If you love to have different species of birds in your garden, especially during nesting season, you surely have a few birdhouses around your yard. I recently went to my local nursery to look at birdhouses, and I overheard a client asking the following question: “How long do birdhouses last?” I will answer this question and give extra information in this article.
Birdhouses are manufactured to be durable, and their lifespan will differ based on the construction material. Wooden Birdhouses last between 5 to 10 years but can last longer when they are looked after and maintained. Manufacturers of plastic bird houses claim that their products last a lifetime.
A lot of nesting birds have different needs, and you have to choose the most suitable birdhouse for the feathered friends that you want to attract. Birdhouse experts suggest regular maintenance to get the longest lifespan out of your birdhouses. I will share the information and suggestions from the experts in this post.
How Long Do Bird Houses Last?
Birdhouses are manufactured mainly from wood or recycled plastic, and the life expectancy of the birdhouses is dependent on the material that they are manufactured from. Wooden birdhouses will have a life expectancy according to the type of wood and how well the wood does with moisture.
Plastic birdhouses are not as popular as wooden birdhouses, but this material is becoming more popular because it is nearly indestructible. We will look into the life expectancy of each material, starting with birdhouses made of wood.
How Long Do Bird Houses Made from Wood Last?
Usually, birdhouses that are made of wood last between 5 and 10 years. Manufacturers of wooden birdhouses use different types of wood to make the perfect birdhouse for our feathered friends. The types of wood that birdhouses are made from will have an impact on how long each type will last. The wood types are as follows:
- Cedarwood is a great option for birdhouses as it is resistant to rotting and decay. This type of wood breathes easily; it is durable and is a good insulator to keep heat inside the birdhouse. Cedarwood birdhouses last up to 8 years.
- Redwood is also a good option for birdhouses as it has the same qualities as Cedarwood, except that it retains less moisture. As a result of it retaining less moisture, it also tends to last longer. Redwood birdhouses last up to 10 years.
- Exterior plywood remains a popular material for the manufacture of birdhouses, and it is mainly because of its affordability of this material. Plywood does not last as long as Cedarwood or Redwood, but it still lasts five years under normal conditions.
How Long Do Bird Houses from Recycled Plastic Last?
Recycled plastic is another popular construction product for birdhouses. It also helps that plastic gets recycled to give back to nature. The manufacturers of recycled plastic birdhouses claim that their birdhouses can last a lifetime, but there are certain factors that can affect how long they last. The factors that affect the lifespan of plastic are as follow:
- Extreme heat can cause the plastic to deteriorate over time, and as a result of this, the plastic birdhouses will start to become brittle or even crack.
- Extreme cold can also cause the plastic to deteriorate over time; in some cases, the binding elements that hold the plastics together can fail as a result of being exposed to continuous cold.
- The location of a plastic birdhouse can have a huge impact on how long the birdhouse will last; if the birdhouse is located in a place where branches are hitting it constantly or objects fall on it often, it will shorten the period that it will last.
- Other animals and wildlife can also cause damage to a birdhouse; snakes and other predators want to get to the eggs or the baby birds and, as a result, will break into the birdhouse and obviously destroy it.
How Can You Make Bird Houses Last Longer?
We have already seen that plastic birdhouses last longer than wooden birdhouses. There are ways to extend the life term of wooden birdhouses, and the experts have great recommendations on what you can do when you want to make your birdhouses last longer.
Here are some of the methods that you can use:
- Wooden birdhouses will last longer if the wood is looked after; you should do regular checks to see if the sealant or paint is still doing its job in keeping the natural elements at bay. Excessive sun exposure or cold conditions can destroy a birdhouse.
- Sheltering the birdhouse from elements like rain or sun can do wonders in making a birdhouse last longer. If you select a good location for the birdhouse, it helps with that.
- Doing regular maintenance on birdhouses, especially at the joints, will help to keep the wood edges from rotting or being exposed to water that will cause the wood to rot.
- If you clean out old nests regularly, it will also prevent the wood from rotting. Old nests can retain moisture, and this will cause the wood to rot.
It becomes difficult to do maintenance on your birdhouses when birds are already nesting, and that is why it must be done in the months that the birds are not nesting. Some birdhouses have areas that you can see through to see what is going on in the birdhouse.
Birdhouses can last between 5 and 10 years if it is made of wood, and the type of wood that the birdhouse is made from will have an impact on the lifespan of the birdhouse.
Another popular option for the construction of birdhouses is plastic. Plastic birdhouses will last a lifetime if it is being looked after and attention is given to factors that can cause them to deteriorate.
Regular checks will allow you to keep an eye on the state of the birdhouse and do maintenance where it is required. With proper care and upkeep, you should have birds going in and out of the birdhouse for many years to come.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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