Keeping pests and small critters away from your roof is not only critical for the structure of your home, but also the health and safety of you and your family. To keep everyone (who’s supposed to be) living under your roof safe, here are some tips on how to protect your roof from pests and critters.
Seal the outside
The best way to protect your roof from pests is to make sure they never enter your home in the first place. This means climbing up on the roof and making sure everything is sealed tight. Check every part of the roof that you can safely reach, including the eaves, dormers and flashing. Also, pay close attention to any place where two different materials meet (like where siding reaches soffits). Look for indicators like scratch marks, chew marks, nests, holes, droppings or other signs of animal life to find the spots where they may be getting in. Then use caulk or another roofing sealant to plug any small openings in your roof’s exterior, and use a roof patch for larger holes.
Use better hardware
Sealing tiny holes with caulk or sealant is great for small pests, but with larger critters, you need to think bigger. This likely means replacing or adding more protective hardware — like heavy gauge screens— to your chimney and roof vents. You should also consider adding more durable flashing material to your exposed pipes as this can be crucial for keeping out pesky squirrels. Squirrels like to gnaw on lead, a common material used in pipe flashing. As they keep coming back, the damage they cause can lead to leaks and eventually water damage.
To prevent this kind of damage to your home, consider replacing your old pipe flashing with the Quarrix Pipe Boot. Unlike other pipe flashing products, the Quarrix Pipe Boot features an all-steel construction, so it won’t attract your bushy-tailed friends. The Quarrix Pipe Boot was also designed to be the most durable pipe flashing on the market, tough enough to withstand even the harshest weather conditions.
Seal the inside
Even with the outside of your roof sealed tight, it’s still important that you create a second line of defense and secure the inside of your home. Head into your attic and do another check for holes and other signs of pests and critters. Just like you did outside, seal any openings with caulk or sealant. If you’re going to use wood to cover larger holes, make sure it’s at least 2 inches thick, otherwise a determined critter may still be able to chew their way through.
Keep it clean
Once you’ve sealed all the interior access points, make sure to clean up any droppings or other signs of pests and critters in your attic. These can not only pose a health hazard in terms of the bacteria and diseases they may carry, but they can also act as a "Welcome" mat for other pests looking for a home. Clean your attic thoroughly to make sure the sign above your home says “No Vacancy” to any critters who may be passing by.
Beware of trees and power lines
Beyond sealing entry points, try to limit the number of ways pests can access your roof in the first place. Low-hanging tree branches create an easy bridge for wandering squirrels and raccoons. If possible, trim these back to at least a few feet from your home. Power lines near your roof can also create a pest superhighway straight to your home. Of course, you can’t exactly prevent a determined squirrel from climbing up the side of your house. But you can make things as difficult as possible for them. In the end, hopefully that’s enough to make your neighbor’s house a much more attractive destination for troublesome pests and critters.
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