The Critters are Coming!

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of knowing you have animals in your attic. Aside from the occasional disruptive sounds of scratching and scampering on your roof, there is a real possibility of actual damage caused by these furry invaders. Several kinds of animals can make a way into your attic via your roof. While mice and rats may be the first creatures that come to mind, insects, raccoons, birds, and squirrels also target roofs and attics as nesting spots, especially during the winter months.

The time of year and condition of your roof can provide ample opportunity for one or more entry points into your attic. The integrity and structure of your roof is vitally important to keeping pests out of your home. Fortunately, there are preventative steps to take to minimize the damage that animals can cause to your home. Reinforcing the roof barrier of your home is essential to keeping out pests. Animals come and go over as they please, so the sooner you discover a breach the better. While your home looks very inviting to forest critters during the cold winter months, some will also come looking for summer homes, so it is a good idea to regularly have your roof inspected, at least every 6 months.

Roof damage from animals is not only possible, it is a definite threat. Weatherproofing is always at the forefront of everyone’s mind when talking about roof care, but safeguarding your home from invading critters is significantly more challenging. You must stay alert and watch for signs of intruders during all seasons to prevent the need for costly roof repairs. Below are some specific examples of how animals enter the roof and indications that your home has some unwanted and damaging house guests.

The main motivation for most invading creatures is to find shelter and refuge from the elements. Animals are attracted to the dark, protective heat source in the attic and will ruin a roof’s covering in an attempt to gain access. Animals commonly enter homes through the soffit vents and sometimes the soffits themselves. They will tear at the surrounding material or the soffit itself until enough space has been made for them to squeeze inside. They might also remove shingles and bore through rotting wood to enter or gain access through a chimney or gutter. Bigger vermin such as opossums and raccoons may be deterred from entering through fans or vents, but small rodents and birds easily overcome obstacles in their quest for a warm, dry nesting place. Once an entrance hole has been established, other animals will follow suit and find a way inside, but something even more devastating can now find its way into your home. Whenever the “seal” of a home is broken, water will find its way in and saturate wood and destroy shingling. And while many animals and birds may want to use a section of the roof or attic as their nest, once inside, they can go on to wreak havoc on the electrical, wiring, and ventilation systems. Rats, mice, and squirrels reflexively gnaw on wiring and wood, creating more damage, as well as increasing the potential for accidental fires being started by compromised wiring. Overall, wild creatures not only have the capacity to cause expensive roof repairs, but they can also cripple other inner workings of the home.

The first step in preparing a home’s defenses against the onslaught is to ensure that all tree branches are trimmed away from the house. Overhanging branches are the most common way for animals to climb onto the roof’s surface. It is also important to clean debris from gutters regularly to deter birds from nesting in the space, which prevents proper water drainage.

The second part of preventing damage to the roof is to have your roof and attic inspected on a regular basis. Sparrow inspectors look for droppings, gathered nesting material and signs of a frequently used animal entrance, sometimes spotted through observing the oily residue left behind as they come and go from the attic. Also, walk around the perimeter of the roof from ground level and look for missing shingles or torn roofing materials. Call a contractor skilled at animal damage control such as Sparrow Construction when you notice any signs of an infestation or interior and exterior roof damage from animals.