How Animals Can Gain Access to Your Attic and Eaves

If you own a house with a roof and attic, you may have noticed that some wild animals will take advantage of any weakness in its structure. They find soft spots or unprotected holes that they can tear or climb into. Once inside, they can do more destruction and damage to your home through their waste and parasites. To prevent this, you must find how and where they are entering your attic and have repairs made. Some of the most common ways animals enter attics are listed below.

Holes and openings

Unprotected holes and other openings, such as chimneys and vents, are some of the easiest ways that animals enter attics. It's possible that a screen or barrier across these holes broke apart or that the animal broke the screen or barrier itself. Raccoons are notorious for pulling apart screens. You or a roofer should periodically check your screens and vents to make sure there is no damage.

Soft spots in the soffit or fascia

Soffits and fascia are especially vulnerable to rot due to the fact that they often sit right above the gutters and right below the edges of the roof. If the gutters aren't cleaned frequently or ice builds up, it can cause the soffits to be constantly soaked in water and get soft. Animals, such as squirrels, take advantage of these soft spots to chew a hole and make a nest inside. The soffit doesn't have to be rotten for animals to get in. Some birds are especially capable of breaking a hole in perfectly good soffits.

Soft spots and missing shingles in roofs

Soft spots can eventually lead to holes in the roofs where animals can get in. Like soffits, some animals seem to know where the weaknesses are and will pull away shingles and chew their way through rotted wood. Loose or missing shingles that are already missing will add to the problem and make soft spots more visible. Tree branches can contribute not only by permitting easy access, but also through wind and water damage to the roof. Soft spots in the attic should be addressed as soon as possible not only because animals can get through, but so can water.

If you have animals already in your attic, make sure they are out before you seal up any entry ways. You may have to make a call to a pest control specialist to trap and remove them. Trees touching the roof or side of the house should also be trimmed. After the animals are removed or have left, call in a roofer to examine the structure of your roof and vents and to make repairs.