Raccoons can cause all kinds of damage to your home—from littering your yard with trash to structural damage. Unfortunately, they can also cause considerable damage to your roof while looking for the perfect nesting location in your attic.
Discover the common signs of raccoon infestation so you can remove these critters immediately to protect your Kansas City roof from costly damage.
Can Raccoons Chew Through Roofing Shingles?
The short answer? Yes. Raccoons are persistent critters that will look for creative entryways into your home and, if necessary, tear, gnaw, or chew through roofing shingles to get inside.
Usually, female raccoons tear through shingles and create or expand holes in your roof when they’re looking for a warm, comfortable nesting place (i.e., your attic). They’re also known to destroy vents, soffits, or fascia in the process.
Since raccoons are nocturnal, they will usually complete their work at night, so you may not catch them until the damage is done.
What Are the Common Signs of Raccoon Infestation?
If you suspect a family of raccoons may be wreaking havoc on your roof, it’s essential to act swiftly to protect your home from further damage.
Here are some common ways to identify raccoon damage:
Roofing Shingle Damage
Torn, damaged, or missing shingles may signify raccoon damage. However, this type of damage may occur from extreme weather, too. If you notice raccoons in your backyard and your home hasn’t endured any wind-driven rain or powerful gusts of wind lately, you can usually deduce the damage is from raccoons.
Raccoons will exploit holes in your roof, and if they aren’t already there, create holes to get into your attic. These critters aren’t as large as you might think, and they only need a spot that’s three to four inches wide to squeeze through.
If you have a hole in your roof, you should get it repaired immediately to save your home from water damage. However, if you notice medium-sized holes in your roof, you should check your attic for signs of further raccoon damage.
Like tearing through roofing shingles, raccoons will chew through the insulation to get into your attic. It’s unusual for storms to damage your insulation, so if you notice insulation missing, it’s likely a raccoon has removed it to make room for its nest.
In addition to your shingles and decking, raccoons can also use soffit, fascia, or vents as an entryway into your home. If these components of your home are damaged, you can often suspect raccoons are to blame.
Droppings or Urine
If a raccoon makes it into your attic, they’ll likely create latrine sites, which is the location where they urinate and defecate. If you suspect raccoons are in your attic, climb upstairs and search for dark, tubular droppings and a pungent urine smell.
Raccoon feces can spread roundworm, so it’s important to remove the raccoon and have your attic cleaned as quickly as possible to protect your family’s health.
Raccoons damage your roof for one primary reason: nesting. Once a raccoon has successfully torn through your roof, it’ll begin creating a nesting site. Though commonly found in attics, nests can also be found in haylofts, woodpiles, and on top of your roof.
Raccoon fur can spread fleas and ticks, so in addition to repairing your roof, it’s crucial to have the nest professionally removed to keep your family members (including pets) safe.
Is Raccoon Damage Covered Under Homeowner’s Insurance?
Typically, a standard homeowners insurance policy will help cover roof, attic, or structural home damage from raccoons and other pests.
However, homeowners are usually responsible for replacing personal items, like chewed wires or destroyed clothing damaged by raccoons.
Tips to Keep Raccoons Away from Your Roof
If you’re worried about attracting raccoons to your home, follow these tips to keep these pesky creatures away:
Install Pest-Resistant Roofing
Choose a highly durable, impact-resistant, and weatherproof roofing shingle to deter pests, like raccoons, from chewing through them.
Remove Food Sources
Raccoons are attracted to garbage, trash, and other food sources, like fruit trees, vegetable gardens, and dog food. You can keep raccoons away by securing trash cans, keeping dog kibble inside, and removing low-hanging fruit from your backyard.
Use Motion-Activated Deterrents
Motion-activated sprinklers and floodlights are a great way to deter critters from places in your yard that are difficult to restrict. You can install these as an effective, harmless way to keep pests, like raccoons, away from your home.
Fix Current Damage
As we mentioned earlier, raccoons are attracted to holes in your roof and will gnaw at them until they’re able to squeeze through into your attic. You should repair current roofing damage to your home, like small holes or loose shingles, to deter raccoons from your roof.
Install Pest-Resistant Roofing to Resist Raccoons
Whether your roof is already suffering from raccoon damage and needs repairing, or you’re interested in replacing your current roof with durable, pest-resistant roofing shingles, we can help!
Christian Brothers Roofing has helped thousands of Kansas City homeowners protect their homes from impact, weather, and pest damage with long-lasting roofing systems.
Learn more about our residential roofing services to discover how our premium installation and top-quality products can keep pesky critters, like raccoons, away for good.