Nuisance wildlife has an amazing ability to locate and exploit weaknesses in order to gain access into homes and other structures. Weakened, water-saturated or otherwise damaged wood, shingles, fascia, and soffits and gaps, cracks, and openings around the foundation are all used by wildlife to gain entry. For homeowners, preventative maintenance will go a long way to keep wildlife out of your home.
These particular homeowner in Holmdel, NJ had an issue with squirrels continuing to access their attic space. They already had wildlife technicians come over for two squirrel trapping jobs followed by a seal-up of access points. Needless to say, these homeowners were tired of dealing with ongoing squirrel infection problems, and they asked if I could inspect their home and determine if there was anything that Cowleys could do to help prevent ongoing attic wildlife problems. I inspected their home, and presented the homeowners with an inventory of potential problem points, and explained what preventative maintenance could be done to shore up their home and discourage wildlife from gaining entry.
One major concern that I identified was the attic fan cover. When it comes to keeping out wildlife, standard attic fan covers just don’t cut it. The manufacturer’s standard is a light, flimsy mesh wrap to stop the occasional bird from going inside to nest. This covering is not built to stop animals with razor-sharp teeth and claws. Agile animals that can make their way to your roof like raccoons, squirrels, and flying squirrels can get through these attic fan covers with ease. And once this mesh is compromised, it opens up the possibility for almost any type of wildlife to gain access into your attic through the roof. We replaced this cover with a tough galvanized steel mesh cover that fits over the entire outside of the fan. This cover will stop wildlife from even thinking about using the attic fan area to access the attic.
I also observed another potential wildlife roof vulnerability: the ridge vent. Attic ventilation is a necessity to remove excess heat, prevent roof rot, limit mold growth in your attic, and avoid a host of other problems. Ridge venting is vent opening that’s installed at the roof peak, which works in conjunction with soffit vents. The ridge vent is not only a weak point for wildlife, but also is vulnerable to weather as well. The ridge vent is often the first place where shingles start peeling off when hit with high winds. We installed a Ridge-Guard system to the ridge vent to shore up this wildlife-prone area of the roof. Ridge-Guard keeps out not only larger wildlife like raccoons and squirrels, but also ensures that animals capable of exploiting much smaller entry points will not find their way inside. Animals like bats, flying squirrels and mice can squeeze in through much smaller openings.
These improvements will go a long way in preventing any further re-infestation of squirrels in this attic. They will also extend the useful life of these important roof structures.