While raccoons are famous for breaking into homes, the real and far more common threat comes from squirrels. Squirrels are awake in the day time so you will be far more likely to hear them in the morning and the evening. If you have one in your attic it’s very likely its a pregnant female. This situation can be very serious if you don’t get the squirrel out before it has its babies. Once this happens, and for the next three weeks as the immobile babies learn to walk on their own, you will be likely stick with this squirrel in your attic, she may have built up quite a supply of food in there and with those babies immobile she will not leave the attic for any reason. This is the worst situation to be in and can lead to extensive attic damage that can include chewed wires that could catch fire.
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Squirrels are not very good at making a hole, like raccoons, they tend to search for already existing entryways and being that we live in a country with ice storms and highly erratic weather most people rooves tend to have a small opening from weather damage. Most of the people who have rooves often don’t go up to them and rarely hire an inspector to check them unless they have reached the end of the rooves life, which is something a large number of people often ignore. This can lead to a roof absolutely filled with holes and opening that squirrels and other animals can easily get into.
One of the greatest dangers is the roof valleys. Roof valleys sound exactly as they are. They are dips in a roof and places that are especially delicate. They are most commonly found at the front of a house where there is a raised section of roof that houses a small window or a vent for the attic. The section is raised so when it meets the roof of the house on either side the edges need to be properly sealed or animals can get through it. Raccoons can easily rip the siding off or chew through the shingles and even through the wood of the roof if it is damp from heavy rain. Squirrels will often look for other entry points, the drip edge, roof valleys and soffits and vents, all of which are usually already broken and open.
To protect your roof valleys and other areas of your roof it is important to keep up roof repairs after every winter and to call in a professional exterminator to exclude the roof after it has been repaired. The exclusion won’t just keep animals out, it will also strengthen your roof and better protect it from the elements.