From hard-hitting woodpeckers to stinging insects to nesting squirrels, it feels like our homes are under attack sometimes. In our line of work, we see a lot of animal damage to roofing and siding materials. Now that spring is in the air, it is a good time to check for signs of pests.
The most invasive pests we encounter are squirrels. Squirrels have 2 mating seasons, late spring and late fall. It is during those times that we get the most calls from homeowners. Squirrels can chew through aluminum gutters, aluminum fascia wrap, wood fascia boards, and even framing lumber to get into attics. An important lesson we have learned over the years is that the invading squirrels, and other rodents, MUST be eradicated from the home prior to making repairs. If they are not removed then repairs that are made will be torn apart again or new locations will be damaged. Once in the home, they can cause extensive damage by chewing through wires, shredding insulation and wood framing, and cause holes that allow water penetration. Therefore it is imperative that the issue be taken care of as quickly as possible.
Another pesky pest is the Turkey Vulture. Believe it or not, they like to munch on flat roofing membranes such as EPDM and TPO. Seagulls will do this as well. For some unknown reason, they like to eat the flashing tapes that are required for these membranes. The first time I saw this problem was on a membrane roof that we had installed about 5 years earlier. It was leaking so we went out to take a look and found that the flashing tape looked like a chemical had spilled on it and rotted it away. Concerned, I took pictures and sent them to our manufacturer rep, who called me right away to explain the phenomenon. We made repairs to the area, but the following year the same thing happened. Apparently, once they find a source, they put it in their GPS. We have learned to cover these areas with metal flashing whenever these areas become assaulted by birds. The metal flashing is difficult to do and sometimes looks out of place however, so not installed unless it becomes a problem. If you have a flat roof, we recommend inspecting it for damage once a year. The once per year inspection is also a good time to remove debris that tends to accumulate on flat roofs as well.
If you find that you have an issue, the first step is to call a pest control company to guide you through the eradication process. Next, you will need to get the entry location repaired. Then take preventative measures to make sure they can’t get in again, such as trimming back trees from the roof, installing a chimney cap, installing gutter guards, and sealing up any holes that will allow critters to enter and make a cozy nest.
If you have any questions or need help with ridding your home of unwanted animal guests and cleaning up the aftermath let us know!