All buildings will go through several stages of damage throughout their lifetime. Damage to your building can be caused by a vast number of things such as the lack of regular maintenance, accidental damage, ageing, corrosion and weathering. However, did you know that your building can be damaged by animals too? Insects, birds and other wildlife can certainly be trouble causers when it comes to your building’s appearance.
Which animals can cause damage to your building and what are the key signs to look out for?
Birds are possibly one of the biggest culprits that can cause damage to your building. There are two main reasons why they can be detrimental to a building, the first and most common reason is nesting. Especially in the spring, birds will take full advantage of your open gutters and begin to create nests in them. Often, they are not visibly noticeable but it is the consequential damages that are harmful to your building. If the gutters are clogged with a birds’ nest, water cannot be drained properly. This could then lead to leaks and stagnant water being left in the gutter which can cause serious damage and corrosion to the gutter systems on your building.
Another way in which our feathered friends can cause damage to your building is by ruining the façade to your building through their droppings. It might seem strange, but bird poo can be very harmful to the unit’s appearance. Bird droppings can corrode the paint from the surface of the unit, leaving a patched exterior which is very unappealing to the public. Uric acid in the bird’s droppings can cause this damage instantly and paint is no match against this acid, it will simply wear away leaving an unsightly and unprotective face. If left untreated, the uric acid can even start to corrode the cladding, which can then lead to holes and cracks.
A squirrel’s excellent ability to climb can be a major hurdle in the upkeep of your building. Squirrels often use a building’s drainpipes and guttering to get to the roof to create a home for themselves away from other predatory animals. Once they have nested onto your roof, they can damage it with their teeth and claws, creating cracks and holes. As a result, these cracks and holes in your roof can cause leaks which will eventually cause corrosion on your roof.
Their gateway to their newly formed home – your drainpipes, will also become a victim of damage through their teeth and claws. The paint on these pipes will eventually wear away and cracks can occur. Not only do these animals damage the appearance of your building but they can also be noisy pests, which can often be heard inside the building – a very unpleasant and distracting noise for both employees and customers.
3. Bees & Wasps
Bees and wasps are another nesting culprit that can cause damage to your building. They are small enough to get into the gaps in your walls and roof to build hives. Having bees or wasps in your walls or roof can cause the area around them to expand which as a result, can cause the wall or roof to collapse. The opening of the cladding also means the unit is far less protected and exposed to corrosion and further damages.
Bees can also cause internal issues with noise disruption – as the hive grows, so will the noise from the growing number of bees. In some cases, if the bees are producing honey, this can seep through the cracks and the holes in the unit which can begin to enter the interior of the building. If left uncleaned, the honey produced by the bees can cause further pest damage with ants.
Open gaps or holes in your walls can attract rats and mice. Rodents are prone to burrowing inside the walls, especially in the winter months to keep warm. They often nibble the cladding on buildings to create more space for them to live, which of course can cause serious damage to your building. If the rats eat into the cladding too much, they can make their way through to the inside of the building which as a result, can make the structure of the building unsturdy and increase the chance of wall crumbling.
Woodworm can be a particular annoyance to buildings that have wooden façades or interiors such as; windowsills, beams, door frames, etc. Woodworm is often a term used to describe any wood-boring insect that attacks wood and timber. They’re not often visible creatures but their impairments certainly are. They eat away at the wood and timber slowly, which can cause structural damage to your unit and if left untreated can break down the wooden elements of your building, causing it to become unstable.
The decay that woodworm causes can also produce unsightly holes in the façade and as a result, these holes can increase the chances of corrosion through weathering.
Animals and insects are quite often a forgotten cause of building damage and it is surprising how much damage to your building they can do. With our extensive range of protective services, we can help you take preventative action against these pests with our specialist coating applications. Contact us today for free, no-obligation advice.