Seeing an animal on your roof could at first be a delightful sight. Upon further consideration, though, you might wonder whether they could damage something up there. In fact, you should get a ladder out and go check. Even a small animal could do substantial damage. Here are some of the most common culprits.
Squirrels: Chewing on Vents and Shingles
Squirrels seem harmless, but they are commonly found nesting in attics for a reason. They look for areas that are warm in which to nest. If they want to nest in your attic, they may decide to cut straight through the shingles and vents. Squirrels are very good chewers; it may not take them much time at all to cut through even solid structures.
Once you've gotten rid of your squirrels, you may need to have your roof patched. A roofer will be able to find their entryways and deal with them appropriately. Without patching, water is eventually going to leak into your attic. In the short term, this will cause mold and mildew; in the long run, it can cause rot.
Birds: Blocked Gutters and Acid Damage
Nesting birds can be pleasant and sweet, but they can also cause damage. Birds can block your gutters with their nests, thereby making it more likely that your roof will flood during intense rains. This flooding isn't great for the birds, either: their nests or eggs may easily be washed away.
Acid damage is another problem. Birds excrete acids naturally. The acid from their droppings will slowly wear through your shingles and your paint. Not only will these stains be unattractive and difficult to clean, but they could contribute to mold and mildew damage. The acid from bird droppings could also eventually bore through your shingles and lead to leaking and other damage.
Your roofing service can clean off your gutter and your roof regularly to make sure that acid and debris don't build up. While performing an annual inspection, they will also tell you whether they've spotted long-term problems such as already existing acid damage. When caught early enough, you may only need to replace a few shingles.
Raccoons: Ripping Through Your Shingles
Raccoons are absolutely adorable, as are their babies. They're also extremely aggressive. A raccoon can use its nimble hands to tear up shingles on its own. Once it's through, it can start chewing downwards to get into your attic. Raccoons try to get into your attic for the same reason as squirrels, but they can be far better at it because they are so dexterous.
If you've seen raccoons in your house, you have damage somewhere, and it's probably either in your roof or your soffits. Your roof repair company is going to need to not only locate these areas but also repair the roof and likely the insulation. Raccoons tend to drag insulation out in order to nest. If you don't address the damage, you'll find your electricity bills going up, in addition to potentially seeing leaks.
Rats: Nesting in Soffits
Tiny rats tend to get into homes through soffits: the areas beneath overhangs in your house. Once there, they will do a lot of chewing damage. They can get into your HVAC vents and chew through things like wires. Not only will they cause your roof to leak (if they chew through it), but they will also continuously chew through your walls and make nests. They will also reproduce very quickly.
Your roofing company can look at your soffits for any small holes that rats could be using to get in. Sometimes these holes aren't visible because the rats can push the soffits up and out of the way.
What do you do if you think animals are currently damaging your roof? In such cases, call a professional to assess the damage. A professional contractor will be able to identify the problems and suggest ways to repair the damage and also prevent it from happening again. For more information, contact Whittle's Roofing Co., Inc.