Fall Roof Inspections: Preventing Animal Caused Damage

Fall and spring are essential times to inspect your roof. As bookends of the winter season, a thorough autumn inspection is a chance to:

  • inspect the roof including the perimeter, drains, scuppers and parapets
  • inspect all flashing for penetrations
  • address any repairs needed to make it through another winter and spring thaw
  • establish a baseline, so any changes discovered next spring can be clearly identified
  • clean out drains and scuppers
  • remove debris

Plenty  can happen in a summer season, such as:

  • seedlings can sprout
  • undetected storm damage
  • fireworks, bullet holes, blown down branches, etc.
This roof was installed in November; just a year later it's host to maple saplings from the adjacent trees.

This roof was installed in November; just a year later it’s host to maple saplings from the adjacent trees.

The roof is a building’s first line of defense against the elements, and it’s one of the most vulnerable parts of a building. If an inspection reveals a need for repair, rejoice! Routine inspections and repair are the best way to put off the significant expense of replacement.

One factor that can change quickly, and have a big impact on your roofs integrity, is the wild kingdom. Yes, wildlife activity can be bad news for your roof.

raccoonoverhanging-tree

Here, we’re sharing pictures explaining how a cute but destructive culprit damaged a roof. An overhanging tree has allowed a raccoon easy access to this commercial roof, where the critter destroyed several HVAC units by eating through the vents while trying to access the building. Clearly, the repair in this situation isn’t limited to roof repair or even HVAC repair: that tree needs trimming to discourage access.

Similarly, bird’s nests can compromise a roof’s integrity. Both bird and rodent nests hold standing moisture, which is the universal enemy of roof longevity. Excess standing water is heavy, too — if nests and debris interfere with drainage, the problem is compounded.

When pigeons take over a roof, they create a huge mess which can be damaging to the roof and harmful to humans. If your roof becomes a home for pigeons, actions should be taken to convince the flock to find another place to hang out.

Squirrels, mice and other furry things are equally destructive. With winter moving in some animals are looking for a winter home and an unchecked roof can provide plenty of opportunity. Cracks in flashing, gaps in metal, and tears in membranes can be invitations for a winter tenant. We have even seen rodents chewing through the roof to follow a plumbing stack into the building.

Rodent damage

Rodent damage

When an inspection reveals any presence of or damage from birds, rodents, raccoons, insects or other animals, it’s imperative to take firm action to remove and discourage the creatures.

Depending on the pitch and access, homeowners or commercial building managers may be able to perform an adequate inspection, or they may need to contact All Elements to take care of it. Either way, make sure winter doesn’t arrive without a thorough assessment of your roof’s integrity.

All Elements, Inc. offers a roof inspection program to help preserve your roof for the long haul. Twice a year our technicians will document and assess the condition of your roof. We clean drains or scuppers and perform light maintenance tasks to ensure your roof keeps you dry. In the event we find something that needs attention we will provide a written estimate for you. This program is a reasonably priced solution which helps ensure your roof gets the necessary attention every spring and fall. Contact us for more details and pricing.