If you hear loud thuds or the sound of animals running around your attic, you might have a raccoon problem. Raccoons are large animals, so they can make a lot of noise in your attic. However, they can also be very quiet and you may not even know they are there. All the while they could be damaging your roof and your attic. You want to get rid of them fast, and to keep them out, you'll need to repair the roof where they are getting in. Here's what to do if you suspect you have raccoons damaging your house.
Call Animal Control
The first step is to get rid of the animals. You don't want to seal the roof with the animals in your attic, or they may chew their way into your living space. They could also die if they can't get out, and that would create a horrible smell. An animal control expert can climb up on your roof or in your attic to look for signs of the raccoons. A trained expert can tell by looking at marks and trails on your roof if a raccoon is the culprit. The animals tend to chew fairly large holes right through the roof so they can get in and out easily. Once raccoons have been identified as the problem, animal control can set traps to catch them alive and release them away from your home.
Talk To Your Insurance Company
Once the animals are gone, it's time to assess the damage. You'll need to have repairs done to your roof and you may need to replace the insulation in your attic and repair HVAC ducts. Your homeowner's insurance may pay for the damage to be repaired, so you want to call your insurance company first and find out how to proceed. If you don't have insurance coverage, you may decide to tackle the repairs yourself. The first place to start is with the roof because you don't want rain leaking inside and causing more damage.
Have Your Roof Repaired
The problem with raccoon damage is the animals chew through the deck in addition to damaging the shingles. While replacing the shingles isn't too difficult to do on your own, repairing a big hole in the deck is a problem you may not be prepared to deal with. It is a good idea to have the damage evaluated by a roofer. Part of the deck may need to be torn out and replaced. This would involve ripping off shingles on a portion of your roof, applying a new piece of plywood deck, covering it with roofing felt, and then nailing on new shingles. If the hole is in a valley or along a soffit, the repairs may be more complex.
If you want to do the repairs yourself, be sure to check your local codes first to make sure you are allowed to do so. Also, be careful about doing patch jobs as opposed to replacing the roof from the deck out because the shingles may not be flat when they are placed over a patch, and that can allow rain to seep under the shingles and soak the deck. If you can't get to the roof repairs right away, be sure to cover the hole with a roofing tarp to keep rain and other rodents from getting in your attic.
Once the roof is repaired, you can decide on how to proceed with cleaning up the attic. If the animals were in there for a long time, the attic may have a foul odor along with raccoon waste. You may need to call in an attic restoration professional if there is a lot of damage so the mess can be cleaned up safely.
For more information, contact local professionals like HomeTowne Roofing.