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Help! There’s a Critter on My Roof!

Posted July 21, 2017 by Daniel White
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Squirrel damage to a lead pipe

In the Pacific Northwest, we get a huge variety of critters. You know the car insurance commercial with the raccoon that gets inside the attic and he’s eating the fluffy stuff? We’ve seen it.

Let’s start from the bottom. Starlings. Starlings are an invasive species to our area and can go through almost anything. Under your roof, you have what’s called a soffit vent. Starlings like to get into that little soffit vent and pick the screen out until they have a nice hole. Then they go in and have babies in your attic.

You’ll hear the chirping and see poop running down the side of your house. It’s amazing…

We can stop that from happening with a special vent that we designed. It’s a solid metal vent with holes punched into it. We’ve had them airflow tested and they flow even better than the other ones. Nothing is getting through them.

Now let’s move to the top of the roof. My daughter thinks squirrels are cute – she loves them. And I have to remind my daughter that squirrels are rodents. They may be cute, but they get into everything. I’ve seen them chew their way through plastic vents into the attic, then live. I’ve seen them crawl up underneath eaves.

If you have trees next to your house, you have squirrels on your roof. Trim the trees back. They can still jump pretty far, but do your best to keep the trees back away from the house. Sometimes you just can’t do that and the squirrels are going to get up there, so we can change out some parts and pieces that they go through.

There’s one thing that you don’t want to come eye-to-eye with on a roof: a raccoon. Raccoons are so strong that they’ll grab the wood shakes, tear a hole, and then go into the top of your roof. They are amazingly strong animals.

They like the under-eaves where you have one roof coming over the top of another one, and there’s a nice little warm spot under there. They start digging holes to try to live inside your attic.  We can use wire mesh or metal pans to keep them from getting in.

The latest critters I’ve seen are flickers, our native woodpeckers. We’ve all heard them out in the woods. And they are destructive. When they’re pounding on trees and wood, they’re typically looking for food. When they’re pounding on metal, making a lot of noise, it’s probably a male looking for a girlfriend.

I’ve got a great picture of one that got up on top of a tile roof. He hammered this thing so hard that he actually went through the metal and made a gaping hole going down into the roof.

This homeowner had no idea. He said, “You know, I’ve heard some pounding up there. I didn’t know what it was.” Yeah, that’s a woodpecker.

Now, we can’t stop a woodpecker from pounding on your roof, but we can make some changes, maybe install stronger material that they can’t get through. We can’t stop a raccoon from getting on your roof, but we may be able to stop them from getting in your home.

Give us a call. We’re going to check it out and see how the critters are affecting your roof. If the animal is already inside, we may need you to call the animal control guy to come get it out. Then we will cap the hole off, and figure out how to prevent it in the future.

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