Although having pests living in your attic is bad, having them actively attacking the structure of your roof can be even worse. Fortunately, many pests simply look for easy access points to the attic instead, but there are some that may prefer to actually damage your roof. Here are three types of pests that you should watch for if you want to keep your roof intact.
Living in woods, rural areas, suburbs, and cities alike, raccoons are a potentially very destructive pest that also pose a threat to your health and the health of your pets. They can carry both distemper and rabies, both of which dogs are usually vaccinated against (if up-to-date on their shots); people, on the other hand, are not. So if you have raccoons hanging around your house, you shouldn't take them lightly, especially since many raccoons have learned that human houses have attics that are great for raising kits in, as long as they can tear through the roof first to get there. Unless you want to have a hole torn in your roof, it's best to start a plan of catch-and-release or use some other humane control method as soon as you see raccoons on your property.
Termites, as you probably know, love to eat wood itself, and if your roof deck has any untreated wood, any termite who manages to access it can spend the rest of its life doing the best to eliminate this flaw by eating all the untreated wood right out from under your roof. Signs of termite infestation include shed termite wings, sawdust in the corners when you haven't been doing construction, or even sightings of flying termites. These signs may be subtle or even nonexistent at first, so it's important to monitor for them regularly and, of course, make sure that any access points to the underside of your roof are blocked by tiny mesh and that there's no untreated wood on the outside of your house that termites can access.
3. Carpenter ants
Like termites, these ants like to live in wood. They don't actually consume it, but they do tunnel through it. So keeping them from attacking your roof may be as simple as making sure all the exposed wood is treated with chemicals. However, these are super-small pests, so they can also squeeze through tiny cracks and near-invisible gaps, so it's still possible for them to get past the exposed parts of the roof and damage the interior if the attic isn't sealed.
These three types of pests are worse than normal attic pests in that they actively damage the roof itself. Squirrels and pigeons just want to live in your attic, but raccoons may want to hack their own door in the roof if they can't find a better one, and carpenter ants and termites want to tunnel through every wooden component in your house. If you suspect any of these, waste no time in calling an exterminator, as well as a roofing contractor (like one from Danny Odom & Son Roofing), to deal with the infestation and the damage.