Most homes that are invaded by wildlife will have easy access to the rooftop areas. Squirrels and raccoons are the most common animals that use attics and wall spaces for den sites. In many of these cases the animals will use trees to access the rooftop. Both squirrels and raccoons will use branches that extend onto or near the rooftop to gain access. Once they are on the roof, it is only natural for them to investigate any cavities or entry points. They often feel the warmer attic air coming from gable vents, dormer corners, and soffit panels. This triggers their natural response to enter those cavities and investigate as den sites. They commonly tear open gable vent louvers and screens, chew through fascia boards, and pull soffit panels out of their mounting channels. Rooftop attic vents are another favorite entry point, as they can easily tear through the flimsy bird and bug screens that are standard on rooftop fans.
Raccoon population levels are currently around 60 per square mile in urban settings, with squirrel numbers being much higher. Any homes with tree branches near the roof are visited frequently by these animals, whether the homeowner is aware of it or not. As a general rule, branches should be no closer than 10 feet from the roof of a structure to minimize wildlife access. In some cases raccoons will climb TV towers or ornamental porch railings and pillars, but trees provide the most common access route to rooftops. A sure indication that raccoons are visiting your roof top is the presence of droppings in the roof valleys. We offer a service to trim back branches for prevention of wildlife access. With 3 different types of hydraulic lifts, we can provide this service while maintaining a safe working environment. Our primary lift used for tree branch removal is a towable boom lift which is much lighter than typical bucket trucks, preventing damages to lawns and landscapes.
Attics and crawl spaces will often retain a foul odor after animals have been using the space for denning or having young. Once the animals are removed and exclusion work performed, we can provide an odor control service to eliminate the lingering smells. We use products that attack the odors at their source, destroying the cause of the odor. Some products only "mask" the odor, which will only last a short period. We enter the attic or crawlspace and cover the entire area, not just what we can reach from the opening.
Material handling vacuum for removing bat and bird droppings and soiled insulation from structures.
Attic with bat guano
Attic after clean-out
Once a bat colony or bird infestation is removed from an attic, the clean-out can be an even bigger project. Due to the many diseases associated with bird and bat droppings, any accumulations should be removed to prevent any health-related issues for those who enter the structure. Bird nesting material may contain mites and other parasites that represent health and safety concerns for residents or workers. Bat droppings (guano) provide a harbor for Histoplasmosis, and when disturbed the spores can become airborne, posing a health concern for anyone in the structure. Those at higher risk would be electricians, HVAC workers, or anyone performing maintenance or repairs in the area containg these accumulations.
Droppings of any type may pose a danger to anyone exposed to the area. Raccoon droppings are a host to many types of diseases. Raccoon Roundworm is a major concern, as the eggs in the droppings can exist for years and still pose a health threat. Squirrels and birds will carry large amounts of very dry leaves, twigs, and grasses into attics to build their nests. These large piles of compacted dry material are highly flammable and often located right on top of electrical wiring. Rodents such as squirrels, mice, or rats commonly chew the insulation from electrical wires, creating a serious fire hazard. Sometimes the fecal waste and nesting material is more dangerous than the animal itself.
Depending on the size of the structure and area being cleaned, we may use shop-vacs with HEPA filters or our large material handling vac designed for removal of blown-in insulation. The large vac sits outside and debris is transfered from the attic directly into large collection bags in the dumpster. We sometimes require the building to be vacated for certain types of clean-out work. For business structures or public buildings, we can even schedule clean-out work between 5 PM and 6 AM to allow our work to be performed without affecting the normal schedule of operation at the facilty.
Gutter Cleaning Service
Gutter cleaning and maintenance is an integral part of wildlife damage prevention. Acorns, seeds, and various types of organic debris accumulates in gutters, providing an attraction for any type of rodents. Squirrels are naturally one of the most common animals that frequently search through gutter debris as it provides a wide variety of food in a fairly condensed area. If they find food in gutters on a regular basis, they soon locate a weak spot on the structure and chew into the attic or soffit as they prefer to live close to their food source. The material in clogged gutters holds a high amount of moisture, often turning into a paste-like substance with the consistency of mud. The moisture is directly responsible for most rotted roof sheeting and fascia boards. Foundation damage is also often caused by clogged gutters as the water simply rushes down the outside walls and collects at the base of the home.
Most homes need gutters cleaned at least once each fall, but many have surrounding trees that produce seeds and various flowers and stems that will clog gutters in the spring also. The frequency of gutter maintenance depends on the types of trees around your home. We can provide gutter cleaning for single story, 2-story, and even 3-story homes. Tall structures may require the use of our towable boom lift for safe access. We can also install braces and brackets as needed if your gutters are in need of repairs. We check all downspouts to make sure they are open and water drains freely. We do not provide gutter installation service, but can take care of your gutter cleaning and repairs.