It is far too easy for homeowners to adopt an out-of-sight, out-of-mind mentality when it comes to their home’s gutters. More often than not, that frame of mind leads to some pretty nasty damage down the road. The accumulation of debris like twigs, sticks, leaves, dirt, and garbage can cause irreparable damage to your gutter system, which will cause damage to your home in turn. When all is said and done, you will be left with costly repairs to your siding, interior, or foundation, as well as the need to replace your damaged gutter system. But there is another danger that no one ever considers until the situation befalls them: Animals nesting in a home’s gutters.
Animals are clever. Animals are also in need of warmth and shelter the same way people are. They will find places that are safe and secure to hunker down for the night, and if they find a space that is particularly attractive, they may take up permanent residence. If that new home happens to be your gutter system, you will have some serious problems on your hands. So which types of animals can cozy up in your gutters? Let’s take a closer look.
Animals Taking Up Residence
The variety of animals that can take up residence in your gutter system is actually quite extensive. From the very small to the surprisingly large, you never know what you’ll find hiding in your gutters, especially if you forego regular cleaning.
Squirrels: Squirrels probably have the easiest means of making themselves at home in your gutters for the mere fact that they spend a good deal of their lives scampering along your roof and through overhanging tree branches. They are already in close proximity to the safety of your gutters, and if there are lots of leaves to keep them warm, it’s a logical place for them to nest.
Birds: Birds also have an easy time making their homes inside gutter systems. Beds of leaves, twigs, and pine needles are an excellent means of creating a nest, and when they add their own feathers to the mix, it becomes a particularly welcoming abode.
Raccoons: Yes, even raccoons have been known to find a home amongst the metal and debris of your gutter system. If left for extended periods of time, they may even decide that it is the perfect place for a litter of tiny baby raccoons to live. If they can access the inside of your roof from your gutter system, you won’t just need gutter repairs, you’ll need pest control.
Feral Cats: Gutters are a prime resting place for feral cats. They are high up and safe from natural predators, and they are also close to potential food sources (birds, rodents, etc.).
Insects: Insects likes bees, wasps, and mosquitos will nest in your gutter system if it isn’t properly maintained. If you don’t like the idea of stinging insects lingering around your property, we highly recommend you have their nests removed by a professional.
The Damage Animals Can Cause
When animals claim your gutters for their home, it can cause a few problems. First of all, they are likely roosting there because it is already chocked full of debris like leaves and pine needles; that is what makes it an attractive nest in the first place. When they take up residence, they will likely make those natural nests bigger, meaning more clogs in your gutters. They can also damage the gutters with their added weight, bending and warping the metal. Sagging gutters won’t function properly, and water and debris will fill those dips to the detriment of your home.
What to Do
If you have critters living in your gutter system, the best thing you can do is call pest control. If you try to remove animals on your own, you run the risk of harming the animal, harming yourself, and damaging your gutter system even further. Another important reason to hire a professional to help you is that they will be able to strategize a way to keep the animals from returning. It is very likely that one of those ways will be to have your gutters regularly serviced. That’s where we come in.
When animals come home to roost in your gutter system, it can be a frustrating, albeit memorable, experience. Little critters like squirrels, birds, cats, rodents, and even snakes can build homes and nests inside your gutters that cause blockages and can compromise the integrity of the entire system. The additional weight of the animals in the system can also cause your gutters to bend or bow, which severely limits the effectiveness of the overall system. If you have animals living in your gutters, hire humane professionals to handle the issue, removing the animals and forming a strategy to keep them from returning. When the animals have been safely removed, your gutters are likely going to need a little love. That’s where we come in.
For gutter repair and installation that you can trust, contact Sno-King Contractors, LLC, Bellevue’s Top Rated Local® Roofing and Gutter Contractor.