Is Your Roof Inviting Mice into Your Home?

Aug 20, 2020Blog, Roof Problems

Fall weather is some of the most enjoyable out of the year. You probably find yourself spending more time outside through autumn than other times of the year.  It might not be the time of year you give a lot of thought to your home’s roof. But there’s a big reason why you should: Rodent Control.

 

As temperatures start to dip, mice and other rodents are preparing to find shelter. Rotting eaves, damaged roof flashing, and other structural weaknesses are an open invitation to your home.

 

Mice, squirrels, and rats will spend the next several weeks preparing a winter home. Prevent them from seeking shelter inside your home this fall.

TINY CRITTERS ENTER HOMES

Consider the size of a mouse. They’re so small. It only takes a small hole, maybe even the size of a dime, to serve as an entryway into your house.

 

Other critters that can view your home as a nice place to hibernate include rats and squirrels. Occasionally, your home might also shelter unexpected “guests” like snakes, birds, and bats

HOW DO MICE GET IN MY HOME?

Mice and other hibernating creatures can find small, unnoticeable holes and gaps in your garage or basement, as well as higher entryways like your crawl space and roof.

 

If you have a patio or deck, these pests can also set up a temporary home underneath these structures. Skunks, groundhogs, and feral cats will find these types of structures good shelter through winter.

 

While we can recommend hardware cloth and screens to mitigate the chance of critters seeking your home for shelter, we’re not pest control technicians. We’re your local roofing experts.

 

We’ll offer tips on where roof weaknesses might invite mice into your home, but you should seek a pest control technician for making sure larger vermin don’t invade your garage, patio, or basement.

ROOF WEAKNESSES THAT INVITE MICE

Mice and other vermin can enter homes at places where dormers (those protrusions from the roof that typically frame windows) meet with your roof. Poorly fastened dormers will expose small leaks and entryways.  Again, it only takes a tiny gap to enable mice to get inside.

 

Loose flashing and shingles also serve as possible “Open for Vacancy” signs for mice.

 

Is your roof fascia starting to show wear and tear? Rotten fascia poses another vulnerable spot that may allow critters into your home. Soffit damage poses another risk for critter intrusion.

HORNET NESTS AND YOUR ROOF

Small weaknesses or gaps in your roofing system are also an invitation to stinging insects. Carpenter bees can cause considerable damage to your roof’s wood beams and substrate, while hornets and other stinging insects can use small openings to eventually get inside and build extensive nests in your home attic or interior walls.

 

This fall has been an especially great year for stinging insects (meaning they’ve been in abundance). A local pest control company recently reported service calls to control wasps and hornets have dramatically increased this year. Technicians believe it might be linked to the spotted lanternfly and its sap flow.

 

Regardless of the reasons, make sure your home isn’t welcoming these pests via roof damage.

REPAIR YOUR ROOF THIS FALL

With fall home maintenance beckoning you up to your leaf-filled gutters, take the time now to examine these home-roof areas for potential gaps or holes.

 

Our team of roofing professionals can thoroughly examine and remediate any weakness in your residential roof this fall before mice start to examine weaknesses in your roof to stay comfortable this winter.

 

Fall is the perfect time to schedule residential roof services. Our experienced roofing professionals can assess, repair, replace, or install several roof types throughout Lancaster and its surrounding areas. Call or contact us for a consultation before the first flakes of winter begin.

9 Questions To Ask Potential Roofing Contractors 

Hiring a contractor can be overwhelming. There are hundreds of roofing contractors in  Eastern PA alone. How are you supposed to choose one? 

We can’t decide for you, but the following 9 questions will help you pick a competent contractor and avoid ending up with a bad one. 

  • Are you licensed and insured? 

It’s essential to ask about insurance for several reasons. For one thing, when a contractor has all their papers in order, it shows they care enough to follow proper procedures. 

And secondly, having proper paperwork protects both you and your roofer should anything go awry. 

The requirements to become a licensed roofer differ from state to state. In PA, contractors must meet the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act requirements and register at the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office. 

Regarding insurance, PA law requires roofing companies to provide their employees with worker’s compensation insurance. Worker’s compensation protects you, as the homeowner, from being financially responsible for any injuries that might occur on your property. 

Your contractor should also have general liability insurance. This protects you from being responsible for any damage or injury to non-employees that might occur on your property, such as a bystander being injured on property damage.  

Roofing contractor insurance
  • Are you local? 

Some roofing companies like to move from town to town following storm damage. These companies may not be familiar with local laws and regulations, and if there is a problem with your roof after installation, they wouldn’t be available to help you. 

We aren’t saying this is a bad or dishonest business model. Just keep in mind that these companies won’t be around long-term.  

Hiring a local company is normally better, so ensure your contractor has a local address and phone number. Then if complications arise, they’ll be around to assess the situation. 

  • How long have you been in business? 

The longer a contractor has been in business, the better they understand their trade. And while it’s not wrong to hire a new company, it’s more risky. A roofing company that has “been around the block” understands all the ins and outs of a roofing system and will likely do a better job. 

Plus, the longer a business has been around, the more likely they are to be in business for years to come, and that means they’ll be around if you need them in the future. 

  • Do you offer a warranty on your products? 

Roofers may offer warranties for 1, 5, 10, or 25 years or even for life. Normally the roofing company’s warranty covers the work, and the materials manufacturer offers another warranty for the materials, so there are two separate warranties. 

Roof warranties typically last a year, and an extended warranty may add to the overall cost of your project. 

understanding roofing warranties
  • Do you use subcontractors? 

Some companies use subcontractors to help them get the work done. You should know if your contractor uses subcontractors for several reasons. 

  • One, you don’t want to be completely surprised and confused when trucks with an unknown company name on them show up at your place and strangers start working on your roof.
  • Two, you should ensure that all subcontractors have adequate licensing and insurance. 
  • And three, sometimes disreputable contractors neglect to pay their subcontractors, and in such a case, you could be held financially responsible. You may want to consider getting a lien waiver for the project to protect yourself from this. 
  • Do I need a full roof replacement or just repairs? 

You don’t want to fork out the money to replace your entire roof if you could fix your issues with some simple repairs. Alternatively, you don’t want to put a bandaid on a broken leg by replacing a few shingles when the problems go deeper. 

Knowing the extent of your roofing damage will allow you to make the best possible decision for your home. 

know the extent of your roof damage
  • Will you remove the old roof?

When fixing a roof, there are two options: tear off the old roof and completely replace it or install new roofing materials over the old roof. 

Roofing over old materials is faster and cheaper since you save the time and labor to tear the old roof off. However, if you go for this option, you won’t see your roofing system’s actual state as clearly. If there are underlying issues you missed, you may need to replace the roof a few years down the road anyway. In that case, the money you spent on roofing overtop would be wasted. 

An expert contractor can help you make a wise decision about repairing or replacing your roof. 

  • Do you have a cleanup policy once the installation is complete? 

Installing a roof is a messy project that leaves a lot of scraps and debris. You don’t want to be left in the lurch with a huge mess in your yard. 

Ask your contractor what their cleanup policy is before you hire them–a quality contractor will have policies in place. 

Will there be a dumpster sitting in your yard? Or do they hire a trash removal service? Some trash removal methods may have implications for your property and yard, and it’s best to ask about them so you aren’t surprised. 

  • How will you protect my property and yard during construction? 

During a construction project, there may be scraps lying around, large vehicles driving through your yard, and strange people in your home. Your contractor should have policies to protect your property, so it’s left mostly the same as before.  

Some companies enforce mandatory foot traffic patterns so your flower beds and grass don’t get trampled. Some use large magnets to pick up any nails that might have fallen in your yard so your children and pets don’t get injured. 

You should make sure your contractor is conscientious enough to treat your property like their own.  

Tips For Hiring A Competent Contractor 

Those are a few questions you should ask your roofing contractor before signing anything. As a bonus, here are a few miscellaneous tips for hiring a good roofing contractor: 

  • Ask for some references or previous jobs you could look at. Talking with previous customers and asking about their experience with a contractor is one of the best ways to learn more about them. 
  • Request roofing price estimates from several contractors in the area and compare them. That gives you a good idea of a reasonable price. 
  • Know your needs. Do you need to complete the project by a specific time at all costs? Or do you have a specialized roofing system requiring unique expertise? If so, these things affect what contractor you should hire. 

There are lots of good contractors out there! These questions and tips should help you make a good decision for your home. 

tips for hiring a roofing contractor
Conclusion 

We hope this article has been helpful for you, and we wish you luck with your roofing project. 

If you want to hire a contractor in Eastern PA, contact us at River Run Roofing! We would be happy to help with your project. 

We specialize in residential roofing, light commercial roofing, and siding.

Give us a call today to get an estimate on your project! 

We look forward to hearing from you. 

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