No matter what kind of roof you have, it's important to keep wildlife off of it. However, if you have an asphalt shingle roof or wood shakes, it's especially important to guard against roof pests. Roof rats can be particularly destructive to your roof, especially if you're dealing with a rat infestation on your property. Here's a look at how roof rats harm your roof and the roofing repairs you might need to have done.

Roof Rats Can Get On Your Roof Easily

Unlike other types of rats that stay close to the ground, roof rats are skilled climbers. They like to travel along tree branches, so if you have trees that hang over your house, the rats have easy access to your roof. Rats can also walk along power lines and drop down to your roof.

If roof rats can't get on your roof by jumping from a power line or tree limb, they can climb up the side of your house. They can climb bricks, or climb up a gutter downspout. If you have a lot of roof rats on your property, your roof will probably be in danger, because once the pests are on your roof, they'll probably start clawing and chewing on it.

Rats Can Gnaw Through About Anything

Rats are so destructive because they can gnaw through all kinds of building materials. Between scratching and gnawing, rats can destroy shingles and chew through the deck of your roof. Rats particularly like to gnaw through soffit and fascia boards. Once they gnaw their way through the roof and get in your attic, they can do a lot of damage in your attic and destroy your roof further by gnawing on rafters.

Roofing Repairs That May Be Needed For Rat Damage

When you discover rats hopping on your roof or climbing up your house around dusk when they're active, it's time to search your attic to see what damage the pests have done. You may see holes that let daylight shine through from the outside as well as chewed insulation, and you may smell a musty odor from the rats.

The first step is to eliminate the rats inside the attic with traps. However, you won't be able to keep new rats out if there are holes in the roof. Rats leave a scent behind that attracts other rats, so the rat problem won't be solved until your house is sealed. Plus, you want roofing repairs done so your roof won't leak.

The roofer may need to replace shingles that have been damaged. As long as the roof deck, soffit, and fascia are not rotted too, the roofer may be able to repair them by patching the holes with something made of metal so the rats can't chew their way back inside.

The roofer will probably check the entire roof over to make sure the rats didn't damage other parts of the roof as they were frantically digging and chewing to get through the roof.

Once the roofer has made repairs to all parts of your roof that need it and you've eliminated the rats inside your house, you may need to have trees trimmed back or make other changes to your yard so roof rats aren't attracted to your house.

Roof rats can do a surprising amount of damage to your home, so if you see the rats scamper through your trees or drop to your roof, it's time to take action before your roof starts leaking.