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Fix Holes in Roof to Keep Out Animals



12.21.2005 - This house was located in a very fancy neighborhood in Orlando, right behind a gleaming white Mormon temple and surrounded by other beautiful houses.  But the inside of this house was not so beautiful and gleaming. It was filled with rats and squirrels, and all the droppings, urine, nesting material, parasites, and odor that come with a rodent infestation.

I was called in to take care of the situation.  The homeowner heard a lot of scratching and running and scampering around, both day and night.  When I arrived at the home, I took one glance at it, and I knew the problem - the dreaded barrel tile roof.  Barrel tile roofs allow the easiest ways for animals to get into attics.  While these tiles may look pretty, they leave thousands of gaps that critters can use to get into the attic.

Any given house has various holes and entry points in the roof.  These areas can be vents, pluming stacks, and more.  If a rat or squirrel gets under the tiles - and there's a ready-made opening under every one at the perimeter, they just crawl along and can enter the hole.  But more commonly than that, there's the area where the eaves abut against the roof.  On many homes, the flat eave is flush with the flat roof.  But with barrel tile, you've got a series of wide gaps that lead right into the attic, and rats and squirrels don't hesitate to move right in.  This was a brand-new house!

In order to solve the problem, I spend a LONG time sealing off all the openings that the barrel tile left in the roof.  You can see me in these photos addressing those eave gap areas.  Sometimes I have to crawl in dangerous areas of the roof where ladders cannot go, such as in the large photo, and sometimes I have to squirm into tight areas in order to reach every spot, such as in the insert photo.

Do it yourself: Visit my How To Get Animals Out of the Attic page for tips and advice.
Get professional help: Visit my Nationwide Pro Directory of wildlife removal experts.


Remember, the most important step in a total wildlife control solution is to stop the source of the problem - if you have wild critters in your attic or home, the only way to permanently solve the problem is to close all the entry points! This is a special skill, and it requires extensive knowledge of both architecture and animal behavior. Being a skilled repairman also helps. All repairs should be done in such a way that keeps animals out for good - this often means sealing with steel, and sealing openings so that they are airtight, with no trace of airflow for animals to detect. Remember, rodents can gnaw through almost anything, and raccoons can tear through almost anything. While it's important to trap and remove animals, and clean up the waste they leave behind, the most important step in solving the critter problem and in keeping animals out forever is to identify and repair every last critter access point into the building. Without this crucial step, the job isn't complete.

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