In this episode, Daniel talks critter care. We have such a variety of animals that love to invade your roof in Portland, and Roof Life has found some innovative ways of keeping them out.

Podcast Transcription: RoofLifeB024-184

Shayla: Thank you for joining us today for the Roof Life of Oregon podcast. I’m talking with Daniel. Daniel, I want to talk about critters today. Some of them are really cute, but they do a lot of terrible things to our home. So what kind of critters have you seen in and around the roof in Portland?
Daniel: You know, we live in the Pacific Northwest and we get a huge variety of critters. We’ve all seen the car insurance commercial with the raccoon that gets inside the attic and he’s eating the fluffy stuff. We’ve seen it. So let’s start with the bottom. Starlings. Starlings are a little bird that are not native to here. They are an invasive species that have gotten in. They can go through almost anything. They are actually a small bird, but under your roof, you have what’s called a soffit vent. It lets the air up into your attic, it goes out the top. Starlings like to get into that little soffit vent and they pick the screen out until they have a nice hole, and then they go in and have babies in your attic. You hear the chirping, you have the poop running down the side of your house – it’s amazing. For those, we can actually stop that from happening with a special vent that we designed. It’s a solid metal vent, with holes punched in it. We’ve had them airflow tested – they flow even better than the other ones. And squirrels, starlings, nothing is getting through them. They are absolutely impressive.

Now let’s move to the top of the roof. My daughter thinks squirrels are cute. She loves them. And I have to remind my daughter that squirrels are a rodent. They may be cute, but they get into everything. If you have trees next to your house, you have squirrels on your roof. If I have a piece of advice for you, trim the trees back. They can still jump pretty far, but do your best at keeping the trees back away from the house. Sometimes you just can’t do that. The squirrels are going to get up there, so we can change out some parts and pieces that they go through. I’ve seen them chew their way through plastic vents into the attic, then live. I’ve seen them crawl up underneath eaves. There’s different ways we can do to stop that. So squirrels, starlings, now let’s talk about raccoons.

That’s one thing that you don’t want to come eye-to-eye with on a roof. We’ve been there. Raccoons will get onto a wood shake roof, climb up. They’re so strong, they’ll grab the wood shakes and tear a hole and then go into the top of your roof. Amazingly strong animals. They like the under-eaves where you have one roof coming over the top of another one, and there’s a nice little warm spot under there, start digging holes, try to live inside your attic. There’s things that we can do to block that. Wire mesh. There’s metal pans we can build to keep them from getting in.
And then the latest one. We’ve all heard them out in the woods that- Brrrp sound. Those are our native woodpeckers. The most common one out here is called a flicker. And they are destructive. So when they’re pounding on trees and wood, they’re typically looking for food. When they’re pounding on metal, making a lot of noise, probably a male looking for a girlfriend. But the flickers can do a lot of damage. I’ve got a great picture of one that got up on top of a tile roof, and he was going after something, or he wanted a hole to live in, but the tile goes across the top and there’s two pieces of metal. He hammered this thing so bad, he actually went through the metal and made a gaping hole about this big, going down into the roof. So we have got a wide variety of animals out here and a lot of them like to climb on the roof.
Shayla: I feel like you won’t catch some of those things. You may hear them, but since you’re on the ground, you can’t really see them. Really maintenance is the only thing that’s going to fix this, right?

Daniel: That’s right. This homeowner had no idea. He said, “You know, I’ve heard some pounding up there. I didn’t know what it was.” Yeah, that’s a woodpecker. Now, we can’t stop a woodpecker from pounding on your roof, but we can make some changes, maybe some stronger material that they can’t get through. Can’t stop a raccoon from getting on your roof, but we may be able to stop them from getting in your home with different ways of doing that. The amount of animals we have out here that can access your roof, I even have a picture that I sent Ken of a cat just sleeping on the roof. Driving down the roof and I look up and there’s a cat two stories up on a roof. How it got up there, don’t know. He’s just taking a nap up there.
Shayla: So if we think we have maybe a raccoon or something living in our attic, do you prefer us to call animal control first or what? Who do we need to call? Animal control or Roof Life?

Daniel: You know, probably call us first. We’re going to go ahead and look at the roof, give you a full inspection, see what’s going on up there. If we see that there’s an animal getting in, we’re going to tell you what they’re doing, how they’re getting in, and then we can help guide you and say this is what’s going on, we can stop this, but you still need to call an animal control guy. Sometimes they’re already in. We can’t do anything at that point. We need you to get animal control to get it out and then we can cap the hole off. So it’s a two-step process. Us inspecting it and figuring out what’s going on, animal control getting it out, and then us coming back and filling in the hole and stopping it from happening again.
Shayla: So if you feel like you have some critters crawling around your roof or inside your attic, give the team at Roof Life of Oregon a call, that way they can try to prevent that from happening in the future. Thanks so much, Daniel.


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