For years boaters and motorists alike have been advised that the acid content in bird droppings was to blame for unsightly blemishes and patches on their vessel’s paintwork. However, recent studies show that 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.
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 molds itself around the texture of the bird dropping.
Afterwards, the “molding” 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. 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 mold to it as it cools.
As bird droppings become ever more prevalent throughout the summer, boaters must be vigilant to avoid permanent damage. The only way to prevent the paint from becoming noticeably tarnished is to carefully remove deposits as swiftly as possible. By keeping your vessel waxed makes it easier to remove droppings. A product that I recommend for removal is Starbrite Spider & Bird Stain Remover, Part #STA 95 122 – 22 oz. bottle cost is approximately $15.00.