How to Protect Your Roof from Critters and Animal Roof Damage
july 17TH, 2020 UPDATED 12:00PM CT
Rats. Bats. Mice. Opossums. What do all of these things have in common? Yes, they are all critters. And yes, they can all damage our roof in San Antonio. And these aren’t the only animals that love to set up shop on your roof. Squirrels, raccoons, and birds can all find their way into your attic and become unexpected and uninvited guests into your home. So what can you do to keep them away? Here are some steps you can take to keep the critters away from your roof:
1. Trim your tree branches.
You may be wondering how critters end up on your roof in the first place. The simple answer is that they climb into the trees and onto your roof (unless they fly, in which case they probably just do that). If your trees have branches that extend even remotely close to your home, small critters can make their way into the trees and then into your home. Trimming your tree branches might not keep all critters away but it gives them one less route to make it onto your roof. Not only that, but keeping your tree branches trimmed can also help to prevent them from flying off onto your roof and creating damage during heavy windstorms.
2. Perform regular maintenance on your roof.
Keeping the exterior of your roof maintained can help to prevent critters from gaining entry into your home. Keep a close eye on areas that are susceptible to critter damage. These can include, but are not limited to, areas around your gutters, vents, and chimneys. Also keep a close eye on your roof sheathing which is a convenient spot for animals to gain entry into your attic. Other areas that provide ideal entry points for critters include roof soffit intersections, roof vents, and weak spots or holes in the roof. Have your roof inspected regularly so that you can catch any open entry points before the critters find them.
3. Reseal your shingles.
When roof shingles are knocked out of place, they become a target for critters. Small animals can easily pry off loose shingles and then gain entry into your attic. For this reason, you should reseal your shingles any time you notice that they are missing, loose, or otherwise out of place. Always check your roofing after a windstorm to check for damage. It’s during heavy storms that your shingles become most vulnerable to shingle loss.
4. Keep your trash contained and away from your home (if possible).
Trash is one of the main things that attracts critters. Why? Because it contains easy food. Even though your trash isn’t on your roof, it can attract critters to your home. And don’t underestimate the nose of a raccoon or a rat – they can sniff out the food in your trash from miles away. To prevent your trash from attracting rodents and other critters, keep it in a sealed container. Then keep that container as far away from your house as possible. Once critters are attracted to your house, it’s only a short climb away for them to reach your roof.
5. Make sure your insulation is thick and provides full coverage.
Once critters have made their way through your roof, they’ll have to work their way through your insulation if they want to set up shop in your attic. If your insulation is thin, they can work through it much more quickly. If your insulation is thick and provides good coverage, it will provide you with further protection against critter invasions. For this reason, you want to make sure that your insulation is properly installed by a professional San Antonio roofing company.
6. Keep your gutters clear.
While your gutters aren’t helpful to all critters, they are helpful to critters that like to nest (yes, we’re talking about birds). Gutters are a common place for birds to create their nests, and if they are full of debris than that’s even more encouragement for a bird to create their nest there. Once nested in your gutters, it won’t be long until they find their way into your nice warm home. To avoid this, clean your gutters regularly.
7. Add additional barriers around your home.
If your goal is to prevent critters from jumping on your roof, then keeping them out of your yard should be your number one priority. One way to do this is by keeping your garbage contained. Another way to do it is by adding additional barriers around your home. Put up a fence or use things like barrier screens whenever you can.
8. Invest in metal roofing or metal sheeting.
Metal roofing in San Antonio is an extremely durable type of roofing material that can help to prevent weather damage. By doing so it can also help to prevent the creation of access points within your roof. Not only that, but metal roofing is more difficult for critters to tear apart than shingle roofing. If you can afford it, metal roofing is a good option for critter prevention. If you don’t want to have an entirely metal roof, you can also invest in metal sheeting around the corners of your roof to prevent access.
9. Remove vegetation from your home.
Many homes have vegetation around it. But things like climbing vines and green roofs can be a huge attraction for animals. Not only can this attract animals, but it also gives them an additional method of climbing onto your roof. Whenever possible, avoid vegetation and climbing plants.
10. Monitor your attic.
If you do have animals creating a home in your attic, you’ll want to catch them when they are still small in numbers. Many animals seek out warm places to have their babies, so one raccoon, one rat, one mouse, one bird, or one squirrel can quickly become an infestation. To catch animals living in your roof you should check it for signs of life regularly. Watch for signs like nesting materials, damage, droppings, or oily residues on your floor. These can all signal that you have animals living in your attic and that you may need to call in reinforcement for removal (and for repair of your roofing).
Why is it important to keep pests away from your home?
It’s important that you follow the steps above to keep pests away from your roof. Not only can they be a nuisance, but they can also cause damage to your home. Here are just a few of the many reasons that it’s important to deter pests from your roof:
• They can chew on your wood and wiring and create structural damage
• They can create holes in your roof which can then allow rain to seep in.
• They can block or destroy venting systems
• They can invade your attic and leave a mess behind.
• They can tear up and displace insulation
• They can damage your plumbing while looking for access to water
• They can bring fleas and ticks into your home
• Some feces and urine (such as that of bats and rats) can be considered hazardous waste
If you think you may already have pests nesting in your attic or encroaching on your roof, call in a professional pest removal company. Your roof is very vulnerable to pests, so you’ll want to deter them away as soon as possible.