In this episode, we talk about what to do when you have unwanted guests in your roof or attic space. This is a big issue in Oregon because we’re surrounded by trees and tree-dwellers. Daniel discusses your options.

Podcast Transcription: RoofLifeB034-222

Shayla: Thank you for joining us today for the Roof Life of Oregon podcast. I am talking with Daniel today. Daniel, what can homeowners do about little animals getting in their roofing system, if anything? Have you had some experience with that?

Daniel: We have actually had a lot of experience with animals getting into roofing systems. One of the funny things, I don’t know if you guys have seen the car insurance commercials where they talk about the raccoon that gets inside the attic and he’s eating all the fluffy stuff and he says, “I’ve already had like three babies.” We’ve seen it. They’re not joking when they have that commercial. We’ve actually seen it.

I’ve had a squirrel run out and scare the snot out of me on a roof. So they do get into your house. There’s multiple different ones. Out here we’ve got the raccoons, lots and lots of squirrels and birds. And not just any birds, but we have an invasive species called the starling out here and they are brutal. I just recently had a client that said, “I need your help. These things are getting in all of my under eave vents.” So let’s talk about the under eave vents. So your roof goes on top, you have can vents on the top of your roof, and the roof goes down, and then you have an intake vent under. So if you walked out your front door, and you looked underneath the roof, you’d see these little round holes or little slits. Those are the intakes. They let the cool air go into your attic space.  Birds love those things.

And the starling can actually pick the metal screen out of there and then he’ll go in and they’ll have their babies and they just wreak havoc. They poop down the side of your house and just a nightmare. This particular client had them in every other bay. He said, “What can we do about this?” Well, first, we have to get the birds out of there, so you need to hire someone to take care of that, or wait until the season’s done, and then we’ll close them off. There are multiple different types of vents that they just go through, and the only two that we’ve found that’ll stop that is one, a metal plate you can buy at a big box store with louvers. The downside is you restrict the air with that.

We have designed a vent and had it airflow tested that’s a solid piece of metal with holes punched in it. So they flow better, they’re solid metal – keep those birds out, because they are an absolute nightmare.

Shayla: That product is exclusive to you guys, you created that?

Daniel: We created it. It’s not exclusive to us. There are some other individuals that have gotten a hold of it, but it is something that we did create and we use it on every single re-roofing project now. So when we put a new roof on and we update your ventilation system, we automatically use those. With maintenance, and it’s already a roof that someone else has installed, they probably don’t have them, but if you’re having that bird problem, we can knock out those bird blocks and install those vents to stop that.

Shayla: Is there anything other than it just being an annoying thing to have birds and animals in your roof system, are there problems that can arise because that happening on your home?

Daniel: Absolutely, if you’re having babies and the fecal matter and things like that in there, you’re creating a health hazard inside your attic, if these animals are living in there. If squirrels are getting inside your house, we see that all the time, they’ll go up the roof, they’ll go into where a dormer comes across a roof like this, they’ll go up in, they’ll chew a hole, and they’ll live inside your attic space. They pull the insulation out, they have babies, it’s just disgusting when they get in there.

One of the other things we talk to homeowners about, do you have trees right next to you house? How far away are those trees? Are they touching the house? If you have a good arborist, have them trim those trees back. Get that squirrel highway away from your roof. They can make a pretty good jump, so you need to trim it back. And I know some homeowners just can’t get the trees cut back, but if you have the ability, take away the ability for them to get on the roof, especially raccoons. They are a strong little animal. I’ve actually seen them get on a wood shake roof, go up, they can actually grab the wood shakes and tear them out, rip the boards out, and then go in. They’re a strong little animal.

Shayla: Is there anything we can do to prevent that?

Daniel: Get the trees trimmed back. Get their little ladders taken away, stop them from doing that. There are some things we can do on the roof to combat some of this, especially under the eaves. We talked about the bird blocks that we can block those. Under the eaves, we can put a really heavy wire mesh or we can put solid metal. And we can actually bolt that into that. They can’t their hands into the metal and actually pull it back off. It’s smooth and it’s hard. So those are some of the things that we can do to stop the animals. But it’s a two-part process. It’s not just us closing it. It’s having a critter control company come out and deal with them first. Then we come in and close off those holes.

Shayla: So if you’re experiencing anything that we’ve talked about today, you want to reach out to the team at Roof Life of Oregon. They can kind of help guide you to help you prevent the critters from getting in your roofing system. If you have any more questions, reach out to the team at Roof Life of Oregon. Thanks, Daniel.

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