One of the ways pests get into your home is via the roof, and they can cause plenty of damage while doing so. It's important to know how to locate this damage so you can have it fixed, especially if this damage results in any leaks.
An easy place to start your inspections is the outer roof. If you have a material like roof shingles, you may notice signs such as torn or missing shingles or areas with heavy granule loss more easily than if you have a material that's harder, like clay tile. Take a close look at the outside of your entire roof to look for signs of damage, and include areas like your chimney and plumbing vents where you may be able to see signs of damaged flashing. Look for gaps or any signs of nibbling or chewing which can indicate that pests are trying to use a particular location as an entry point. If you can't easily access your roof, or if you aren't sure if what you're seeing is a sign of damage, ask a roofing professional to take a look for you.
Outside Walls and Gutters
If pests can't access your roof directly, they may be using parts of your walls and siding to get to it. You may notice damage near your foundation, near door and window frames, or near fences that can give these pests a boost closer to your roof. If you're having a hard time spotting possible entry points from your roof, looking around your walls and siding can provide additional clues.
Since pests can use your walls to access your roof, you may first notice signs of damage to your roof itself in areas like the eaves and gutters. This is especially the case if your gutters haven't been cleaned in a while, as debris in gutters can attract all sorts of harmful creatures. These pests in turn can move to your roof, so check the areas near your gutters for wood that shows signs of warping or bowing or signs that insects might be working their way inside.
Attic and Garage
On the inside of your house, the attic is a good place to start if you have access to it. Here are several different things to do:
- Check again here for signs of wood-boring creatures; you may see small piles of what look like sawdust.
- Look for nests or dung or other evidence that creatures have been inside.
- Inspect your insulation and wiring for any signs of nibbling.
- Look for warping or bowing here as well; this is generally caused by moisture and not pests directly, but if pest damage has created a leak, moisture can get inside and start to damage your wood.
You may notice similar signs in your garage, especially those that look like piles of sawdust. This waste, called frass, is created by some kinds of termites as they gnaw through wood.
Much of this damage can be subtle, so it's important to call a roofing professional for a thorough inspection to see just what kind of repairs are necessary.