Surprising Ways Animals Can Damage Your Roof and How To Prevent It

Homeownership comes with many rewards and challenges, one of which is maintaining the structural integrity of your home. Among the lesser-known threats to the durability of your roof are various animals. Understanding how these creatures can cause damage and learning preventive measures can save homeowners from costly roof repairs.

Squirrels Chewing Through Shingles

Squirrels are notorious for their incessant chewing habits. They often seek shelter in attics and chew through shingles to gain access. This behavior not only damages shingles but also compromises the underlying structure, leading to leaks and potential water damage. To prevent such occurrences, you can install metal flashing around the edges of your roof and trim, especially if they’re close to tree branches, to reduce squirrel access.

Birds Nesting Under Eaves

Birds may find eaves an ideal nesting spot, but their nests can block ventilation, causing moisture buildup and rotting wood. Additionally, bird droppings are acidic and can further damage roofing materials. Installing bird spikes or netting around eaves can help you deter birds from nesting and keep your ventilation clear.

Mice and Rats Gnawing at Roof Structures

Mice and rats are small but can cause significant damage by gnawing on wood, insulation, and even electrical wires. Their presence often leads to weakened structures and increased fire hazards. Not only can this put your roof at risk of leaks and collapse, but it can also create entry points for other rodents and pests. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to prevent this damage. Seal any gaps or openings around the roofline and use rodent-proof materials where possible. 

Bats Settling in Attic Spaces

Bats often seek out quiet, dark spaces like attics for roosting. Their guano (droppings) can accumulate and cause respiratory issues for homeowners, as well as structural damage due to its corrosive nature. To prevent bats from settling in your attic, seal all potential entry points. You can even look for places away from your home to install a bat box or other alternative roosting sites to lure them away from your home and other houses. Even though bats are an essential part of our ecosystem, they do not belong in our homes.

Woodpeckers Drilling Holes

Woodpeckers drill into wood in search of insects or to create nesting spaces. This behavior can result in holes in wooden roofing materials, leading to water infiltration and structural weakening. To prevent woodpecker damage, homeowners can install reflective tape, netting, wind chimes, and other deterrents. As with other home damage, any holes or problems caused by woodpeckers should be addressed as soon as possible to prevent the problems from getting worse. Regularly inspecting your property and taking preventative measures can help you protect your roof as well as the animals that might try to call your home “home.”

Bees and Wasps Building Hives

Bees and wasps can build hives under eaves or in attics, posing a risk to both the roof’s integrity and homeowner safety. Hives can block ventilation and increase the risk of stings. Bees and wasps tend to favor areas like eaves and gutters, which can lead to clogs and drainage issues. You should regularly check your property for hives and nests, and if any problems are spotted, consider calling in a professional to safely remove the hive and prevent any further damage. 

Raccoons and Possums Damaging Vents and Shingles

Raccoons and possums can, and often do, pry open vents to gain access to attics. The prying and gnawing done by their teeth and claws can cause quite a bit of damage to vent covers, shingles, and internal structures. These hazardous activities can even disrupt your home’s insulation, creating potential fire hazards. Fortunately, you can trim back tree branches, secure attic vents, and use animal repellants to protect your home from these destructive critters. Another deterrent can be to secure trash cans and outside food sources to prevent raccoons from gaining an interest in your property. Installing heavy-duty mesh over vents and chimneys can also close off outside access to raccoons, possums, and other pests while still allowing air to flow freely through your attic or crawl space.

Snakes Seeking Shelter

Like other animals, snakes may enter attics in search of warm and food. While they are much less destructive than other pests, their presence can indicate rodents and other critters that could have lured them in. The damage a snake can do is leaving waste behind, which could lead to pesky leaks and other issues to you and your property. To protect your roof from these slithering invaders, it’s essential to trim away any trees or other objects they might climb to enter your roof.

Squirrels Storing Food

Attics are a favorite location for squirrels to store food, especially when winter nears. These stashes of food can lead to mold growth due to decaying organic matter, compromising insulation and air quality. The smell of food can even lure other pests into your attic, bringing with them even more damage. Closing off access points can be a key factor to keep squirrels away. Regular inspections of your roof will help you notice any unusual markings or smells that could be an indication of such problems, helping you act quickly in the case of these furry creatures stashing food in your attic.

Injured Animals and Hospitals

Sometimes, injured animals seek shelter in attics or under roofs, causing damage as they attempt to gain entry or move around. Their presence can indicate larger problems with roof integrity. The first thing to do when finding an injured animal is to contact a local wildlife rescue organization for safe removal or contact an animal emergency clinic if you are able to safely get them yourself. A professional should be able to provide the animal with the necessary help so you can then focus on repairing the roof damages to prevent future occurrences. Regular inspections and timely maintenance are key to ensuring your roof remains a strong shield against natural elements and unwelcome animal intrusions.

Awareness is the first step necessary to keeping your home safe from any pest infestations. With the numerous ways that animals can harm your roof and other parts of your property, it’s important to be vigilant in your home inspections and in taking the preventative measures to close off any potential access points. Regular roof inspections and prompt roof repairs are key to maintaining a safe and secure home.

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