Pigeon-proofing standard residential solar panels or PV systems can typically cost between £600-£1,000 on average.
But costs can vary depending on factors like roof accessibility, the size of the roof and the number of solar panels installed, whether damage from pigeons already exists, materials and labour.
But there’s no doubt that solar panels are valuable investments for your property which can help you save money and the environment.
However, the sad reality is that they can be damaged and worn more quickly due to the activity of pigeons.
This guide will explore why you need to pigeon-proof your solar panels, how to deter pigeons from your roof, the limitations of pigeon-proofing, and a breakdown of the typical costs involved.
Bird Proofing Solar Panels Key Points:
- Pigeons can damage solar panels and cause a mess.
- They can nest under panels and cause a fire risk.
- Pigeon droppings can reduce solar panel performance.
- Methods for pigeon-proofing solar panels include mesh, spikes, and clips.
- Professional installation is recommended.
- Pigeon-proofing can improve panel performance and reduce maintenance costs.
Why Should You Pigeon Proof Your Solar Panels?
Solar panels provide the perfect conditions for pigeons and other birds to gather and in some cases nest.
Why is this?
They’re high on the roof where pigeons like to perch, can provide shelter from predators and the elements, and are suitable for nesting and raising their young.
However, you should prevent such infestations.
Here’s why it’s important to consider pigeon proofing your roof:
Why Pigeon Proofing Is Important:
Here we cover the major reasons why you should consider pigeon proofing your solar panel system:
Avoid Solar Panel Damage
Pigeons can damage your solar panels’ interior and exterior components and cause them to malfunction.
Pigeons can break MC4 clips that connect wires on the back of the solar panels or even dislodge the wiring completely.
Pigeon faeces are also a major concern, since they can quickly cover the surface of your panels and cause corrosion and structural damage.
Maintain Solar Panel Efficiency
Scratched solar panels covered with dirt, faeces, and other debris will not perform as efficiently as clean panels.
You’ll likely experience a drop in power output and energy production as the panels lose their ability to generate power as well or at all.
Keep Your Roof and Home Clean
Pigeons can cause a mess on your roof and surroundings as feathers, faecal matter, twigs, and leaves build up.
The last thing you want is pigeons settling in on your roof, as the acidic faecal coating will be everywhere, from solar panels to roof tiles, the driveway, and the garden.
You may end up with an unpleasant clean-up job almost every day.
The accumulated mess can also wash into your gutters, cause blockages and lead to additional costs to get your drainpipes unclogged.
Pigeons nesting in your solar panels can cause incessant noise, scratching, scuffling, cooing, and flapping.
They’re also not very light-footed, and you’ll likely hear them walking around, chirping, and causing irritating sounds that result in sleepless nights for you and your family.
Prevent Other Vermin and Pests
Pigeon-proofing your solar panels also prevents other vermin like squirrels that can gnaw through components and parts.
Pigeons also carry parasites like mites that can invade your home. They’re microscopic bugs that hitch rides on pigeons and hop off when they find a decent roof.
They can then go through the roof and into your home, clothes, and furniture.
How To Prevent Pigeons From Your Solar Panels
So, how can you prevent pigeons nesting on your roof and solar panels?
Here are some of the most effective techniques employed:
Use Mesh and Spikes
Installing galvanized steel mesh at the edges of your solar panels is an effective way to prevent pigeons from getting under the gap between your roof and solar panels.
The mesh is fitted securely with wires, clamps, or ties to barricade access to the space beneath your solar panels, making it impenetrable.
The mesh can run around the entire perimeter of the solar panels and won’t interfere with the functioning of the panels or damage your roof.
You can also use anti-roosting spikes attached to any spot on the solar panel where the pigeon is likely to nest or perch.
Set Up Pigeon Deterrents
Lightweight decoys and tactics to scare away pigeons are a cheap and effective way to keep them away from your solar panels.
Pigeons hate birds of prey, and you can set fake plastic owls on your roof to act as deterrents.
Pigeons won’t be able to distinguish between real and fake, helping you scare them away from your panels.
Solar Panel Skirting
A solar skirt involves a sleek edging added around your solar panels to hide gaps and prevent pigeons from getting in through the sides.
It’s usually a premium proofing solution made of aluminium and coated I n matt black powder for a perfect finish that compliments your solar panels.
One of the main reasons pigeons will be attracted to your property is scavenging for food.
Keeping your garden clean, tying up your garbage bags, sealing bins, and storing pet food indoors ensures there’s no fo0d to attract pigeons.
Ensure no leaves or twigs are lying around your compound, which can help pigeons build their nests.
Limitations of Pigeon Proofing
Installing some types of pigeon-proofing like spikes presents the risk of damaging your solar panels and negating the warranty.
Although your warranty will not be affected if pigeon proofing is done correctly, some methods or techniques can easily negate it.
For example, you drill holes into your panels to secure proofing material.
Costs Involved In Pigeon Proofing
Understanding everything involved in the pigeon-proofing process can help determine the project’s total costs.
These costs include the following:
Cost of Materials
Material costs are unavoidable because you must buy the components for proofing, whether mesh, decoys, or spikes.
All solar panels are unique, and the cost to cover the entire perimeter of your array can vary.
Ensure you avoid substandard materials that won’t last. They must be able to withstand the elements and last you a lifetime.
Professionals usually allocate a day or two for the job depending on requirements, the state of your roof or solar panels, and accessibility to complete the job.
Property surveys and risk assessments are usually carried out to determine the roof’s steepness, access, whether scaffolding is required, availability of anchor points, and if nesting materials and pigeons need to be removed.
The suitable method that guarantees safety will affect the total costs. Some roofs may allow ropes and a harness, while others may require scaffolding or a mobile platform.
If pigeons have already settled in, you’ll require the services of a professional pest control company.
They’re usually trained to chase away the birds, clean faeces without damaging your panels, and apply chemicals that kill off parasites and break down excrement.
Pigeon Proofing Solar Panels Final Thoughts
The cost of pigeon-proofing your solar panels is worth it to ensure you protect your investment for years to come.
If you leave the problem untreated or fail to prevent it, you’ll incur higher costs in buying new panels, repairs, or not getting enough clean energy for your home.