Have you looked at your roof lately? You may want to take a peak. Squirrels can wreak some serious havoc up there, resulting in a hefty repair bill. Not only is this mess a nuisance, it could be an early sign of squirrels nesting in the attic. Keep reading to find out more about squirrel damage to roofs and the best way to handle it.
These tree-dwelling rodents like being off the ground. Trees are prime real estate for squirrels, acting as the perfect home to build a secure nest up high in the branches. Squirrels are excellent climbers and leapers, and the hop from a tree limb to the roof presents very little challenge.
Just like trees, the roof is high up, and it provides access to a warm and safe space inside—the attic. An attic is an attractive spot for two things: its accessibility and security. This undisturbed and warm space out of a predator’s reach is ideal for squirrels to set up camp and raise their family. It’s the perfect sheltered area to call home, they just need to chew through the roof to get inside.
The Damage Left Behind
Make no mistake, these bushy-tailed creatures may look cute outside, but inside the home is a completely different story. They’re known to gnaw and scratch at rooftops, and their sharp teeth and claws are ready to tear through your home. They’ll create a new hole through roof shingles, or tear through an existing one to get inside.
Squirrels’ teeth rank as some of the toughest among rodents. From lead sheathing to polyethylene, there isn’t much that stops them. Squirrels chew through and eat away roof shingles to get through to the underlayment and decking. Damaged shingles leave your home vulnerable to moisture and water damage, where severed roofing tiles become ways for water leaks inside the home.
Your vent pipes are another chew toy for squirrels, along with wires and electric cables that pass through the roof. Be vigilant and look carefully for chewed cables. Leaving these exposed increases the risk of a spark, which could result in a fire. Chimney and roof vents are additional vulnerable areas that are easy for squirrels to chew through and slip inside. Fascia boards, wood beams, eaves troughs, and damage along the roofline are evidence of squirrel damage to roofs.
What to Do About It
There are plenty of solutions homeowners can take to protect and prevent squirrel damage to the roof, both before and after a squirrel invasion. Regularly inspect the roof and walls, edges where dormers are, and holes around chimneys and vents. These spots are easy targets for squirrels and often require refitting to prevent intrusion.
It’s best to make the home unfriendly to squirrels and unattractive to their wandering eye from the start. Prune tree branches close to the home to deter squirrels from using them as leaping pads. Trim ground shrubbery planted close to the home for the same reason. It shouldn’t be easy for squirrels to climb up and around your walls onto the roof. If you have bird feeders, place these against fences instead of close to walls. Squirrels like bird feeders, and close proximity to your home makes it easy for squirrels to get up to your roof.
While you can do all of these things and more, failing to properly handle squirrel eviction means the squirrel will simply find another way inside, often creating a new hole in the process. The best solution lies in the trained hands of wild animal removal services. They’ll assess the home, develop a safe eviction plan for animals, examine roof damage to assist with some repairs, handle clean and decontamination, and prevent re-entry.
If you’ve noticed squirrel damage to your roof, call us today. Squirrel removal should only be done by trained professionals.