They may be cute, but squirrels and other creatures can wreak havoc on your roof, gutters and attic. As they scamper around your house and onto your roof, they could be looking to find a new, dry home for themselves – in yours! Read on to find out what to look for and how to prevent it.
What Kind of Critters Should I Look Out For?
There are a number of animals that can pose a threat to your roof and attic. In Northern Virginia, they include squirrels, mice and rats, bats, racoons, woodpeckers and possums. These are all native animals that can commonly be found in suburban areas.
What Kind of Damage Can They Do To A Roof?
These critters can find all sorts of ways to damage your roof as they seek food and shelter, including:
- Enter through soffits and soffit vents: Chewing and tearing at the surrounding materials, they can create enough room to squeeze inside. A squirrel only needs a hole the size of a quarter to break in! Once inside, they can burrow, nest and chew on wood and wiring.
- Create holes: Once smaller animals like mice and squirrels have made holes to get inside, bigger animals, like racoons and even bats, see the opportunity and get in to do even more damage. Plus, any openings or holes lets in the elements.
- Lift or remove shingles: Animals may dig or lift shingles to get to soft or rotting wood, or to get inside through a gutter or chimney.
- Make nests: Birds will make themselves at home any place they can, including a flat piece of roof or inside an attic. Once they’re inside, they can also block or destroy venting systems and electrical wiring.
- Invade the attic: Your attic makes an ideal home for all kinds of animals, providing insulation for nests and shelter. In just a few days these pests can cause damage and leave a mess.
How Can I Keep the Critters Away?
We have five precautions to keep your roof (and attic) safe:
- Trim branches: Having branches too close to your house provides a way for animals to climb onto your roof. Remember that squirrels are excellent jumpers, so it’s best to prune any branches within 10 feet of your house.
- Clean gutters: Remove debris to deter birds from nesting there.
- Inspect your attic: Visit your attic space each season to look for nesting material, droppings and other signs of animal activity. Inspecting during the day allows you to see cracks and holes that may be targeted by animals in the future.
- Look up: When you’re doing yard work or leaving the house, walk around the perimeter of your house to look for torn roofing materials, missing shingles or holes.
- Remove bird feeders: Unfortunately, other animals are attracted to bird feeders too. If you’re dealing with wildlife or noticing more activity, removing feeders can help.
What If I Notice Damage?
If critters have already taken a toll on your roof, or you’re noticing holes or shingles that look askew, call DryHome. Our technicians have the right equipment to get onto your roof and make repairs. Plus, a new roof might attract good looks from the neighbors but it deters critters from making their home in yours.