A shelter is a basic need not only for humans but also for every species on planet earth. Therefore, it goes without saying that our residences make the perfect hospitable corners for critters, as well. In case you are unaware, rats, bats, mice, and opossums are known as critters, and rather than constructing their shelters; they prefer to squat in human homes. Having critters running through a roof is the last thing you want, and any small opening can serve as a way for them to nest away inside your roof. So, it is imperative to take proactive steps and protect your roof from critters before it is too late. However, before getting into details of roof protection, let us see how critters damaged roofs in the first place.
How do critters damage residential roofing?
Critters are like those horrible housemates who do not pick up after themselves and trash the place like a celebrity. In short, critters are highly detrimental to the health and safety of your house, especially the roof, in the following ways –
- Critters displace insulation
- They munch on electrical wires
- Critters like rats and mice are infamous for damaging the wood
- They can cause damage to your house’s plumbing
- Rodents and squirrels chew on shingles and damage roofs
- Birds’ nests over gutters can result in blocking
- The acid from bird droppings can result in corrosion and other damages
- Fleas and ticks act as health risks that you have to avoid at all costs
- The feces and urine of critters, especially bat guano, are considered hazardous waste material
Therefore, there is a hoard of reasons to shoo away critters from your residential roofing. If it is too late and you observe critters cozying inside your house, it is time to call a professional. However, there are specific proactive steps that every homeowner can take to keep their home critter-free.
Top 9 ways to protect your roof from critter damage
1. Trimming Tree Branches
Needless to say, trees are a crucial source of critter encroachment and damage, primarily when their limbs branch over your roof. Tree branches are the optimum passage for critters as they provide easy access to the roof. The easiest way to keep critters at bay is by trimming the tree branches regularly. Consequently, the activity prevents severe roof damage during thunderstorms or other vital weather phenomena. However, do remember to hire a professional to trim the tree branches.
2. Regular Maintenance
Although this tip might seem obvious, one cannot assert enough the importance of regular roof repair and maintenance. Hiring experts who can meticulously investigate every nook and cranny of your roof is a sure-shot way to prevent critter damage in the first place.
3. Repair the Shingles
Loose shingles are another optimal way for critters to gain access to your home’s roof. They are excellent crevices for small animals to enter your attic and then proliferate to start their colony. Thus, repairing or resealing loose shingles in a timely fashion is a farsighted step in preventing critter damage to your roof.
4. Clean the Gutters Regularly
The debris in your roof’s gutter is an ideal breeding ground for insects and other animals. As they prefer organic materials, the gutter is the ideal nest for critters. Therefore, regularly cleaning the gutter is an excellent way to prevent animals from nesting inside. Moreover, it would be best if you also were mindful to trim all the tree branches that rest near your roof’s gutter. Likewise, if there is leftover food and rotting debris in your gutter, then they will attract insects, culminating in costly repairs.
5. Opt for Think Insulation
Once critters enter through the roof, they will have to work their way through the roof’s insulation in case they want to settle inside the attic. Therefore, if your roof’s insulation is thin, the probability of critter damage automatically heightens, and vice-versa. Therefore, make sure to hire professionals who can install thick insulation for your roof.
6. Keep the Trash at a Distance from Your Home
It would not be wrong to opine that the trashcan is a critter magnet because it contains food. Although your trashcan is not on your roof, it can attract a variety of rodents and insects from miles away. Therefore, to prevent the trash from attracting rodents, you should keep it in a sealed can and as far away from your house as possible.
7. Seal All The Holes On The Roof
The most foolproof way to stop critters from entering your attic is to seal up all holes and cracks on the roof. Even a tiny quarter-sized gap is enough for a critter to enter your residence and squat away in a dingy corner without you even noticing. You can install metal sheeting around the corners of your home for added protection. Likewise, a chimney cap is also beneficial in stopping critters from gaining access to your attic.
8. Investigate the Attic
Being vigilant is the first step to preventing critter damage to your roof. Therefore, do not forget to regularly check up on your attic for any signs of life. Look out for signs such as nesting materials, damage, droppings, or oily residue on the floor; all of them are hints of critter infestation. Thus, if you see any sign of animals living inside your attic, call for professional help at the earliest.
9. Invest in Extra Protection
You can opt for extra protection, such as putting up a fence or using a barrier screen wherever possible to keep animals afar from your residence. In addition, metal sheeting can also prevent the formation of hospitable entry points for critters and make chomping down on shingles more challenging for rodents, squirrels, and so forth.
So there we have it, the top nine ways to prevent critters from damaging a house’s roof. Well, prevention is better than cure and being proactive is essential to protect your residential roofing from damage. Moreover, do not hesitate to seek the help of professional roof repairers as and when required.