Airborne debris, rainwater, ice, leaves and pine needles. Practically every gutter repair specialist out there has addressed tips and tricks of the trade to keeping your gutters free of these hazards. However, there are other roof intruders that most homeowners don’t anticipate until the day comes when sounds from above indicate something mischievous is going on within their gutters. Residents of the Lower Mainland are no strangers to this phenomenon – raccoons and rodents wreaking havoc at the eaves of their homes. There is no need to feel powerless in this matter, even if you have a soft spot for these furry little (and not-so-little) creatures that hope to make a habitat on top of your home. Read further for preventative steps that you can take to protect your gutter system.
6 Steps to Keeping Raccoons and Rodents Out of Your Home’s Gutters
1. Keep Your Gutters Free of Debris
Clean gutters allow rainwater to flow through the system with ease. In relatively rainy climates this frequent and efficient flow does not make for a very cozy home for rodents and the like. By cleaning out your gutters once per week you will ensure that there is no build-up of leaves, twigs, pine needles, and other debris that can collect to form a nest for a family of baby raccoons, rats, mice, squirrels, or any other small animals common to your region.
2. Trim Tree Branches to Prevent a Bridge to Your Roof
Many rodents find their way onto the roof of your home, and into your gutters, by using overhanging tree branches as a bridge. If there is any overhang be sure to prune away accordingly. But it shouldn’t stop there. Raccoons, rats, and most certainly squirrels posses an Olympian-like talent for jumping proportionately large distances. You will want to trim your branches and tall bush peaks at least eight feet away from your roof to cut off all above ground access points.
3. Secure Utility Line Baffles
These sneaky intruders not only take to trees to gain access to your roof. Rats and squirrels commonly climb-up utility poles and tightrope-walk across the lines and dive-bomb down to your shingles and gutters. Since chopping down these lines are not an option you will want to fasten baffles, pipe-like guards that wrap around utility lines to prevent critters from crawling along them. Be sure that these baffles are secured at the bookends of the utility line hovering above your home so that if they do make-it up there they remain stuck at points that do not allow them to jump down onto your roof.
4. Keep Them Off of Your Property Altogether by Cutting Off Their Food Supply
Nine times out of ten raccoons and rodents make their move onto the grounds (before discovering your welcoming rooftop) of your home because of it serves as a buffet. Too often garbage cans and composting bins are not adequately covered, allowing that oh-so lovely (to rodents) scent to waft through the air and attract mischievous critters from all over the neighborhood. By keeping your trash well-covered and never allowing food (pet dishes included) to rest anywhere outside on your property you help keep hungry creatures at bay and ultimately prevent them from ending up in your gutters.
5. No Trespassing – Cover Gutters with Guards
Head to your nearest home-improvement store and find gutter screens/guards that suit your system. Gutter guards serve as the ultimate no trespassing sign to invaders and is one of the most effective solutions here. Your downspouts must also be guarded by fastening a mesh system that keeps raccoons and rodents out while still allowing rainwater to flow through.
6. Environmentally-Friendly Rodent Repellent
Rodents traps may not be your thing but you realize that additional measures may be required to keep these pesky creatures off of your property. Thankfully there are cruelty-free and eco-friendly options available to you to repel rodents off of your land and away from your roof. These repellents, commonly found in home and garden stores, emit sound waves and smells that ward-off rodents and their curious cousins. These tools may not work for homeowners with sensitive indoor/outdoor pets but they do the trick for those without.
Has your Greater Vancouver area home’s gutter system already been invaded by raccoons and rodents, resulting in the need for a thorough cleaning and repair? Contact AquaSeal at your earliest convenience.