Four Ways Squirrels Damage Roofs

Squirrels may seem like cute, harmless animals that scamper through trees and frolic in the yard, but these small rodents can actually cause quite a bit of damage to your roof. It's vital that you learn how to spot squirrel damage so you can plan for a quick roof repair. Trimming back trees so they don't overhang the rood can reduce squirrel access and prevent some damage, but you still must remain vigilant to potential trouble.

1. Lifted Shingles

Squirrels are curious creatures. They will lift and pull up shingles to look for access to the interior of the home or simply to see if they can. This activity can damage shingles, leading to cracks, broken shingles, and loss of the granule shingle surface. If shingles are loose, the squirrel may end up pulling them off completely. This exposes the roof decking and increases the chances of leaks and water damage inside the home.

2. Gnawed Roof Components

Like most rodents, squirrels like to gnaw. Wood components on the roof are most at risk. Many homes have wooden eaves, so this is a common area for squirrels to gnaw at the wood. Sometimes they can create a hole large enough to squeeze through, which then allows them to get into the attic where they can destroy insulation and chew through your home's wiring. The damage to the eaves will also lead to moisture issues and it can allow in other pests. Replacing the wood eaves with metal or vinyl eaves can prevent this issue.

3. Clogged Gutters

Squirrels don't just store food in the ground, they will also stick it down gutter downspouts or even in the gutter itself. If there is a lot of squirrel activity on your roof, it isn't uncommon for them to stash so much in your gutters that they become clogged frequently. Clogged gutters lead to roof damage because water backflows back onto the roof or it splashes against wooden eaves and leads to rot. If you have a lot of squirrels in your area, you may need to clean your gutters more frequently.

4. Vent Damage

Another common area for squirrels to cause damage is to the rooftop vents. The rodents may pry off vent covers in an attempt to get into the attic, for example. They can also pull and peel up the flashing that seals the roof to the vent. Chimney caps are also at risk of being dislodged by squirrels, especially if they are already loose or damaged.

Contact a residential roofer if you have squirrel damage on your roof that needs to be repaired.