Removing Bird Excrement From Masonry Buildings
- Procedure code:
- Pres Notebook Series - Mones/Keeping It Clean - Grimmer
- Masonry Cleaning
- Last Modified:
REMOVING BIRD EXCREMENT FROM MASONRY BUILDINGS
A. This procedure includes guidance on removing small
quantities of bird excrement from masonry.
CAUTION: EXPOSURE TO ACCUMULATIONS OF PIGEON EXCREMENT AND ITS AIRBOURNE DUST
CAN LEAD TO POTENTIALLY FATAL DISEASES OF THE LUNGS AND
CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM SUCH AS HISTOPLASMOSIS AND
CRYPTOCOCCOSIS. IT IS IMPORTANT TO FOLLOW THE SAFETY
PRECAUTIONS OUTLINED IN SECTION 1.02 B. BELOW WHEN DOING
THIS TYPE OF WORK. REVIEW CURRENT HEALTH SAFETY ADVISORIES ON THIS MATTER.
B. Safety Precautions:
1. All personnel must wear a National Institute for
Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) approved
full face respirator with a high efficiency
particulate air (HEPA) filter for screening
particles of 0.3 micron size. Dust and particle
masks are not appropriate.
2. Respirators must be used in accordance with current OSHA
regulations and GSA policy relevant to this condition and work.
This includes fit-testing of respirators, maintenance, training,
storage requirements, disposal of the debris, and other relevant topics.
3. All personnel must wear protective coveralls,
gloves, boots, and hats.
4. Prior to removal, all excrement must be saturated
with water under low pressure to prevent debris
from becoming airborne.
5. On historic structures, only non-metallic tools
(such as plastic spatulas and brushes with natural
fiber or nylon bristles, or their equivalent) must
be used to remove the excrement.
6. Removed excrement must be collected in plastic
bags, sealed, and disposed at a sanitary landfill.
7. All work must be performed from the outside of the
building. Building occupants and the general
public must be kept clear of the work site during
all operations. It is the cleaning personnel's
responsibility to provide all barricades, signage,
etc. necessary for public protection.
C. See 01100-07-S for general project guidelines to be
reviewed along with this procedure. These guidelines
cover the following sections:
1. Safety Precautions
2. Historic Structures Precautions
4. Quality Assurance
5. Delivery, Storage and Handling
6. Project/Site Conditions
7. Sequencing and Scheduling
8. General Protection (Surface and Surrounding)
These guidelines should be reviewed prior to performing
this procedure and should be followed, when applicable,
along with recommendations from the Regional Historic
Preservation Officer (RHPO).
A. Clean, cold water
B. Chelating agent such as EDTA (ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid)
1. FOR USE ON ACID-SENSITIVE MASONRY
2. Acid-sensitive masonry includes limestone, marble,
calcareous sandstone, glazed brick, sand-lime
brick, architectural terra cotta, and polished
C. Acidic cleaner containing hydrofluoric acid
1. FOR USE ON NON-ACID-SENSITIVE MASONRY
2. Non-acid-sensitive masonry includes sandstone,
slate, granite, unglazed brick, unglazed terra
cotta and concrete.
A. Stiff bristle brush (non-metallic)
B. Wooden scraper
C. Garden hose
3.01 ERECTION, INSTALLATION, APPLICATION
CAUTION: DO NOT USE BLEACH TO REMOVE BIRD EXCREMENT. BIRD
DROPPINGS CONTAIN AMMONIA AND IF MIXED WITH BLEACH CAN FORM
A. Remove heavy crusts and build-up by rinsing the affected
area with cold water from a garden hose and brushing with
a stiff bristle, non-metallic brush or scraping with a
NOTE: FOR EXCESSIVE AMOUNTS OF DROPPINGS, APPLY WATER
PRESSURE FROM A SAFE DISTANCE AND DO NOT ATTEMPT TOTAL
B. For remaining residue, scrub the surface using a stiff
bristle, non-metallic brush, a detergent or chelating
agent (for acid-sensitive masonry) or acidic cleaner
containing hydrofluoric acid (for non-acid-sensitive
masonry) and clean, clear water.
C. Allow the cleaner to stand on the surface for
approximately 1 hour or as recommended by manufacturer.
D. Thoroughly rinse the surface with clean, clear water and
allow to dry.
END OF SECTION