Fall is the season when adorable squirrels scamper from yard to yard, burying nuts for the winter and digging up others stored over the summer. Squirrels may seem cute in mid-flight from the trees onto your roof but they can do serious damage when they are up there. They have been known to do everything from eat roof underlayment to gnaw on lead flashing and roof vent pipes.
One would not think that a tiny squirrel could totally destroy the roofing construction but it is true. The rodents even chew on the vent stack covers on roofs. These pipes are necessary to vent plumbing in bathrooms another areas of the home. While the lead covering prevents rainwater from dripping into the attic to create roof rot, squirrels can compromise its integrity.
It is not known why squirrels gnaw on lead other than possibly to wear down their continuously growing incisors. Lead, aluminum, and copper apparently taste sweet to the animals, making these metals the preferred dining choices. If a squirrel chews a pipe down far enough, the resulting leak may lead to structural damage and create a water source for termites. A residential roofing contractor can replace roof jacks to prevent this from happening.
Squirrels can also do a number on tile roofs, leading to leaking and other issues. After going to town on the underlayment, they may leave the roof without any structural support, causing tiles to crack and crumble. If a squirrel gets trapped under the roof tiles, it will attempt to eat its way out, which can create a major leak. In many cases, the rodent is unsuccessful, resulting in a dead animal in the roof.
Residential roofing specialists use special paints and taste repellents to help homeowners prevent squirrels from destroying their roofs. If a squirrel has already caused damage or created an opening for easy entry into the home, a live trap may be required to capture and remove the animal. Giving squirrels something else to chew on such as a small block of wood or unused PVC tubing might distract them enough to prevent additional chewing on the roof.
The important thing is to take action before roofing materials and construction have suffered at the hands of these furry creatures. This prevents the home from being exposed to water, wind, and harmful insects like termites and carpenter bees. Homeowners should contact a Master Elite roofing contractor for recommendations on keeping squirrels off the roof.