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Animals and Your Roof: What To Know

Have you ever woken up to the gentle (or not so gentle) pitter-patter of tiny feet above your ceiling, only to realize you weren’t dreaming; instead, it was the sound of wildlife making themselves home on your roof?

As charming as the thought of a squirrel bounding across the roof may seem, outdoor wildlife can seriously threaten the integrity of your home and your roofing system.

Animals and Your Roof: What To Know

Springtime is a time of renewal and rebirth, with animals seeking places to make their nests. Unfortunately, your home and residential roofing can be an inviting new home to them. From squirrels and birds to raccoons and bats, these uninvited guests can cause significant damage, not to mention other risks they bring. Let’s discuss some of the threats posed by native Massachusetts wildlife.

Squirrels: The Avid Chewers

Squirrels are known for their agility and persistence, making them one of the most common culprits of roof damage. These fast-working creatures can chew through almost anything, including asphalt shingles, roof vents, and even the wooden structures beneath your roof.

Their goal? To create an entry point into your attic, where they can be cozy and build nests, especially during colder months. Regular inspections for gnaw marks, holes, or missing materials can help prevent squirrel-induced home or roofing damage.

Birds: The Nest Builders

While fascinating and delightful to observe in their natural habitats, birds can become quite a nuisance when they decide to make parts of our homes their nesting spots. Roof vents expel moisture, help regulate attic temperature, and are prime real estate for birds seeking sheltered nesting sites. However, when birds set up home in your vents, they can cause significant problems, including:

Blocked Ventilation – Nests may block and obstruct airflow in roof vents, impacting ventilation. Vent blockages can cause heat and moisture to build up in the attic, reducing the insulation efficiency. Increased energy costs could result.

Fire Hazards – Birds build their nests using organic and potentially flammable materials like twigs, leaves, and feathers. When nests block vents, exhaust ducts can overheat, posing a fire risk.

Health Risks – Bird nests can also be home to parasites, bacteria, and viruses. The vents can inadvertently allow these harmful pathogens to enter your home, posing health risks to humans and pets.

Structural Damage – Birds can damage roofing materials and the structure of the eaves. Pecking and nesting activity can degrade these materials over time, leading to costly repairs.

Noise and Droppings – Birds nesting under eaves or in roof vents can be noisy, and their droppings can stain and corrode building materials, leading to unsightly marks and further damage.

Raccoons: The Strong Paws

Raccoons are not just clever. They have strong and dexterous paws, which they can use to damage asphalt roofing shingles or dismantle vent covers to gain entry to your attic. Why? Like many creatures, they seek a warm and safe place to build a nest.

Once inside, raccoons can cause significant damage to insulation and electrical wiring. Ensuring your roof and attic entry points are secure is crucial to prevent raccoon invasions.

Bats: The Silent Invaders

Bats can enter through tiny openings or gaps in your roof, especially those near the eaves, ridge vents, or flashing.

Once inside, bats can roost in attics, leaving behind guano and urine, damaging the structure and posing health risks. Sealing openings and ensuring your attic has adequate ventilation can help deter bats from considering your home as their next roosting spot.

Mice and Rats: The Small but Mighty

Rats and mice fit through tiny spaces, and attics offer a hospitable environment. These rodents can gnaw on insulation, wiring, and home structures. Their sharp teeth can easily damage asphalt shingles and other roofing materials as they create a pathway in and out. Keeping your roof in good repair and sealing minor entry points can help keep things dry and these rodents at bay.

Protecting Your Roof

Each of these animals presents a unique challenge to homeowners in Massachusetts. Completing seasonal roof inspections, doing maintenance, and making prompt repairs are critical strategies in preventing wildlife from damaging your asphalt roofing. Our professional roofing company offers solutions and preventive care to keep your home safe and secure, away from the potential threats of local wildlife.

Also, pay attention to your landscaping! Trimming tree limbs and pruning bushes can stop animals from gaining access to your roof. Trees and overgrown bushes work like bridges for critters, squirrels, and even raccoons to reach your roof nearly effortlessly. Eliminating these natural bridges to your home reduces the risk of wildlife-related damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I prevent animals from damaging my roof?
A: Regularly inspect your roof for signs of damage, trim trees near your home, and keep your gutters and eaves free from obstructions like bird nests or seasonal debris.

Q: Can animals damage skylights?
A: Animals can damage the seals and flashing around skylights, leading to leaks. It’s essential to check these areas and repair any damage promptly.

Q: What should I do if I find animal damage on my roof?
A: Contact a professional roofing contractor to assess the damage and make necessary repairs. Avoid addressing the situation without professional help, especially if wild animals are involved.

Make Sure Your Roof Is Animal-Free

As the spring season arrives, we must stay vigilant about the potential damage native wildlife can cause to our homes and roofing systems.

Are you a homeowner in Cohasset, Scituate, Hingham, Dover, Needham, Norwell, Wellesley, Newton, or surrounding communities? Our roofing professionals are ready to help you address your concerns about animal damage to your roof, asphalt shingle roofing installation, maintenance, or repair. We offer no-obligation, free estimates, ensuring your home remains a haven for you, not the local wildlife.

Protect your home this spring; let us help you keep it secure, inviting, and animal-free. Contact us today!