What damage can squirrels do in the attic is a question I never thought I ask. Do you have a lot of wildlife in your area? Squirrels and other local wildlife can be a great treat and a major positive of where you live. However, they aren’t always great for your home – and especially your roof.
That’s why keeping them in check is important. You don’t want to get to the stage where you have to get rid of them. In this article, we’re going to look at some of the issues associated with squirrels and your home. Especially the damage they could do to your roof and attic, along with what to do about it.
You should only see extermination as an absolute last resort. Thankfully, there’s a lot you can do before that to fix the problem. Making minor roof repairs might be necessary in some extreme cases, but your priority should be preventing this from happening again while preserving the nature around you.
But firstly, let’s have a look at the damage squirrels can do to your roof and attic.
What damage can squirrels do in the attic and roof?
Squirrels have sharp teeth and claws that are designed to break into acorns. That means they can get into your home and especially your roof cavities and attic and cause real damage. It’s easier to get into these areas without being warned off because it’s harder for you to tell what’s going on up there even when you’re loving in your home.
For example, a squirrel brave enough to try and break into the main part of your home (which most aren’t) will be easy for you to spot and shoo away.
That means your roof area and attic is the area that’s most at risk. Squirrels are excellent climbers so getting up there shouldn’t a problem. A bit later, we’ll look at a few ideas designed to protect your roof while keeping your local wildlife population in-tact. But first, let’s have a closer look at the sort of damage squirrels can do in your attic.
What Damage Can Squirrels do in the Attic – Chewed wood
Your attic will have lots of beams and other wood structures, and squirrels can chew through quite a lot of it. While it could take years for one to actually make it through an entire beam, they can cause lots of superficial damage and other issues. If you want to keep your wood in-tact, you probably want to keep squirrels out of your attic.
Chewed electrical wires
This might be slightly more concerning than chewed wood as it is more dangerous, to both you and the squirrel. Chewed electrical wires can cause appliances to malfunction or other major issues in your home. They could even be a fire hazard. So if you want to keep your home safe, make sure squirrels don’t get into your attic and chew your wires.
If squirrels really like your roof, they might decide to make a nest in it! That means they’ll have plenty of time to chew all your wires and wood, but they’ll also cause issues with nesting material. The amount of nesting material a squirrel can bring will vary. Some like to bring a huge load of leaves and other debris to make your attic their home. Others prefer to stick to the insulation that’s already in your attic. And that’s not a good thing – that means they’ll be chewing and re-arranging the integrity of your roof insulation.
Anything you store in the attic
If you’ve got things you want to keep stored in the attic in boxes, squirrels could chew through these, too. This could cause quite a lot of financial damage if you’ve got anything valuable up there.
If a squirrel is living in or spending a lot of time in your roof or attic, they need to go to the toilet somewhere. And that means there could be a lot of feces and urine all over your attic. While this damage might only be superficial, it can be horrible to clean out.
How can you repair this damage?
The repairs that might be needed will depend a lot on exactly what’s been chewed through. You might have to completely rewire your attic and ge a carpenter in to repair the wood damage. You may also need to fill the area with new insulation and have a major clean.
Some of the toughest damage to repair could be the part of the roof where the squirrel entered. Don’t go outside to do work on your roof unless you know what you’re doing and can do it safely. Depending on how they got in, some of the roof membrane might need to be overlayed or new shingles put in place. An expert roofer can do this for you.
How can further damage be prevented?
Now you know why it’s important that you keep squirrels out of your roof. In many ways, that often means keeping them off your roof in the first place. Many homeowners enjoy living alongside squirrels peacefully and this should be what you’re aiming for. So how can you do it?
Making changes to your roof
Your priority is keeping squirrels away from your roof. That means installing features that make it hard for them to get ontop. You could try blocking certain areas, especially ones near trees if that’s a common way for wildlife to get up there. Some homeowners like to put a slippery or smelly solution on their roof to put off squirrels. You could also try things like scarecrows or water sprinklers.
You can also get high-pitched noise emitters that put out a sound you can’t hear but that puts off squirrels. You might want to put this inside your attic as you won’t want to disturb too much wildlife outside. It’ll stop them coming in but might not prevent them trying in the first place (and causing some damage).
Re-training the local squirrels not to come close
The idea isn’t to get rid of squirrels from your entire property, but just stopping them getting anywhere near your roof. Squirrels will get braver and braver if not deterred from entering your roof area, so try and shoo them away as much as possible. They’re also quite easy to train, so you could try simply enticing them to other parts of your garden, like with nuts or something else. Make them happy to play in the trees and well fed so they don’t feel the need to come over to your roof. If squirrels get too close to your property, jump up and shout at them so they know their limits.