One of the most popular questions we receive here at Pest-Tech is “how much does pigeon proofing solar panels cost?” so we’ve put together this in-depth guide to answer all your biggest questions.
Solar panels are a brilliant investment for your property, but unfortunately, they can be ruined by pigeons. We offer expert bird proofing solar panel services to prevent the damage they cause and keep your solar panels in perfect working order for years to come.
Do I Need to Pigeon Proof my Solar Panels?
Absolutely. Solar panels are expensive, so what’s the use of having them installed only to find that months down the line, they are no longer effective, thanks to pesky pigeons!
Solar panels provide a perfect environment for pigeons and other birds. They are high up on roofs where pigeons like to perch anyway, they provide shelter from the elements and predators, and they’re a perfect location to make a nest and raise young; making them incredibly vulnerable to pigeon infestations.
Contact us today if you’ve noticed signs of pigeons nesting under your solar panels. We offer our pigeon proofing services in Maidstone and across the whole county of Kent.
How do Pigeons damage Solar Panels?
Surely pigeons can’t cause that much damage, right? Wrong. Let’s take a look at the different ways in which pigeons can damage solar panels.
When pigeons decide to make your solar panels their new home, they will begin to build their nests. Large amounts of sticks, twigs, leaves and other nesting materials will end up covering your roof. As the wind blows or rain pours, these materials are blown into your gutters, causing blockages that may require expensive repair jobs. As well as nesting materials, it isn’t uncommon for baby pigeons or eggs to fall from the nest, resulting in an extremely unpleasant cleanup job in your garden below.
Pigeons are most active during dawn and dusk. Unfortunately for you, this means that their cooing and calls are likely to travel through the roof and wake you up during the early hours of the morning.
Some feral pigeons are unfortunate enough to carry their own parasites. The most common being bird mites. If the pigeons nesting under your solar panels are carrying bird mites or other pests, they can easily transfer from the pigeons into your home, resulting in further pest infestations for you to worry about!
More commonly referred to as bird poo, guano can cause an unsightly mess across your roof, gutters, windows, and the ground below. Bird droppings are incredibly slippery, resulting in a health and safety hazard on the floor beneath. If the pigeons defecate over the solar panels themselves, they can block the sun’s rays and render your panels ineffective.
As well as this, bird droppings are known to spread diseases and infections. Bird poo can contain over 60 different types of bacteria known to cause potentially life-threatening conditions. Plus, as if this wasn’t enough, bird droppings are also highly acidic. If left in the same place to build up over extended periods of time, bird droppings can cause structural damage to your roof and even take off the paintwork on your car parked below.
Will Pigeon Proofing Affect My Warranty?
When pigeon proofing is carried out correctly, your solar panel’s warranty will not be affected. Unfortunately, we have attended many pigeon proofing jobs where an inexperienced technician has used the wrong treatment method and had to drill into the panels to secure them in place.
Drilling into your solar panels will negate your warranty. This is why, here at Pest-Tech, we will never drill into or damage your solar panels when carrying out the pigeon proofing treatment.
How to Pigeon Proof Solar Panels
There are several methods that can be used to stop pigeons under solar panels, each with varying degrees of efficacy. Before we carry out a pigeon proofing job, we will discuss the pros and cons of each treatment with the client.
One method is using strips of bird guards around the perimeter of the panels. Although, from our experience of conducting over 600 solar panel pigeon proofing jobs, this is our least favourite method. Glueing the strips into place can become extremely messy, and if for any reason they need removing in the future, it can be challenging.
Bird spikes can also be used; however, we believe they are an outdated form of treatment. They don’t provide the longevity needed to keep your solar panels pigeon-free for the future. In addition, the installation process increases the risk of damaging the panels and therefore negating their warranty.
We have also visited properties and seen gutter brushes used in an attempt to pigeon proof solar panels. Unfortunately, this is never an option as birds will destroy the brushes and use them for nesting material.
At Pest-Tech, our preferred method of pigeon proofing solar panels is to fit a bird mesh barrier around the outside of all panels using solar clips. We carefully overlap the corners of the mesh to ensure no gaps remain, thereby removing all potential access points for pigeons. Unfortunately, some solar panels do not have the lip required for such clips; however, we have designed our own eye-bolt clamps to get around this problem and allow us to fit mesh to all types of solar panels securely.
Breakdown of Costs Involved when Pigeon Proofing Solar Panels
To understand how much a pigeon proofing solar panel job will cost, it’s essential to know everything that’s involved in the process.
Material costs are unavoidable, yet every set of solar panels is unique, which means the cost of mesh to cover their perimeter will vary from property to property. Our standard materials are offered in a solar pack that covers up to 30m and comprises high quality, durable bird mesh and the clips required to secure them in place.
Generally, our material costs for pigeon proofing solar panels are estimated at around £200. While other pest control providers may suggest they can source the materials for a lower price, you will end up with substandard materials that simply won’t last. If you’re paying for the job to be completed, you’ll want it to last a lifetime and stand up to the elements.
You can have confidence in our materials as the mesh we use is thick and robust, as are the fixings. Thin plastic clips will go brittle and snap in no time at all, resulting in the mesh moving and access points opening up to pigeons.
We will give you an accurate quote for material costing when we carry out our survey of the property.
Once materials are sorted, the next cost to consider is labour. Typically, we allocate a day to do the job as we never know what problems we will encounter or how easy the access is to complete the job.
As solar panels are obviously located on the roof of your property, the job will involve working at height. Therefore, there will always be two people on-site to cover our safe working practices for working at height.
Once the safety plan is in place, we will begin by removing all pigeons and nesting materials, ensuring a clean surface to work with. Then we will start to fit your bespoke mesh barrier to the solar panels, ensuring all corners are overlapped and wired together to provide extra strength.
While up on the roof, we will also ensure your gutters are flowing freely, and all debris has been removed. Our typical day rate per person for this type of work is £220 as this covers all necessary business costs.
Following the above costs for labour and materials, there can be some variation in the overall cost due to the methods used to access the solar panels safely.
In order to evaluate the best method, we conduct a free survey of your property and carry out a risk assessment for the task. During the survey, we will look to answer the following questions:
- Is there access to the roof?
- How steep is the pitch of the roof?
- How close are the solar panels?
- Can I safely access the roof with a roof ladder?
- What anchor points do I have for working off of ropes and harnesses?
- If not safe by rope and harness, is there access for a mobile platform?
- Is scaffolding required?
Answers to the above list could add extra costs to the job. For most of our pigeon proofing solar panels jobs we utilise ropes and harnesses, as they are the cheapest method. However, this isn’t possible in some scenarios and would not be safe. Therefore a platform or scaffolding may be required. An accurate cost will be provided to you following the survey once a treatment plan is in place.
A mobile platform requires space and firm level ground. If the conditions are suitable, then platforms are a brilliant solution for gaining access to those hard to reach places. Typically, using a standard 21m platform would cost around £300. Our technicians are IPAF qualified, meaning we can operate the platform ourselves, which helps to keep the costs down further.
If a mobile platform cannot fit onto your property safely, say you have a steep driveway or limited access to the rear of the home, then scaffolding is the best option. Scaffolding costs will depend on the size of your property. However, we have a very reasonable scaffolder we have worked with previously. The scaffolder will provide a quote for each property, with prices typically ranging from £250 to £500.
The Cost of Professional Pigeon Proofing Solar Panels
Overall, when it comes to pigeon proofing your solar panels, it’s vital to find a pest control provider with the experience and knowledge to complete the job correctly – like Pest-Tech.
Opting for cheaper options always means a reduction in quality. But with Pest-Tech, you can be confident knowing the materials used are of the highest quality. With years of experience in pigeon proofing solar panels in Maidstone, Kent and the South East, you can rest assured that we’ve got you covered.
As previously mentioned, each job is entirely unique, meaning we cannot give an actual price without conducting a survey first. However, to give you an average based on everything mentioned above, you could expect it to cost between £600 to £900. Remember this is a conservative estimate, and the cost will vary from property to property.
If you want your solar panels to stay pigeon-free for the foreseeable, without negating their warranty, contact us today on 01622 296055 for your free survey and consultation.