Facility Dude

Is your building maintenance strategy for the birds?

By Emma Finch
Dec 26, 2014

Facilities Management

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How to keep birds away from your facility this spring All facilities, whether they're a bustling corporate hub in a major urban center or a small independent operation in a more rural area, have one thing in common - birds. These avian acrobats are as much a part of the landscape of a building as the trees or grass, so ubiquitous many people don't even notice them on a daily basis. But if you're a facility manager, you shouldn't let the presence of feathered friends slip off your radar.

If you're not careful, birds can cause damage to your building over time, resulting in costly repairs and building maintenance that may have otherwise been avoided. Here are some things to keep in mind to help prevent airborne annoyances.

How birds can be a problem

They may seem harmless, but birds can slowly peck away at the health of your building. And it isn't just your facility's health that can suffer - as The Municipal pointed out, birds can be vectors for disease. Not only are the birds themselves a potential health hazard, but their feathers and droppings can also lead to sickness for those who come into contact with them. Additionally, birds can carry parasites that pose health risks for people.

And of course, if your facility has a bird problem, it can also impact both the overall presentation of the building and its property value as well.

How you can manage your facility's bird issues

Unfortunately, when it comes to dealing with a potential bird problem, the solutions aren't as straightforward as you may originally suspect. The Municipal noted that most states curate an extensive list of protected bird species - which means that getting rid of them isn't as simple as setting some traps like you would for other pests.

Instead, the solution lies with convincing birds to fly the coop  - and keeping them from coming back. Birds are easily startled, so if you know where they're nesting it's a simple matter to scare them away - the problem comes in keeping them away.

Prevention is a multi-level process that can and should involve not just the facility manager, but occupants as well. One of the biggest and simplest preventive measures, according to FacilitiesNet, is to ensure building occupants aren't feeding any birds they see. Providing food to your facility's feathered denizens is a surefire way to make sure they don't leave. If your facility is a restaurant, grocery store or other building where food garbage is likely to accumulate outside, make sure it's emptied regularly and kept covered to reduce the chance that birds will flock to your dumpsters. Additionally, encourage tenants to keep doors and windows closed, unless they're covered by a screen. Especially in the winter months, birds can be wont to wander into an open door, which can result in a costly indoor bird problem.

To really address the issue, facility managers must also seek out possible roosting areas and make them unsuitable for birds to nest. FacilitiesNet noted that there are many defensive fixtures, ranging from roof spikes to adhesive surfaces, that are designed to remove roosting options.

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