Managing Critters on Your Roof: Squirrels, Birds, Cats, and More

Managing Critters on Your Roof: Squirrels, Birds, Cats, and More

Roof maintenance isn’t just about shingles and gutters; it also involves managing critters that may find your roof an inviting place. Squirrels, birds, cats, and other animals can cause significant damage to your roof and home if not properly managed. This guide explores the common critters that may end up on your roof, the potential problems they cause, and strategies to keep them at bay.

Common Roof Critters

Squirrels

Squirrels are agile climbers and often find their way onto roofs via overhanging tree branches. Once on the roof, they can chew through shingles, wood, and electrical wiring, posing severe risks.

Problems Caused by Squirrels

  • Chewed shingles and wood
  • Damaged electrical wiring
  • Nesting in attics and eaves
  • Noise disturbances

Birds

Birds, especially pigeons and sparrows, often roost on roofs and in gutters. Their droppings, which are acidic and can degrade roofing materials over time, can cause damage.

Problems Caused by Birds

  • Accumulation of droppings
  • Nesting in gutters and vents
  • Blocked drainage systems
  • Spread of diseases

Cats

While less common, domestic and feral cats can end up on roofs, especially chasing birds or other small animals. Cats typically don’t cause as much structural damage but can contribute to noise and disturbance.

Problems Caused by Cats

  • Noise disturbances
  • Potential damage to shingles if they claw at them
  • Stress on household pets

Preventive Measures

Trimming Trees

One of the most effective ways to prevent critters from accessing your roof is by trimming tree branches that overhang your house. This removes easy access points for squirrels and other animals.

Installing Gutter Guards

Gutter guards can prevent birds from nesting in your gutters and reduce the risk of blockages caused by leaves and twigs that animals might carry.

Using Deterrents

Various deterrents can help keep animals off your roof:

  • Squirrel Guards: Install squirrel guards around trees and power lines to prevent them from climbing.
  • Bird Spikes: Place bird spikes on roof edges and other roosting spots to deter birds.
  • Cat Deterrents: Use motion-activated sprinklers or ultrasonic devices to keep cats away from your property.

Securing Entry Points

Ensure that all potential entry points, such as vents, chimneys, and gaps in the eaves, are securely covered with appropriate materials like mesh or hardware cloth. This prevents animals from entering your attic or home.

Regular Inspections

Regular roof inspections should be conducted early to identify signs of animal activity. Look for chewed materials, nests, droppings, and other indications that critters may be present.

Dealing with Infestations

Professional Removal

If you already have an infestation, it is best to contact professional pest control or wildlife removal services. They can safely and humanely remove the animals and advise on long-term prevention.

Repairs and Cleanup

After removal, it’s essential to repair any damage caused by the animals and clean up droppings or nests to prevent the spread of diseases and attract other critters.

Conclusion

Keeping your roof free from critters like squirrels, birds, and cats requires a proactive approach. By trimming trees, installing deterrents, securing entry points, and conducting regular inspections, you can protect your roof from damage and maintain a safe, quiet home. For persistent issues or infestations, seek professional help at Fair and Square Roofing to resolve the problem effectively and humanely.