Does your vehicle have the occasional bird droppings? Why is it that bird droppings do such a number on your vehicles paint job? Learn about why bird droppings can be so damaging to your vehicles paint job but, how you can avoid this issue.
According to car care product specialists Autoglym, however, damage actually results from cooling paint lacquer which contracts and hardens around the deposits. The good news is that damage can usually be avoided – but only if owners act fast.
The firm’s researchers say that when paint lacquer warms – in sunlight, for instance – it softens and expands. At the same time, the heat dries and hardens any bird droppings on the surface. But as the paint lacquer cools again, such as overnight, it contracts, hardens and moulds itself around the texture of the bird dropping.
Afterwards, the “moulding” appears as dulled or etched paintwork. The light’s reflection is interrupted by the imperfect surface, unlike the undamaged surrounding paint which gives off a clearer reflection.
To test its theory, Autoglym attacked paintwork with strongly acidic, neutral and strongly alkali bird dropping substitutes, with negligible differences in the damage caused. However, differences in paint damage were noted when the substitute bird deposits had varying degrees of grain-to-liquid content. A grainier texture caused greater light distortion (dullness) when the paint moulded around it.
The firm claims that wax and polish treatments – intended to protect against chemical attack from acid raid and UV sun damage – provide limited protection from the paint moulding to bird droppings, although they make them easier to remove. The longer the deposit remains on the bodywork, however, and the higher the temperatures, the harder the dried deposit will be, and the greater the propensity for the paint lacquer to mould to it as it cools.
Bird dropping damage can only be prevented by motorists remaining vigilant and removing the deposit as soon as possible, says the firm. Motorists should use a moist cloth to gently remove the deposit. If it is dry or won’t come off easily, it should be left under a moist cloth for 10 minutes. The cloth should be disposed off – and hands carefully washed, as bird lime can harbor disease.”