Thursday, October 29, 2009

Woodpecker Hell

The last thing we need is more stress. But there's a family of woodpeckers that aren't satisfied with the abundant tree opportunities available to them in the neighborhood. Instead, they've created two holes in the side of our house. On the East side, it's a small hole. On the North side, it was a small hole, but it's growing every day as the birds peck away at the extruded foam board. What started as a hole the size of a bullet has grown to a hole the size of a tennis ball.

Any ideas on how to deter these woodpeckers? Is it hunting season yet?


  1. This page has some good ideas.

    I think you guys need a hug!!!

  2. Wow... woodpeckers usually are looking for food, but our neighbor has one who is partial to the aluminum gutter. They may be stupid.

    You can temporarily tack up some screening to deter them from that spot and hope they move on, but I don't know for sure that will work. I'll surf around and see if I can find any other suggestions. If it happened now, I hope it's not a recurring problem.

  3. Only sympathies, no suggestions...
    We have had two mornings when wood peckers knocked on parts of our metal roof flashing. We thought there was jack hammer down the street. But, no it was "mini jack hammer" on our house. I haven't seen any actual damage as a result... though metal is tougher than foam board.

    Did they go through the EIFS/stucco? I'm looking for good ways to parge/finish externally assembly of rigid foam over footers and foundation walls and have been watching your project for ideas? I had one fdtn contractor not even question my request to have them parge over rigid. Another said "can't be done" or wouldn't last...

    I had heard EIFS used to have longevity problems, but that things have improved. Did Seasons Services give you assurances about how this would work in the 10+ year time line? (especially close to the ground, splatter, dirt).

    I'm guessing they don't insure against woodpeckers? :-)

  4. ps. did you have any expansion joints in the concrete floors? (basement or 1st floor - i didn't notice any)
    We're having stained concrete finish, but don't really want "cracking" which some find a nice look. It's been suggested to put the expansion joints under walls (i assume that's structurally sound). I think i remember seeing photos of concrete pours going up to the framed walls. maybe that serves as expansion joints or this wasn't any issue for you...)

  5. Do you want to borrow some cats?

  6. All, thanks for the tips on woodpecker removal. The hole's in an area that's challenging to get to, but I hope to spend some time soon attempting the remedies suggested here.

    Sat Jiwan, yes, they went through the stucco and started pulling out the extruded foam board. I heard the bird pecking at the TerraBricks, but they stopped that pretty quickly (with a bruised beak, perhaps), hehe.

    EIFS had some rough early years as there were installation problems that led to OSB rotting out on houses that had EIFS exteriors. They've made numerous improvements to the system and if you have a competent, qualified EIFS installer, it won't be possible for water to get caught behind the EIFS and rot out the wood. In our case, since we don't have any OSB in the framing of our house, and the walls are TerraBricks, wood rotting isn't really a concern to us anyway.

    The "stucco" they use for EIFS installation is not a cement stucco, but a synthetic stucco. I would imagine that would make a difference in contractor responses as to whether you can that. I'm pretty sure I remember hearing or reading that you cannot use cement stucco on the extruded foam board we have as insulation, but you might want to check on that.

    The folks at Seasons Services seem to have been very credible and definitely have been very good to work with. You might call Claudia or William at Seasons Services to ask their thoughts for your situation. As far as warranty, they don't warrant for woodpeckers, so we'll have to pay to get that patched, but there is a fairly long warranty on the EIFS installation itself. I can't remember off the top of my head what it is, but I'm thinking it might be 10 or 15 years.

  7. Sarah, if the cats are hungry for woodpeckers, it might be an ideal solution! :-)

  8. Sat Jiwan, re: expansion joints in the concrete - yes, we have two expansion joints in the basement (which is a 4" slab) that run North to South across the width of the house. One is right next to one of the framed walls, the other is not near a wall at all.

    Upstairs, we have four expansion joints in the 1.5" concrete floor. They run from interior walls (at the doorway) to the exterior wall. Bartley Corp said the greatest likelihood of cracking will be at those points, so they suggested we do the expansion joints there to minimize that.

    We do expect some cracking of the concrete floors - that's just natural in this climate with freezing and heating. But we don't expect it to be significant since the building envelope is such that we should have a relatively constant temperature.

    Bartley had Andreas sign a statement acknowledging that we understood there was no warranty on cracking for the 1.5" poured floors on the main level. They didn't have him sign anything for the basement, so they're implying a warranty there, I expect.