A soffit plays a crucial role, keeping moisture from building up in your home and causing damp and stopping water leaks from rotting your roof. It also seals the roof space to prevent birds and rodents from nesting, which, over time, can lead to your roof tiles dislodging and becoming damaged — and that’s not to mention the buildup of droppings in your home. So how can you stop birds from nesting in the soffit itself? We clear up the confusion over what a soffit is, why you don’t want birds nesting in your soffit and what you can do to prevent birds from nesting in the future.
What Is a Soffit?
A soffit board sits beneath the eaves of your roof, closing the gap from the roof to the walls of your home. It is typically surrounded by a fascia, which protects the roof structure and the interior of your home from the elements.
Soffits are also often ventilated to allow air to escape into the roof space. This is crucial to prevent condensation, which can cause long-term problems to your home that are often costly to fix.
Soffits can be a magnet for birds, as they provide a warm, secluded nesting spot. The small overhangs on a property can lead to birds nesting in the soffits, eaves and rafters.
However, this behaviour can lead to long-term problems. Birds may become hostile when homeowners or visitors venture too close, while cracks and weaknesses in the roof may lead to birds venturing inside your property. Aside from the potential health hazards of having birds nesting in your soffit, it can also affect the exterior appearance of your home. Over time, bird droppings can permanently stain your property — the last thing you want is to have a new soffit — or even roof — installed, only to have it ruined by unsightly stains and messy bird nests.
How to Get Birds out of Your Soffit
If you already have a bird’s nest beneath your eaves, it’s important to understand what action you can take. All birds nests are protected by law any many birds are species of conservation concern. This means that it’s a criminal offence to intentionally disturb, damage or destroy an active nest.
Only “authorised persons” are granted a general license by the government to remove bird nests — but only if it poses a threat to public health.
This can leave you in an unfortunate position — so what can you do?
If you want to deter birds from nesting in your soffit, measures should be taken during the winter months when the nests lie empty.
Check your property and clean out and seal any holes or gaps. You can also fix a fine wire mesh over the entrance to the nest so that you see if any birds remain trapped. Then, when you’re sure no birds remain, you can make more permanent repairs.
How to Stop Birds Nesting in a Soffit
So how can you stop birds nesting in your roof? Fortunately, there are preventative measures you can take.
Complete any Necessary Repairs
If birds have been nesting in your soffit, they may have caused damage to your roof and property. To ensure the measures you later put in place are effective — and to ensure safety for you and your family — you must first make sure that there’s no permanent damage to your roof.
Nesting birds can cause roof tiles to become loose. Broken or missing tiles provide easy access for birds and also causes the underlying material that keeps out water to deteriorate, which can lead to water leaks and damp within your home.
You should also check your soffit for any damage. While fascias are hardwearing and won’t bend or warp, these — along with soffits — may have holes poked in them by nesting birds. You may choose to use a sealant to cover these holes or replace your soffit entirely. This isn’t just a practical measure — it’ll also improve the overall appearance of your home’s exterior.
Build a Bird Box for a Soffit
While you don’t want birds nesting in your soffit or roof, you may not be averse to them having a dedicated home. Installing a bird box will naturally deter them from nesting in your property — especially if you are attracting swallows, which tend to make their nests in the eaves. Place your external bird box just beneath the eaves and out of direct sunlight. In the winter, you can take it down and clean it, ready for the birds to return to their home in April the following year. This allows you to enjoy seeing birds come and go without risking damage to your home.
Eliminate Sources of Food
Many birds nest under the eaves and in soffits because they’re attracted to a nearby food source. Taking simple steps like installing netting over your garden, covering or moving any outdoor bins and regularly cleaning your guttering to prevent standing water can all deter birds from your home.
Use a Visual Deterrent
You don’t need to invest in expensive solutions to stop birds nesting in your soffit. Reflective strips or aluminium foil will reflect the sunlight and stop birds from venturing near your home. Hang these from nearby trees and ensure the strips are long enough to freely blow in the wind.
You could also opt for decoy birds and owls. Whether they’re moving or not, a smaller birds won’t approach anything it sees as prey. Now, you can spruce up your garden with decorative wildlife — and keep away the real thing!
Install a Ventilated Soffit
If your home doesn’t have a soffit or it’s looking a bit worse for wear, why not install a new soffit? This will run around your entire roof, sealing it up to prevent access from pesky nesters. The soffits we install at Coastline Windows & Conservatories are fully ventilated to prevent condensation and dry rot within your home and come in a variety of finishes and colours — whether you have a period property or a modern new build, we can install a soffit that perfectly complements your home.
Are you looking to keep birds from nesting in your roof by installing or replacing a soffit? Coastline Windows & Conservatories is the leading installer of fascias, soffits, guttering and more in the South East of England. Get in touch with our friendly team today to receive a free no-obligation quote!