You might be keeping up with your home’s regular maintenance and taking steps to protect it from the forces of nature—but what about the forces of nature in your front yard? Your neighborhood birds and squirrels have the potential to damage your roof and home—especially if they’re allowed to nest in your home.
Here are a few steps you can take to help prevent or minimize the damage birds and squirrels can cause to your home.
If you have bird feeders or bird baths on your property, you’re inviting birds to make your home their home, too. While visiting birds can add beauty to your yard, you don’t want them in or on your home, and you should take steps to prevent them from overstaying their welcome.
One thing to watch for, especially if you do have bird feeders, is bird droppings on your roof. Bird droppings are very acidic and can eat away at roofing material and cause leaks if they are allowed to accumulate on your roof, so be sure to check regularly and clear off what droppings you find.
You’ll also want to keep an eye out for signs of nesting, particularly in the spring. If you’ve had problems with birds nesting in your home in the past, you’ll want to especially monitor those areas. Birds like to nest in gutters, drains and roof corners, as well as in chimneys and ventilation systems. If gutters and other drainage pathways are blocked, standing water can accumulate and cause a number of roof problems. Having birds nest in your ventilation systems is a problem because they can spread disease through your home’s airways and block airflow.
Some bird species can build a nest in as little as one to two days, so be sure to check your gutters regularly, and install vent and chimney covers to prevent birds from accessing your ventilation systems.
If you do have a bird feeder, you’ve probably noticed that you’re not just feeding the birds. In addition to stealing your bird seed, squirrels can also do damage to your house and roof.
Squirrels’ teeth grow constantly throughout their lives, and the only way to keep them trimmed is by chewing on wood and other materials—including your home. They can eat away at your siding and trim board, as well as your roof’s shingles, leaving you susceptible to moisture damage. In some houses, electric cables pass through the roof. Squirrels can and will chew through these cables if they can access them. You can apply a repellent, such as capsaicin, to siding and other areas to inhibit squirrels from chewing on them. Keep tree limbs trimmed six to eight feet away from your house to help prevent squirrels from easily accessing your roof.
The most important thing is that you prevent squirrels from entering your home, particularly your attic, where they can chew on wood, drywall, insulation and electrical wires. Squirrels give birth twice a year, in the late winter/early spring and late summer/early fall, so you’ll want to make sure they aren’t able to start a family in your home or attic.
The best way to prevent a squirrel from entering your home is to seal off all possible entryways. Inspect your roof and walls for places that squirrels might be able to gain entry. Check your roof’s soffits, eaves, ridges, valleys and where dormers jut out from the roof. Inspect for holes around chimneys, roof vents and other protrusions, and check for loose or rotting boards. As with bird nesting prevention, you’ll want to cover possible entryways and check frequently for signs of nesting.
Taking these preventative measures should help prevent birds and squirrels from damaging your roof and home, but if you discover that squirrels or birds have nested in your house, contact a wildlife control professional. If you suspect that you roof has been damaged from bird or squirrel activity, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us toll-free at 855-964-7663.