Your roof is designed to withstand all sorts of stresses, but the focused activities of the wildlife in your neighborhood can be more than it can handle. There are a few types of animal damages you should keep an eye for when scheduling regular home roof inspections.
1. Acidic Bird Droppings
A flock of birds resting on the roof may seem harmless, but their droppings are highly acidic and can eat through your shingles over time. If the droppings are severe enough to be noticeable, then you likely have a developing problem. A roofer can clean the acidic waste off the roof and then install devices to discourage the birds from coming back.
2. Shingle & Flashing Tear-off
It's not unheard of for an animal to actually tear out shingles or rip off flashing in an attempt to get into the dry attic to nest or rest. Larger animals like raccoons are most likely to try this, although squirrels and other smaller animals are also sometimes guilty of shingle damage. Loose shingles and lifted flashing can entice the animals to try to break through the roof, so have small damages repaired promptly.
3. Vent Destruction
There are vents throughout the roof structure, such as those in the soffits on the underside of your eaves and those at the gable ends of the roof. Birds and small rodents in particular will often tear out vent screens to gain access to the dry, safe space behind. The animals then cause damage inside the roof, or else moisture can get in through the compromised vent covers. Any loose or damaged vents, including both roof vents and vent covers like chimney caps, should be inspected and replaced as needed.
4. Chewing Damages
Chewing damages most often affect the underside of the roof and its main support structures. Rodents will chew on it, as well as some wood-eating insects like termites. Unpainted or water-damaged wood, such as along the eaves, can invite chewing damages, but some rodents will chew on anything they can get to. Keeping the roof and eaves in good condition makes your roof less prone to this type of damage.
5. Blocked Gutters
All sorts of animals use the gutter troughs and downpipes for shelter, from small rodents and birds to larger squirrels. This nesting behavior causes gutter blockages, which can lead to water damage on the edges of the roof or ice dams and leaks on the main roof. Clean the gutters regularly and check the eaves for damages if you want to avoid problems.
Contact a residential roofing contractor if you suspect there is animal damage to your roof.