Animal Damage to Roofing, Siding, and Gutters
Wind, rain, and snow aren’t the only factors that lead to roofing, siding, and gutter repairs. Critters of all shapes and sizes do their fair share of damage as well! Over the years L.H. Krueger & Son has repaired Wisconsin homes damaged from a variety of unwelcome guests. From the tiniest insect to giant pileated woodpeckers, we know what it takes to preserve your home from all destructive elements, environmental or organic.
Home Exterior Damage From Birds and Woodpeckers
While damage and removal of roofing or siding materials for nest building is always a concern, the high acidity of bird droppings can cause damage to asphalt roofing as well. Be on the lookout for ventilation or gutters blocked by nest materials, as poor airflow in vents and gutters can cause ice dams and siding damage.
Woodpeckers are another source of consternation for suburban and rural homeowners. These relentless insect-hunters will typically peck away at siding near your eves (where they can get solid footing). In spring they drum on siding to draw in potential mates, but they’ll also feed on insect larvae if they live in your roof or siding. Occasionally a woodpecker will even decide to drill nest holes in your siding. Homemade remedies like predator silhouettes, mirrors, or reflective ribbon may provide short term solutions, but they rarely keep woodpeckers at bay. In the event a woodpecker does drill holes in your siding, you can cover the holes from the inside by securing a board to your siding, and filling the hole with a siding plug that is attached to the board behind the hole. Fill the gap with caulk, and finish repairing the siding to match the home exterior. If you don’t feel comfortable making these repairs, contact our repairs team, we’d be happy to do it for you!
Home Exterior Damage From Squirrels, Mice, Raccoons, and Other Rodents
Four-legged pests can do just as much damage to your home exterior as their winged counterparts. The largest of these is the mischievous raccoon. Known for ripping off shingles and tearing holes in roofs, these little guys will go to extreme measures to take up residence in your attic.
Like many rodents, squirrels often enjoy chewing on wood or other materials. Siding and trim boards are often perfect candidates for this annoying exercise, as well as any exposed shingles!
Much like their raccoon counterparts, squirrels frequently enjoy taking up residence in attics. If at all possible, seal off any potential routes of ingress or egress. Soffits, eaves, ridges, vents, and flashing occasionally feature gaps large enough for a squirrel to pass through. Make sure you check and replace any loose or rotting boards that might make a good front door for these furry neighbors. If you hear any occasional scratching or skittering inside your walls or in the attic above, you may need to trap and remove your new roommates, plugging any exterior gaps to prevent reentry!
Even if they can’t worm their way into your home, squirrels can still cause mischief by stockpiling nuts, acorns, and nesting materials in your gutters. If you see water running over the edge of your gutters and not through the downspout, there’s a good chance the local wildlife may have created an unwanted blockage.
Home Exterior Damage From Insects
Sometimes the smallest home invaders can cause the most damage. Many insects are attracted to moisture and untreated wood, so it’s important to make sure your roof is in excellent shape. Leaky roofs cause mold, which creates rotting wood. Rotting wood attracts termites, carpenter ants, and carpenter bees (as well as those hungry larvae-eating woodpeckers we discussed earlier).
Carpenter bees typically only bore through untreated wood, so you’ll want to make sure any cracks, gaps, or missing finishing are promptly filled or painted. In the event they do construct a hive in your siding, you can eradicate the hive with dust-type insecticide and a wood putty filler to prevent future reentry. Termites and ants may be a bit trickier to remove, but can sometimes be prevented by limiting the amount of contact between the ground and any wood siding or trim. Leaky gutters can also cause moisture damage and rot, so make sure your downspouts are draining properly and transporting runoff at least a few feet from your home!
If you notice any cracks, holes, or insect traffic outside the base of your home, you may need to contact an exterminator to apply a barrier treatment or insect bait in order to eliminate the colony. With extensive infestations, major infrastructure repairs or fumigation may be required.
Preventing Future Animal Damage to Your Home
As you can see above, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Seasonal inspections and service of your roofing, siding, and gutters will help prevent these issues before they become a problem. Frequent minor repairs and maintenance will often reduce the need to invest in expensive service projects down the road.