Roof Damage From Squirrels in Silver Spring

Roof Damage From Squirrels in Silver Spring

This time of the year it is very common for the residents of Silver Spring and other Maryland cities and suburbs to find squirrels living in the attic. From late spring to mid-fall, squirrels usually prefer denning in a tree that is covered with leaves that offer great protection from predators and harsh weather. However, after the leaves fall off the trees, the squirrels have no coverage from hawks, rain and wind, so they often chew holes through roofs to den in attics and wall cavities.

Why Squirrels Picked Your Attic

A squirrel will investigate a roof to find the most vulnerable spots to enter the attic. In most cases, squirrels will chew a baseball-sized hole through the fascia board (the board your gutter is attached to). Many homeowners have no drip edge flashing (the L-shaped aluminum flashing installed under the edge of the shingles to close the gap between the roof and fascia board). This allows squirrels and other wildlife to enter the attic anytime, which could be the reason why squirrels picked your house.

What Squirrel Roof Damage Looks Like

The photo below shows that a gray squirrel has been entering through the gap between the plywood roof deck and the fascia board. The photo also shows that the squirrel has ripped up some of the attic insulation and built a den site. Many different species of wildlife including mice, snakes, birds, and bats can easily fit through this gap to access the attic or wall cavities. Drip edge flashing must be installed to prevent further squirrel damage and future pest control problems.

Dormer pockets are another area of the roof where a Silver Spring squirrel control professional may be needed. Squirrels can easily chew through or push through the dormer pocket to access an attic or crawl space. A dormer pocket is the inside vertical corner of a dormer where the rooftop and the dormers meet. Most homes that have dormers have vinyl siding on the sidewalls. When the vinyl siding is installed, it is sometimes tucked behind the corner and not fastened down, which allows squirrels and other wildlife to easily push it in. In some cases, it can be difficult for the average homeowner to determine if the squirrel living in their Silver Spring attic is using the dormer pockets as an entry point because it did not chew a hole and may be pushing and pulling the inside corner of the dormer just like a door (squirrels can be very smart and very inventive).

How to Remove Squirrels from Your Attic

It can be very difficult and frustrating to attempt to get rid of squirrels living in the attic. All too often do-it-yourself homeowners will try to take care of their squirrel problem on their own and fail. They usually seal a squirrel or two up in the attic after repairing the holes the squirrels chewed through on the rooftop. At this point, one of three things will happen: <

  • (1) the squirrel(s) will make a lot of noise trying to escape and eventually die in the attic, which will create a very bad odor in the home
  • (2) the squirrel(s) will dig a hole through the sheet rock ceiling beneath the attic and get into the living space of your home
  • (3) the squirrel(s) will find a vulnerable spot on the interior of the roof and chew their way out.

To prevent future roof damage caused by squirrels it is important to set live-capture squirrel traps to remove the invasive squirrels like the photo below shows:

Choosing a full-service Silver Spring squirrel removal company like Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control is always the best solution to resolve your invasive squirrel problem. After the squirrels are humanely evicted from your home, the wildlife control professionals at Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control will restore any area of your roof or walls that was damaged by squirrels.

What a Drip Edge is and Why Your Home Needs it

What a Drip Edge is and Why Your Home Needs it

We’ve talked about eave drip edge before when we were describing a squirrel removal job we performed in Silver Spring, Maryland. In that home, the lack of eave drip edge led to a squirrel problem in the attic. However, since then we’ve come across numerous other scenarios where a missing drip edge led to a wildlife infestation. As a Maryland wildlife removal company, we are urging you to check whether your home has an eave drip edge and its condition. Because if you don’t, there is a good chance you have critters living in your attic.

What is an Eave Drip Edge?

An eave drip edge is a strip of galvanized metal or aluminum installed over the fascia board underneath the roof shingles to cover the so-called carpenter’s gap. A carpenter’s gap is a space between a roof deck and a fascia board. This gap may range from 3/4” to 2,” and may vary throughout the roof line. In some cases, it’s unavoidable due to the different angles between the roof deck and the fascia board. In other cases, it’s wider than necessary due to the contractor’s lack of attention to detail. Either way, it should always be covered with a drip edge flashing. The picture above shows an example of a carpenter’s gap with a missing drip edge.

The Purpose of a Drip Edge

  • Stop squirrels, rodents, insects and other animals, such as bats, from getting into your attic. Remember, bats need just 1/4” opening to fit!
  • Stop the bottom row of shingles from drooping over the roof deck edge and cracking.
  • Stop leaves, debris and sideways rain from getting blown into the soffit.
  • Protects the roof deck from water damage and rot.
  • Create a finished look for your roof and your home in general.

How to Check if Your Home Has a Drip Edge

Because it’s covered by gutters in most areas, you wouldn’t see the drip edge unless you are up there cleaning them. Take a ladder and closely inspect the space behind your gutters. There shouldn’t be any gaps there. Or you can always call a roof inspector to get your entire roof evaluated. If it turns out that you don’t have a drip edge, it’s fairly easy to install. An eave drip edge is nailed to the roof deck over or under the underlayment, depending on your local building codes. Make sure your roofing contractors check the drip edge and install a new one as needed when they are doing roof replacement.

If You Think You Have Animals in Your Attic

If you lived in your home for a while without ever noticing the missing drip edge, it’s possible that your home has already become a home to a family of squirrels or a few generations of bats. If you are hesitant to go up in the attic and check for yourself, we don’t blame you! That’s what our Maryland wildlife removal professionals are for! Give us a call or contact us online and we’ll be happy to help!