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Historic Preservation - Technical Procedures

Spectitle:

Removing Bird Excrement From Masonry Buildings

Procedure code:

0451002R

Source:

Pres Notebook Series - Mones/Keeping It Clean - Grimmer

Division:

Masonry

Section:

Masonry Cleaning

Last Modified:

11/25/2013

Details:

Removing Bird Excrement From Masonry Buildings



REMOVING BIRD EXCREMENT FROM MASONRY BUILDINGS


PART 1---GENERAL

1.01 SUMMARY

    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

         3.   Submittals

         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).


PART 2---PRODUCTS

2.01 MATERIALS

    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
              granite.

    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.

2.02 EQUIPMENT

    A.   Stiff bristle brush (non-metallic)

    B.   Wooden scraper

    C.   Garden hose


PART 3---EXECUTION

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
    TOXIC GASES.

    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
         wooden scraper.

         NOTE:  FOR EXCESSIVE AMOUNTS OF DROPPINGS, APPLY WATER
         PRESSURE FROM A SAFE DISTANCE AND DO NOT ATTEMPT TOTAL
         REMOVAL.

    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
 


bird excrement, guano, bird debris