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6 Tips to Keep Your Roof In Great Condition

6 Tips to Keep Your Roof In Great Condition

Your roof is an important part of your house and separates you from the weather, animals, changing temperatures and more. Make sure your roof is in great condition by following these tips.

1. Trim nearby tree branches

Branches that grow too far into the area of your roof give an easy access for squirrels and chipmunks to find their way across the top of your home and into vents for nesting.

Branches can also damage shingles, gutters, and flashing if a strong wind blows. Cut your tree branches two to three feet away from your roof every year, ideally early spring or late fall when the branches are bare.

2. Get ice dams cleared

Ice dams form when warm, indoor air heats a snowy roof. That snow then melts, refreezes lower down the roof, and causes a literal dam of ice to collect water, which can find its way underneath the shingles and into your home.

Removing ice dams yourself can be dangerous and damaging to your roof, so be sure to hire a professional to remove your ice dams when they form.

3. Remove leaves

A buildup of leaves in the fall allows moisture to collect around the shingles and potentially into the framework of your roof. Leaves can also cause plant growth and hide preexisting damage. Use a pole with a soft end or leaf blower to remove the leaves at first sign.

4. Look for leaks

Every few months, take a peek into your attic. Look for visible water leaks (while raining), discoloration in the wood from past leaks, and listen for audible drips. If you find you have a roof leak, get it repaired as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more damage it’ll cause to your roof, behind your siding, and inside your home.

5. Watch for birds and rodents

Take a look at your roof while you’re outside. Look for rodents and pests like birds, squirrels, chipmunks, rats, raccoons and nests. Animals like to make a home in vents and chew through materials in order to have a place to birth their young.

6. Regular checks

Every few months, take 30 minutes to look at your roof from the ground or from a ladder. Look for things like:

  • Damaged or missing shingles
  • Buckling or curling shingles
  • Cracked flashing around vents and the chimney
  • Leaves
  • Rodents and pests
  • Nearby tree branches

Rodents and Pests that Can Damage a Roof

rodents pests damage roof home shingles

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:


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.


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.


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 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.


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


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.

Contact Bill Blazek

 (952) 212.3399


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