Animals on your property don't just cause damage at ground level. They can sometimes get onto and even into your roof, where they will destroy attic insulation, wiring, and the roof structure itself.
There are several different types of animals that tend to wreak havoc on a roof. Raccoons are perhaps the most damaging since they will tear open eaves or rip up shingles and sheathing in an effort to get into your attic. Squirrels are the most common pests. Exterior damage from squirrels is more limited compared to raccoons, as they may only chew through a soffit vent to get into the attic, but once in your home, they can destroy insulation and wiring. Other common pests on roofs include possums, birds, and bats.
If pests are getting into your roof or tearing up shingles, the first task is to bring in a roofer to assess the damage and locate the entry points. Common access points are where metal flashing seals gaps between the shingles and rooftop vents. Raccoons, in particular, will pull up the flashing and then tear through the roof decking to gain access to a dry attic for nesting purposes. Pests may also tear the vent screens from protruding vents or soffit vents in order to gain access. Roof corners are another common area where raccoons and other animals will damage or chew through roofing structures to get into an attic.
If the damage is not too severe, your roofer may be able to patch the damaged eaves, roof decking, or shingles. In some cases, all that is necessary is adding screens to soffit vents and caps to rooftop vents to keep the pests out of the attic. In severe cases, the entire roof may need to be replaced. This is especially true if the roof itself is nearing the end of its service life or if the decking boards beneath the shingles are starting to rot. Extensive animal damages may also necessitate the replacement of the roof decking boards.
The best form of animal damage prevention is to make sure they never see your attic as a desirable option. You can do this by keeping your roof in good repair. Fix damage, no matter how minor, as soon as it occurs and before animals realize they can get inside the roof. If you have a lot of animal pressure on your roof, particularly from raccoons, then you may want to invest in a roof that is harder for them to destroy. Metal panel roofs and chew-proof tile roofs are some animal-resistant options.
Contact a roofing service for more help in creating a pest-proof roof.