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Cleaning tips to keep homes clean and fresh 

Cleaning Bird Droppings 

 

 Over the last 28 years as a window cleaner, cleaning bird droppings from windows and window sills has probably been one of my greatest bug-bears.

 So I have listed below a few different ways of removing this offending material, as well as some ways of preventing this in the first place.



Traditional Window Cleaning.

 When using traditional window cleaning methods and encountering bird droppings on windows or sills.

  • The best way of cleaning bird droppings is to use an extremely wet strip washer / "T" Bar / Applicator to firstly wet the droppings, which will soften them up and allow them to be removed by further scrubbing and then squeeged off.
    • It is important to use a lot of water, firstly to soften up the deposits.
    • Secondly, to transport the droppings (and any grit contained within them) away from the glass without scratching the glass.
    • Thirdly, to wash the droppings out of the window cleaning tools so they can be re-used instantly.
  • Those that only use shammy leathers and scrim cloths have a more difficult task and will need to over-wet their shammy leather to be able to wet the droppings and thus soften them up, then continue to scrub with the shammy leather before polishing the windows with the scrim cloth.
    • Problems occur with over-wetting the glass which means taking much longer to polish the window and the scrim cloth becoming too damp.
    • Also bird droppings can contaminate both the shammy leather and the scrim cloth meaning that they will need washing out before moving on to the next window. You can see that this can add a considerable amount of time to the cleaning time of the building.
  • Cleaning bird droppings that have dried on to the windows and hardened, can be more difficult, sometimes the only way to remove these stubborn deposits is to use a window scraper.
    • This is a razor sharp blade that is contained in a safety handle.
    • Proper use of this tool will safely remove the bird droppings without scratching the window glass.
    • The glass needs wetting and the blade used in one direction to remove the droppings.
    • Do not use a scrubbing action, as grit contained in the droppings can get caught behind the blade and scratch the glass.
    • Interestingly, even though the blade is very sharp it will not scratch glass on its own, as it is softer than glass, it is grit that scratches glass.

For more Tips check out our Traditional Window Cleaning  page.

Water fed pole window cleaning systems.

When using these systems in cleaning bird droppings, in most cases it is as simple as noticing which windows have bird droppings on and giving them a quick spray with the purified water and leaving for a while for the water to soften up the deposits, then cleaning bird droppings from the windows is simple as they come away with little resistance.
  • If the deposits do not all come away first time, I used to re-wet them and go and clean another window, when I came back the deposits had softened up enough to be removed.
  • I do know that there are special window scrapers that can be fitted to poles to aid in cleaning bird droppings, but I never found the need for these.

 

For more tips check out our Water Fed Pole Window Cleaning  page. 


Bird droppings on window sills.

 It is important to remove these bird droppings from any window sills and     window frames as quickly as possible, because they can burn paint or plastic surfaces and permanenly discolour and damage these surfaces.

 It is easy enough to remove these deposits from ground floor windows, the problem is with the upper floor window sills.

 So it seems to me that prevention is better than cure.

 If it is purely a random dropping from a passing bird there is nothing much you can do about this. But many times the droppings are regular either from bird nests or from where they tend to gather.

 I have listed a few suggestions on how to prevent the build up of these kinds of bird droppings :-

Birds nests -

  • I used to be asked to knock down birds nests to stop the droppings falling on windows, and I used to be willing to do this, until there was young birds in the nest. Then I would not knock the nest down until the birds had left towards the autumn. We did this to discourage the birds returning to that nest the next year.
  • A better way is to discourage the building of birds nests over windows, in the first place. We used to make a rough and ready bird scarer by partly shredding a plastic carrier bag and then pin it in the eaves where the birds would be likely to build their nests.These plastic bags would blow about in the breeze and the birds would simply choose to build their nest somewhere else.It was the flapping of the bag that deterred the birds, the bags did not make much noise.
  • Some people used wind chimes, strategically placed to deter the birds.

 Birds gathering -
Bird control spikes
  • This is only a problem if they are sitting on the edge of gutters or the edge of window ledges.
  • On older buildings, there are various methods of bird control. I used to come across a smelly substance that had been placed on the window ledges that apparently the birds would get on their feet and they really disliked it. So the birds would not return to that window ledge, but the substance was always there and it was not a pretty sight. I haven't seen this substance for sometime.

     
  • Nowadays,the most common form of bird control I see on commercial buildings, they tend to place either metal or plastic spines (like a hedgehog) that make it very difficult for the birds to land on the ledge.
  • I have also found these placed in gutters.
  • I have seen intricate patterns of wires strung over window ledges to control the birds from landing.
  • I have also seen nets placed over window ledges.
  • The most extreme measure of       bird control , I have come across was the use of trained falcons to scare the birds away or even attack them.

 

 

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