Though most animals around your home and roof are small, they can cause big problems if left unchecked. Here are some of the more common rodents and pests in Minnesota that can cause damage to your roof:

Squirrels

With a leap range of 25 feet, squirrels don’t have to just climb up to your roof – they can nearly fly there. Like many rodents, squirrels look to attics for a warm, safe place to set up shop and raise their young.

Along with leaping and procreation, squirrels love to chew. They can gnaw through roof fascia, shingles, siding, and lead sheathing to make their way into your attic. Once there, squirrels can damage anything from water lines to electrical wires to insulation.

Rats

Similar to squirrels, rats are eager to gain access to your attic for protection from weather and larger predators. Roof rats can climb up gas vents and gutters to look for openings in and around your roof, and chew through eaves (where your roof meets your walls) and overhangs to squeeze into their new home.

Rats have the same goals as squirrels: find a safe place and birth their young. While in your attic, rats will chew through almost anything metal, plastic, or wood, including electrical insulation and wires, which can start fires.

Birds

While birds can enter your roof like rodents, they can do even more damage on the outside of your home. Birds like to build nests in tight areas, like gutters and drains, which can block rainwater from leaving your roof causing moisture damage.

Bird droppings tend to be acidic. If left unchecked, your shingles and sheathing can start to disintegrate and become permanently damaged. This leads to leaks in your roof.

Honey Bees

Honey bees are great for gardening and flower growth, but their hives aren’t nearly as welcoming. When honey bees search for a home, they tend to find small holes in your roofing and siding, chewing the area to make a larger entrance.

Once they build their nest, it can grow to weigh enough to cause structural damage to your roof and walls.

Raccoons

Raccoons can use their teeth and paws to rip open large holes in shingles and eaves. Like squirrels and rats, raccoons use your attic to raise young.

Termites

If you get an infestation of termites, you’ll likely see damage to your roof decking, trusses, rafters and anything wood.

Bats

Bats don’t often cause structural damage, but one inside your attic, their droppings and urine can cause odors, stains, and illness from disease.

How to prevent damage

There are several ways to avoid rodents and pests from harming your roof:

  • Fill any gaps or holes
  • Regularly check your roof for activity
  • Remove nests
  • Spray off animal droppings with a hose
  • Remove bird feeders and birdbaths from your yard

Be sure to check everywhere you can: your eaves, soffits, valleys, ridges, and for holes around your chimney and roof vents. If you discover roof damage, call us as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more damaged your house can become.