Protecting your business from nesting seagulls

It’s that time of year again to start thinking about protecting your commercial property from nesting seagulls.

From April until July seagulls find a place to nest and they are their most aggressive whilst they are protecting their young.

Gulls can play havoc with your roof by picking away at roof materials and they can also nest in areas designed for rain water run-off or gas flues, leading to substantial damage to your roof.

That’s why it’s so important to think about protecting your commercial property and taking preventative measures from nesting seagulls.

It’s during this time of year that commercial roofing companies install preventative measures for minimising the damage and roofing issues associated with nesting seagulls.

If your commercial property is typically affected by seagulls during the nesting season, this article will provide you with guidance for minimising the impact seagulls have on your commercial roof. In short, our advice is to get in there early and put preventative measures in place.

Nesting seagulls are a concern for both seaside towns and inner cities

Nesting seagulls

It was once thought that seagulls only laid nests in seaside and coastal towns. However, seagulls are moving away from these traditional seaside environments towards towns and cities across the UK. The reason for this is that food supplies can be more easily found in cities and towns.

Cities are more populated resulting in more street litter. Some cities don’t even have wheelie bins, but only black plastic bags with waste food, which are perfect for seagulls to open. So it doesn’t really matter if you are in a seaside town or city, basically any commercial or domestic property is at risk of nesting seagulls – and that means your business too.

Gulls usually look to nest in the highest point of your roof, usually at the ridge and also on flat roofs and the key months for mating and nesting are from April until July.

Seagulls can start identifying nesting areas as early as February, so take preventative measures now to stop the gulls in their tracks.

Before you do anything, be aware of protective legislation

So what happens if you do find yourself with a seagulls nest on your roof – what can you do?

Probably not as much as you would like to do – that’s why taking preventative measures really does pay off. The fact is that seagulls and their nests are actually protected by law – The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Once eggs are laid, it is a criminal offence to poison, kill and remove or destroy seagull eggs and their nests. Doing so can result in a fine and/or prison sentence – and it certainly isn’t worth that.

There are certain exceptions known as “General Licenses” and they deal with varying issues. Some local authorities can also help, but our advice is to take preventative measures now rather than deal with a problem like this later on, as it becomes more complex with legalities involved.

The negative impact of seagulls on your commercial property

For many commercial property owners and tenants, seagulls can be a headache, causing the following common challenges and problems:

  • They pick at roofing materials, causing damage to your roof, which can be costly to repair.
  • Nests can block outlets and guttering, restricting the flow of water and resulting in an overflow.
  • Debris from the gulls can block gutters and prevent the flow of water.
  • Droppings cause a lot of mess around the building and can also block your guttering.
  • Gulls are noisiest during the nesting season from April to July, which results in unwanted noisy neighbours!
  • Seagulls are known to swoop down on people near their nests and can cause injuries.

What can you do about nesting seagulls?

Prevention is better than a cure and it is advised not to disrupt them during the nesting period and seek expert advice from a professional roofing company.

Our advice is to get it in early and take preventative measures to stop the gulls nesting in your roof. If you are able to prevent the seagulls from landing on these areas then you may be able to prevent nesting all together.

Earlier in this article I mentioned that gulls are attracted to areas where they can get food from. You can therefore minimise the impact of seagulls by making sure your business premises are kept clean and tidy. Consider using wheelie bins and/or gull-proof sacks – this is particularly relevant if your business is in the food industry.

You should also think about regular maintenance from a reputable company you can trust. For example, we carry out three site visits in the nesting season and can help with any issues related to nesting seagulls. Our aim is always to make your roof is safe, so you can gain access to your building without the hassle and negative impact from nesting gulls – i.e. swooping and noise.

From July onwards we can also clean your roof for you. The mess left from nesting gulls can be quite significant, so it pays to clean up after the nesting period to maintain your roof. This will help save you money on cleaning and maintenance costs going forward, which can be costly if you leave it too long.

Your turn

I know that nesting seagulls can be a real source of frustration for commercial property owners and tenants, and I hope that you have found this information helpful.

  1. What methods are you taking to prevent nesting on your roof?
  2. Have you ever had problems with gulls nesting on your roof before?
  3. Do you have a question about nesting seagulls?

Call Industrial Roofing Scotland today to ask us about nesting seagulls and planned preventative maintenance.

Have a great day,

Jamie.