As winter weather moves in, animals everywhere are looking for warm places to sleep away the season or otherwise weather the cold—and if your home isn’t adequately protected via its exterior, it’s likely you could end up with some unwanted roommates very soon!
Raccoons, opossums, and squirrels are all known to take up residence in the walls or the attic. And these roommates are worse than the kind that skimp on rent; because they tear up insulation to make their nest and toilet wherever they please, they can spread disease, cause fire hazards, and even skyrocket your home’s energy bills.
But you needn’t accept these freeloaders into your home! With the right exterior maintenance and the right protective products, your family can stay safe and your energy bills low this season. Tony’s Lifetime Exteriors, your Sauk Rapids siding contractors and roofing company, has a few tips and how-to’s below.
Tree Maintenance Is Paramount
It’s a lot easier for any creature to climb up and across a grippy material than to scale a vertical wall of siding. In other words: if your tree branches extend too close to your home, you’ve made it easy for wildlife to get to your roof and exploit any holes found there for easy access to your attic.
The solution? A hearty bout of tree trimming! It’s recommended to trim back branches from the sides of your home anywhere from fifteen to twenty feet—if you can do so without damaging the tree. Seek out the help of an arborist or professional tree trimming company with questions.
As a side note, trimming back trees doesn’t just deter critters. Keeping wayward branches away from your roof and siding prevents them from scratching against one another in a storm. It also helps keep your roof exposed to sunlight, which in turn helps to prevent mold growth, a topic we covered in our roofer blog “Mold on Your Roof: Causes and Solutions.”
Ensure Your Roof Is in Tip-Top Shape Before Winter Starts
We touched on the importance of roof repair and the like in respect to your energy bills in “4 Exterior Upgrades That Will Keep Your Home Toasty This Winter.” But a watertight roof is better for more than keeping you warm; it also stops animals from taking up residence there.
It sounds almost contradictory, we know; wouldn’t wildlife be more attracted to a warm and cozy space than one that’s wet and moldy? The fact of the matter is, though, that a well-ventilated and well-kept roof has the physical means to hinder wildlife from getting into your attic and walls, whereas a soggy one does not—and when you’re a chilled critter looking to get out of the incoming snow, nearly anything goes.
The best way, then, to make sure animals stay out is roof maintenance and calling a pro when things go awry, but especially when it comes to the following:
Mind Your Roof Ventilation
We dive into this topic in detail in the entry “The Basics of Proper Roofing Ventilation,” so check it out if you’re looking for a more comprehensive overview. The long and short of it as it pertains to wildlife prevention, though, is this: a poorly ventilated roof can be one that’s vulnerable to water damage and mold problems, which in turn becomes weak and easier for animals to tear through.
The tricky thing about ventilation and the insulation that affects it, though, is that every roof is built differently. Some, for example, require very little in the name of ventilation, while others need quite a few roof vents to manage their hot, humid air intake from the home below. If you’re at all concerned about your roof’s ability to “breathe,” contact a licenced pro for an inspection.
Don’t Let Storm Damage Get the Better of You
Even if your room may be in perfectly good health from the inside, a single “chink” in the armor that is its shingles can serve as the perfect entry point for animals. Isolated damage can come from general wear-and-tear, sure, but it’s much more likely to show up after a storm rolls through the area, bringing hail and harsh winds with it.
To prevent animal issues in the wintertime, we always recommend a roofing checkup after strong weather—and so does the National Roofing Contractors Association. Don’t try to shimmy up there yourself, as slick post-rain conditions coupled with a lack of expertise don’t mix. Tony’s Lifetime Exteriors would be happy to take a look at your room and help with any necessary insurance claims you need to file after bad weather hits. With over fifty years of experience, we’ll get the job done right.
Tony’s Lifetime Exteriors: Your Partners in Roof Repair
Dedicated to top-quality craftsmanship and five-star service, our Sauk Rapids team is always there for all of your roofing needs. Give us a call today at 320-252-9086.