Which Cute Critters Do The Most Damage To Florida Roofing Systems

It might come as a surprise, but plenty of Florida wildlife can be found right on your roof.

No, you don’t need to worry about an alligator getting up there. But lots of smaller creatures can and do get situated right on your roof. Some are scavengers, and they won’t usually stay for very long.

Others, however, are there to stay. If you notice them around, you need to get them out.

Big damage can come in small packages, as anyone who has ever met a termite before knows. Believe it or not, though, common pests like termites aren’t necessarily the biggest risk to your roof. It takes a long time and a lot of effort for them to get that far, and most termites are strictly ground-dwelling.

So, which uninvited guests are worst for your roof? Take it from the roof maintenance pros:

1. Squirrels

Squirrels are masterful climbers who will go just about anywhere in search of food. You can find them at the tops of trees throughout the spring and fall. They are most active in these seasons as they seek out nuts, but they will also go climbing to avoid predators (such as local cats.)

Although they vary by breed, the average squirrel is just about one pound and anywhere from one foot to one and a half feet long (counting that fluffy tail.) Despite their small size, they can do a tremendous amount of damage to your roof. They may also infiltrate your attic.

If you have a shingle roof, squirrels can easily pull up your shingles, especially any curled or damaged ones. They’ve also been known to gnaw on shingles. They usually get on the roof from a nearby tree, then find their way into your attic. You could discover just one or a dozen.

Luckily for the rest of us, squirrels aren’t very smart. They’re not exactly determined to get up on your roof, either. The best way to foil their plans is to make sure you trim back any trees that overhang the roof. This is good for the roof itself, too, as it means the gutters are less likely to get clogged.

2. Birds

The average Central Florida backyard is part of an ecosystem that includes more than two dozen types of birds. Some of these, like the Northern Cardinal, are highly sought after by bird watchers. The issue: Many small birds, especially robins and jays, may nest right on your roof.

Birds have a propensity to select a shingle roof for their nest. The uniformity of tile roofs and residential metal roofs tends to put them off. Like squirrels, they have the capability to crack, scratch, or even remove shingles. They’re not shy about doing this once they pick a place for their nest, either!

While most Florida homeowners don’t want to harm any birds, it’s important to take action – or else they may end up coming back every year. If you have fruiting plants in your garden, your new tenants might be using them for food, so installing anti-bird netting can encourage them to go elsewhere.

Bird netting can even be used over the roof, especially in the eaves, which are very attractive to some kinds of birds. Bird spikes can also keep birds away from gutters. Is there an active nest? You might have no choice but to wait until the chicks have grown up before you can remove them.

3. THE WORST: Florida Roof Rats

Surprise! Florida isn’t all about reptiles and insects – it also has an iconic rodent pest.

The Florida roof rat is the most dangerous customer when it comes to the safety of your roof.

It will bore through a shingle roof in no time at all and could break its way through the waterproof underlayment. Left to its own devices, it may even be able to chew straight through to reach the structural timber.

What’s more, the roof rat is adept at finding his way into your home. He prefers trees but isn’t above exploring your attic for food. And while he will tend to stay close to an easy escape route, it’s not too unusual for him to go on walkabouts throughout your whole home and leave through the front door.

To stop roof rats, trimming trees back isn’t always enough. You may need to completely cut down the trees they’ve been nesting in and lay out traps. Roof maintenance is crucial to shut down entry points.

Need roof maintenance after your unwanted visitors depart? Contact Sheegog Contracting today.


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