If you're replacing the roof on your home due to squirrel damage, start taking extra steps now to prevent more damage from occurring. The time when the roof is being replaced—not after—is the best time to do this because some of the steps have to be incorporated into the roof, and it's cheaper to do that when the roof is being replaced. Here are four things to do when replacing your roof to keep squirrels away.
Install Squirrel-Proof Vent Pipe Covers
One of the surprising things about squirrel damage is that it often involves lead pipes being gnawed away. The metal is soft, and it's easy for them to chew through so they can gain access to your home's attic or crawl space. When you have the roof replaced, also replace all vent pipes that show damage and cover them with squirrel-proof pipe covers. These are pipes that go over existing pipes to protect them from the animals. Many of these covers also have screens that prevent animals from getting into the pipes themselves. You usually can add these covers even if you're not having your roof replaced, but it's easier to have the work done at the same time given that workers will be up on the roof anyway.
Replace Flimsy Ventilation Screens and Repair Flashing and Trim
Many times what attracts squirrels in the first place are easy access points through attic ventilation openings and damaged roof trim. After ensuring no animals are in your attic or crawl space (you may have to have a local animal control service verify this), replace mesh ventilation screens with stronger metal (not soft lead!), or cover the outsides of the vent with special metal cages built for animal exclusion. If the roofing company is installing new trim, verify that they are not leaving any spaces at all at the ends of each trim piece. Even a small hole can attract rodents.
Trim Tree Branches Back
The Humane Society of the United States recommends trimming all tree branches back at least 6 feet from the roof. Keep those trees well-trimmed each year, and clear away broken branches that could fall and form a bridge to the roof if caught on other branches.
Spice up the Squirrels' Lives
Danny Lipford of Today's Homeowner suggests using a homemade pepper spray on areas where squirrels like to go. The mix of 1 tsp dish detergent, 1 gallon water, and a bottle of cayenne pepper sauce has to be reapplied regularly, but the pepper sauce should make areas very unpleasant for squirrels to be in.
If you want more strategies for excluding squirrels, talk to the roofers who will be fixing your roof (such as Earhart Roofing Company Inc). They have seen all sorts of roof damage and can recommend other methods for keeping the critters away from your home.