We’ve all jokingly said that we’d love to go into hibernation and sleep through something unpleasant once or twice—but what does the word really mean? In short, it describes the behavior of many animal species in which certain body functions are slowed to conserve energy for winter. The animal in question can become completely inactive, appearing asleep, or it can wake every now and again to take care of its needs as well as it can, given the inhospitable conditions of the colder months. Hibernation isn’t just limited to bears, either, as many people think; everything from bats to bugs to fish is getting in on the go-dormant-through-winter craze.

But we’re a roofing contractor; why do we care about the habits of wildlife? The answer is quite simple, really; your attic space becomes quite an attractive area for potential hibernators around this time of year. Warm, quiet, and sheltered from the elements—an attic is practically prime hibernation real estate!

While you may think sharing your space for the season with a couple of hibernating critters won’t do you much of a bother, you’d think wrong. Even though these animals are mostly dormant, some species can still arise to eliminate, which is an obvious sanitation hazard, and feed, which in turn contributes to said sanitation hazard. Plus, some creatures that might be eyeing up your attic don’t even technically hibernate (such as raccoons), and these creatures can cause quite the ruckus. Imagine trying to explain to your great-aunt Mildred during a peaceful holiday get-together that you’ve got animals in the attic!  On a more practical level, these rowdy animals can also damage your insulation, which results in higher energy bills. They also, due to their unsanitary nature, can cause mold infestations, which are a direct health hazard to you and your family.

For all the reasons stated above, it’s crucial that you animal-proof your attic before somebody unwelcome moves in. Our roofing company has written a short blog about general tips to keep animal inhabitants out; all of the pointers you’ll find still render themselves useful. However, in this entry, we’d like to focus more on pre-winter prep, as many homeowners are winterizing their homes this time of year and would benefit from some simple critter-deterring procedures thrown into the mix.

Learn How to Make Your Roof Unattractive to Creatures of All Sorts

Countless animals seek out attic spaces for hibernation or a safe place to stay for the winter. Bats might use it in place of caves, and squirrels might take up residence there to stave off the colder temperatures. You might reason that learning about the habits of each individual animal might be an overwhelming task, and you’d be right. It’s not for the layperson. Pest professionals exist for a reason! However, learning how to, broadly speaking, animal-proof your roof before winter is well within the abilities of any homeowner.

●        Get any and all entrances sealed | While it’s not a good idea to have a hole in your roof on a good day (it essentially defeats the purpose!), it’s absolutely terrible come winter. It’s essentially leaving the front door unlocked for your unwanted winter roommate! Even small holes (less than an inch) are an issue, as many bat species are smaller than you think. Roof repair is an option, but if your roof is in such a dilapidated state as to have worn completely through, you might need to replace it and seek help from well-versed condo contractors or the like, for your own sake and the sake of those who live in the building. As a bonus, making sure your roof is strong against critters will also ensure it’s strong against the elements, potentially saving you money on your energy expenditures!

●        Missing Shingles? Time to take care of it | Shingles act as your roof’s armor of sorts. Without them, it’s left vulnerable to any creature who is tenacious enough to work through what’s beneath—and squirrels have been known to chomp on houses! Whether you have asphalt shingles or something else entirely, now’s the time for replacement, so make the appointment now before some creature, in search of the warmth and comfort your attic provides, creates a hole and forces its way in.

●        Properly winterize every exterior system that affects your roof | If your mind immediately went to how you probably should clean your gutters, give yourself a pat on the back—you’re responsible and well-versed in the health of your home. While every system that affects your roof should be properly prepared for winter to ensure your roof’s prolonged strength, your gutters play a particularly important role in maintaining said strength (or contributing to its demise!), as neglected gutters can contribute to the formation of ice dams. These menaces can weaken your roof’s integrity, making it easier for wildlife to enter your attic.

Contact Midwest Exteriors MN for Top-Notch Roof Replacement

If there’s no chance your roof can make it through the winter in-tact, don’t fret. Our talented team has you covered! Let’s chat about how we can make your home safe and inviting for all (except wildlife, of course!) and give our Lake Elmo office a call at 651-346-9477.