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  • Writer's pictureScott G.

5 Tricks to Keep Animals from Damaging Your Roof

Updated: Jul 25, 2022

Are animals making a house out of your home? Critters like squirrels and raccoons are experts at exploiting weak spots near or on your roof. If not caught soon enough, they can wreak havoc on insulation, plumbing, wiring and compromise your home’s structural integrity.

broken shingles on a roof caused by a raccoon

To keep animals off of your roof and out of your attic, it's important to get regular inspections of your roof and take precautionary measures to keep animals from getting into your home:

1. Inspect Your Attic for Signs of Animals

Before taking steps to increase your home’s defenses, it's crucial to make sure your attic is animal-free:

  • Listen for sounds coming from your attic. When do you hear them? What do they sound like? Squirrels will make succoring noises around dusk and dawn. Mice and rats will scamper around at night. Larger animals like raccoons will make distinctive rolling or thumping sounds.

  • Inspect your attic for signs of infestation. You might not see animals while you’re up there, but you can look for clues like droppings, gnawed boards, chewed wires, nests or holes to the outside.

  • Before leaving your attic, sprinkle some flour near any holes or openings. If animals are coming and going, you’ll be able to spot their footprints.

  • Whether or not you see them, assume animals are present if you find ANY holes to the outside while inspecting your attic.

Squirrels damaging a roof in birmingham

Contact an expert to perform a more thorough inspection and to lay traps, plugging holes only after you’re certain the animals are gone. If trapped inside your home, they’ll likely cause more damage.

2. Inspect your Homes Exterior

Animals are creative creatures. They’ll often enter through small holes near chimney pipes or soffit vents. Larger animals like raccoons, squirrels or possums will gnaw at weak spots creating bigger holes in your roof to give easy access.

Call the roofing experts to have your roof inspected, our contractors will be on the lookout for:

  • Holes between your roof and walls. Even the smallest holes can be an entry point for animals. Openings as small as 3.8 cm in diameter give plenty of room for squirrels to squeeze through.

  • Gaps near your roof line. Oftentimes these can be disguised as decorative trim. Loose attic vent covers. Larger animals like raccoons can easily lift them, gaining access to your attic with ease.

3. Install or Reinforce Vent Covers and Chimney Caps

You can have a roofing contractor cover vents by fastening hardware cloth or steel screens over vent holes, securing them with nails, staples, and screws. Make sure you extend coverings about two inches beyond the hole’s edge to stop larger animals from gnawing around the cover.

When choosing a chimney cap, a highly skilled roofer will look for one that will be right for your chimney. The wrong cap can reduce airflow and, in certain cases, lead to chimney fires.

animals causing roof damage

4. Remove Sources of Food Near Your House

Removing the food sources that keep animals around will make your home less inviting to them. You can start by:

  • Keeping garbage bins securely closed and inside a shed or garage whenever possible. Animals like raccoons or skunks have a knack for getting into places they shouldn’t -- like poorly placed garbage cans.

  • If you feed any pets outside, make sure you bring food bowls inside when they’re finished eating.

  • Do not leave compost piles exposed. Use a heavy-duty lid to keep animals from accessing the goodies inside containers and collect dropped fruits or veggies from gardens.

5. Trim Overhanging Branches

If you have branches that reach over your roof, you’ll want to trim the back around 6 feet, which is the typical jumping distance for animals like squirrels.

You can prevent animals from climbing nearby trees by placing a metal sheet around the trunk roughly 6-8 feet off the ground. Make sure you fasten the metal with springs so it won’t squeeze the trunk as the tree grows.

If you notice any problems with your roof work with experienced roofers to fix flaws and keep pesky animals out!

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