Roof maintenance is often one of the last things that homeowners think about when doing maintenance on their homes. Roof inspections should be done twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring. There are many things to look for when doing your roof inspection. Loose shingles, broken or clogged gutters, leaks inside the attic or dark spots on your ceilings are a few things to bi-annually check, or to watch out for during the year.
One major factor for roof damage is pest damage. Rodents look at your attic as a nice warm place to live. Many rodents also think that attics are a perfect place to have and raise their babies! They feel this way because the attic is seldom visited by humans, so they feel like they can live there in peace. The problem is that the way they get into your attic is by clawing and tearing their way in thru your roof. This can cause some major damage to the structure of your house. Rodents, pests and critters also carry a number of diseases that can severely harm humans.
Here are some creatures to look out for when doing your roof inspections:
Insects: Bees, hornets and wasps are the insects you’re most likely to find on roofs. These are all stinging insects. You must be careful when dealing with these types of insects because some people can be allergic to their venom. These buggers are pretty easy to spot because they will have made some type of hive to live in. It is suggested that if you spot some type of nest, contact a professional pest control agency to get rid of the insect.
Raccoons: Raccoons are a very common pest, and will find any means to get into your attic thru your roof. They will look for weak spots and will tear their way in. If you notice an area ripped away you might possibly have a raccoon infestation. Raccoons can carry encephalitis and rabies, so take precaution when getting rid of these creatures. Mothballs are a safe and humane way to get rid of raccoons and their babies.
Bats: Bats are carriers of rabies, which can be fatal to humans. If you notice bat droppings, guano, or actual bats, call your local health department to get rid of the bats. Bats can fit through cracks not much bigger than a quarter-inch, so it can be hard to find where the bats gained entrance. Leaving bat extermination to the professionals is recommended.
Rats/Mice: Rat or mice droppings can be found in any area of your house. They are able to squeeze thru small spaces, so they are able to gain access to your house without doing much damage. Sometimes you might not even know you have a rat/mouse infestation until you have noticed droppings, and it might be very hard to get rid of the infestation. Not all rats/mice are sneaky intruders, they can also do quite a bit of damage. They will claw and chew thru walls, furniture, insulation or anything else that is in their way of their destination. Looking out for chewed up material around the edges of your roof is a good way to check for rat/mice entrances into your attic. Getting rid of rats/mice can be easy, but will take some time. There are many types of traps available in stores to catch them.
Birds: If you notice bird droppings, or nesting material, those are both excellent clues that you might have a bird infestation in your attic. Birds will build nests in attic spaces to roost. Birds can seem cute and non-invasive at times, but birds can carry histoplasmosos, a fungal infection that affects the human respiratory system. It is better to get rid of birds then run the risk of becoming sick from exposure.
A good thing to keep in mind when doing roof inspections for pests is to remember that these are wild animals and could possibly have become territorial towards their new home that they have made. Many of these wild animals can be contaminated with pathogens that can cause major harm to your body. If you notice that your roof might have animal damage, call a professional to help you with any extermination.
By making sure to do your bi-annual roof inspection, you can help minimalize the risk of having pest damage, or critters moving into your home. If you notice weakened spots on your roof, get those areas checked and fixed so you can avoid any further damage.