Thursday, January 16. 2020
When someone thinks of animal proofing, capping the chimney comes to mind and not much else. Yet the reality is much different. To thoroughly understand what must be done to keep the animals out, one must first of all think like an animal, which requires years of experience.
Gates Wildlife Control, with over 35 years in the wildlife business, has witnessed countless and continuous efforts of animals wanting to gain entry into structures. Having experienced this, again and again, enables us to explore the exterior of a building like an animal would, looking for penetrable weaknesses.
Raccoons and squirrels prefer to den at lofty heights, which first requires getting onto the roof. Trimming back climbing vines and overhanging tree branches back from the roof edge will deter them from climbing onto the roof. While trimming is a good frontline defense, opportunistic wildlife may still find ways and means to end up on the roof.
The need to manage water caused by snow and rain, to control the adverse affects on the roof structure, is often overlooked. Failing to replace aging roof shingles and to clean eavestroughs causes wood to rot through water damage. In turn, rotting wood offers little resistance against the chewing and clawing of a animal seeking a den site.
Building components such as roof vents, plumbing pipes/mats, overlapping roof sections and bathroom/stove exhaust vents are also targeted by persistent wildlife. Since by design, they are not manufactured to resist being tampered by intruding animals. Consequently, these are in need of being reinforced and securely fastened with heavy galvanized screen mesh.
Implementing animal-proofing measures before an intrusion occurs will ultimately save on wildlife removal costs, roof repairs, insulation replacement and rewiring. The cost savings will be significant indeed.
By Brad Gates, B.Sc.
Brad Gates is the owner and president of AAA Gates Wildlife Control. He has over 35 years experience in the humane wildlife removal and prevention industry.