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Uncovering the Truth Behind Bird Dropping Damage: Insights from Autoglym

Uncovering the Truth Behind Bird Dropping Damage: Insights from Autoglym
30 May 2024 826 view(s)
Uncovering the Truth Behind Bird Dropping Damage: Insights from Autoglym

As a professional car detailer, you're all too familiar with the pesky problem of bird droppings marring the pristine finish of your clients' vehicles. The conventional wisdom has always blamed the acidic nature of the droppings for this damage, but cutting-edge research from Autoglym has unveiled a different story....

The Real Cause of Paintwork Damage

Autoglym's research shows that the familiar sight of ‘etched’ car bodywork is not due to the corrosive properties of bird droppings. Instead, the damage results from the paint lacquer contracting and molding to the uneven texture of the dried deposits as it cools.

Here's how it works:

  • Phase 1 - Heat Expansion: In direct sunlight, the paint lacquer softens and expands.
  • Phase 2 - Dropping Hardening: Simultaneously, the heat dries and hardens any bird droppings on the surface.
  • Phase 3 - Cooling Contraction: As temperatures drop, particularly overnight, the lacquer cools, contracts, and hardens, molding around the bird droppings. This microscopic molding disrupts light reflection, making the paint appear dulled or etched compared to the undamaged areas.

The Role of Dropping Texture

Autoglym's researchers also tested bird dropping substitutes with various acidity levels and found negligible differences in the damage caused. However, the texture of the droppings did matter. Grainier deposits caused greater light distortion (dullness) when the paint molded around them, highlighting the importance of texture in the damage process.

Protective Measures

The key to preventing damage lies in vigilance, now is the key time to inform your customers of this research and how to safely remove droppings from their vehicles (without resorting to the green scouring pads!)

  • Early Removal: Remove bird droppings as soon as possible.
  • Proper Cleaning: Use a moist cloth, such as Autoglym’s Bird Dropping Wipes, to gently lift the deposit.
  • Soften Dry Deposits: If the deposit is dry or stubborn, place a moist cloth over it for ten minutes to soften it before removal.
  • Hygiene: Dispose of the cloth or wipe immediately and wash your hands thoroughly, as bird droppings can carry diseases.

Expert Advice from Autoglym

Paul Caller, CEO of Autoglym, emphasizes the importance of prompt removal:  “It’s a great shame when an otherwise fabulous-looking car is blighted with a tell-tale patch of dull paint.  As a result of this research by our R&D team in Letchworth, we now understand why bird droppings are a frighteningly potent hazard to bodywork.
“As bird droppings become ever more prevalent through spring and into summer, motorists must be extremely vigilant to avoid permanent damage, especially those who park their cars under trees at home or at work.  The only way to prevent the paint becoming noticeably tarnished is to carefully remove deposits as swiftly as possible.”

By staying informed and equipped with the right products, you can maintain your clients' vehicles in top condition and reinforce your reputation as a detailer who trusts the expertise of Autoglym.

If you are in the business, open a Trade account with Autoglym today to access the best in car care technology, expert advice tailored to your business and award winning vehicle care products delivered to your door. 

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