How to Keep Animals Out of Your Roof for Good
As hard as we try, the outside elements creep into our homes and garages. Things like debris, sticks and twigs, leaves, and critters seem to find their way into our living spaces and places of our homes that’s not good for them or us.
Your roof is one of these areas and it’s the first line of defense against hazardous and burdensome factors like squirrels, birds, falling branches from serious storms, and adverse weather. While you can’t exactly control the weather to help protect your roof, you can take steps in keeping out animals.
The Kinds of Damage Caused by Animals
You might be thinking: critters as small as squirrels or birds can’t cause that much damage to a roof, right? You’d be mistaken! Here are just a few examples of what animals can do to your roof and your home:
- Tear soffits and soffit vents: determined animals can enter your home through your roof’s soffits and soffit vents, chewing an opening large enough for them to squeeze through (a squirrel only needs a quarter-sized hole to sneak in).
- Damage shingles: claws, digging, scratching, and prying—your shingles are vulnerable to these things and can suffer subsequent damage. Animals can lift or even remove shingles, especially if they’re already damaged from a storm. From there, they can break inside if the wood and underlayment is soft enough.
- Make nests: animals will make nests in places they think are safe and protected, but these places end up being dangerous for both them and your home—like the chimney, near electrical wiring, in your roof’s venting, or on a flat section of the roof.
Roof Protection & Animal Prevention
Protecting your roof from animal damage means taking care of it, monitoring it, and maintaining the surrounding landscaping. There’s a good reason why cleaning up the roof system and inspecting it are a part of so many homeowners’ chores—you can discourage animal activity and keep an eye on the roof’s integrity, which protects its longevity.
Take these actions to keep animals away from your roof:
- Trim surrounding branches: the first piece of advice any roofing expert will give you is the easiest to enact—trim those overhanging branches. Squirrels are great jumpers and once they make their way to your roof’s landing zone, they’ll be curious about what they can get into. It’s suggested to prune any branches that come within 10 feet of your house.
Not only will this prevent animals from scurrying, scratching, and nesting along your roof, but you’ll also stop nearby branches from potentially damaging your roof due to an aggressive storm.
- Clean your gutters: yes, it’s a dreaded chore that homeowners have on their to-do lists at least twice a year, but cleaning your gutters actually helps keeping animals away (as well as ensuring water flows away from your house’s foundation).
Nesting is an animal instinct, and what better place to hunt for debris to build a home than a house’s overcrowded gutters? Eliminate the gutter debris and birds and squirrels will be less likely to build their nests on or in your roofing system, instead finding a much safer home that’s not your roof.
- Reseal shingles: the roof’s shingles are the protective layer and should be maintained, repaired, or replaced. Missing shingles can be easily pried off by roaming critters, so after a big windstorm, heavy snows, or thunderstorms, do a visual inspection of your shingles. Have them resealed if there’s any damage. When the underlayment of the roof is exposed, animals can gain easy access. This leads to further need for repair as well as the potential of dreaded water damage.
- Stow away your trash: food, not matter how smelly, attracts all kinds of animals. Don’t store your trash outside because the scent will notify animals that your house is the place to go, eat, and scratch up your roof. Keep your bins inside of your garage, store pet food in tightly sealed containers (preferably inside of your home) or keep your garbage bins as far away from your house as you can. You’ll protect your roof and dissuade animals from causing a mess or damage.
- Visual inspection: conducting a roof inspection once or twice per year is sound advice for all homeowners. Checking out your roofing system from the ground will inform you if animals are causing issues, and the sooner you can detect a problem, the sooner you can take the steps to resolve and prevent it.
Check for torn roofing material, missing or damaged shingles or flashing, and inspect the attic’s rafters for damage and leaks. Have a professional conduct a roofing inspection at least once per year to see if animals, fallen debris, or exposure has damaged your roof.
If your roof has damage from nosy critters, choose us for your replacement roof needs. We’ll protect you from the elements for years to come and keep nature where it belongs. Get a free quote with Feldco today.