How to Protect Your Vents From Animal Intruders

One of the most common ways animals can gain access to your home is through vents. Sometimes, the vent covers are missing entirely, and other times they may be damaged or simply not strong enough. So how do you protect your vents to keep raccoons and other animals away? Here are a few tips from our Maryland wildlife removal experts.

Know Your Vents

If you are a new homeowner, it’s understandable that you don’t yet know your home inside and out. However, if you’ve been living in your home for a while now, there is no excuse to not knowing what kind of vents your home has. Knowing the types of vents and their locations is essential because with this knowledge you can decide which vents may need reinforcements. And you will also know where to check to make sure no wildlife is trying to get in. Some of the vents frequently used by animals include:

Gable Vents

Gable vents are located on the gable ends of the house and their purpose is to ventilate the attic and prevent high humidity in summer and ice dams in winter. An average house has 2 or more gable vents, depending on the size of the vents and the house. On most houses, gable vents are located within arm’s reach of the roof edge. This is often close enough for a raccoon to make his way in.

Soffit Vents

Soffit vents are located on the underside of soffits either in several spots or along the entire length of the soffit. They also help with attic ventilation and aid with airflow. Besides the soffit vents, some roofs also have ridge vents along the ridge of the roof, but they are unlikely to be bothered by wildlife.

Appliance Vents

Besides soffit and gable vents, most homes also have a variety of vents that remove air or exhaust from appliances, such as dryers, stoves, furnaces, cooktops, etc. These vents may either exit through the roof or the side of the building.

Reinforce your Vents

Now that you know where all the vents are, it’s time to inspect them and see if they need reinforcements. This may require climbing on the roof, so be sure to take safety measures or hire a roofing contractor or a Maryland animal removal professional to do this for you. When we examine vents, here are some of the things we look at:

  • Is vent framing in good condition?
  • Is there a vent screen or vent cover present?
  • Is the screen/cover strong enough to stand up to a raccoon?
  • Is the flashing around the vent intact?

If there are issues with any of these items, then we will recommend how you can properly seal and reinforce your vents. In most cases, we install galvanized steel mesh or cage-like screens over your vents. They prevent any birds and other small critters from getting in, as well as stand up well to larger animals.

Before Screening Your Vents

Before you take any steps to reinforce your vents it’s important to make sure there are no animals already in your home. If you found a vent damaged in any way, call an animal removal expert for an inspection. Take a look at this video from an art gallery where four raccoons became trapped after the roof vents were sealed.

KPTV – FOX 12 If you have any other questions about roof vents or think you may have animal intruders, feel free to give us a call!