Who else is living under your roof?
Roof spaces provide an attractive habitat for wildlife who find a home sweet home in your loft, raising the question ‘Who else is living under your roof?’ But this can cause various problems. All these pests enter through gaps in the soffits, fascia, and barge boards that should seal your roof.
We provide roof repairs as part of our wash and refurbish process and we can spot and sort out any gaps that could allow entry to your loft before problems start. So, who could be sharing your home with you, and what can you do about it?
They may be fluffy, but squirrels can also be fierce and destructive, and it’s always a good idea to keep them away from your home and garden. Squirrels will be attracted to your property if they find a good food source, so ensure that any bird food is in squirrel-proof dispensers.
If squirrels decide they like your garden, they will start looking for dry, warm places to nest. Tree branches that hang over the roof or dense ivy stretching up to roof level can provide access to your roof space through gaps in the eaves. Squirrels are strong and determined, and are capable of pulling away damaged fascia to gain entry.
If you are lucky, you will hear them scuttling around up there. If you are unlucky, you won’t find your resident squirrels until they have started to gnaw electric cables causing a great deal of damage and, potentially, an electrical fire. They will also claw holes in your insulation material and use it to build their nest. If you think you may have a problem, keep an eye out for a nest, droppings, and an unpleasant odour in the loft.
Getting rid of grey squirrels can be problematic. The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 allows squirrels to be caught; however, as they are an invasive, non-native species, it is illegal to release them. This means that you will have to find a humane way to kill any squirrels that you trap. Probably best to leave it to the experts.
Despite their sinister reputation, bats are quite harmless. Although we associate them with old buildings and belfries, they are just as happy in modern properties.
The presence of bats in your roof space is unlikely to cause many problems. They do not destroy the fabric of your roof or use it for nests, although their urine is acidic and could cause corrosion to metals over a long period.
However, if you want to renovate or use your loft space you may have a problem. Bats are a highly protected species. It is illegal to harm them or restrict access to their roosting sites, and such activities could incur an unlimited fine or even a prison sentence. If you have bats in your loft, you should avoid disturbing them and contact the bat helpline.
If you notice wasps congregating around a corner of your roof outside or even start to find them in a room of your house, you may have a wasp’s nest in your loft space. The nests have a papery appearance, and although usually the size and shape of a rugby ball can sometimes be considerably larger. Wasps will be attracted to your property if you leave sugary foods and drinks around. Even fallen apples and other fruit left to ferment on the ground will encourage wasps to gather.
If you suspect the presence of a nest, it is best not to enter the restricted space of your loft yourself, as wasps can be very aggressive. Contact a professional who can deal with the nest safely.
Wasps do not cause direct damage, but sometimes their nests can block vents or air bricks, causing condensation issues. It is best to get rid of the nest anyway, as wasp stings can be unpleasant, and some people can have a nasty allergic reaction.
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We provide roof cleaning services in the whole of Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cheshire, Manchester, Merseyside, North Wales, Derbyshire, Shropshire and Staffordshire.
Improve a Roof will provide you with a fully free and no-obligation roof cleaning quotation.
We also offer complementary services to further enhance your home.
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