds from under the solar panels. However, they will leave nests in place if it is unsafe to remove them without damaging the wiring or the panel, and spray them with biocide.
Anti-perch spikes can be installed on anything on a roof which birds can use to perch such as chimneys, lights, guttering and tv aerials..
Professional installation is recommended
PEST UK’s technicians are experienced in using roofing ladders. They have the correct equipment and training to work safely and effectively on most roofs. We have technicians who are PASMA certified to build scaffolding if required. We have technicians who are trained to drive and operate mobile work platforms (cherry pickers) if required.
Our technicians have been fully trained to install solar panel mesh, bird spikes and Bird Free repellent gel.
The pictures below show our technicians installing mesh to protect solar panels from birds on a commercial building.
The price to install solar panel proofing varies depending on how many panels there are and access to the roof. We can usually provide a quote from photos sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
- We guarantee the materials we use – mesh, spikes or Solar-Guard Spikes – for 1-year.
- Bird Free repellent gel is not a guaranteed treatment to deter birds.
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