What Are Roof Vents?
Roof vents allow heat to rise and escape your home. Without proper ventilation, the hot air would instead collect in your attic where it can be difficult to cool your home, leading to excess energy use, uncomfortable temperatures, and even cause damage to your home.
For example, a vent is required for roofs with asphalt shingles. Otherwise, the high temperatures will cause the shingles to warp and crack. This both diminishes the weather proofing and insulation the roof provides, as well as creates holes an animal could enter through. Metal roofs also require vents to keep them functioning throughout their lifetime.
A ridge vent runs along the length of your roof at its peak to create an opening for air flow. There are two types of vents that are typically installed on shingled roofs:
- Shingle Over Vent – These vents are installed along the ridge of the roof and then covered with curved shingle caps that match the surrounding roof. The result is a low profile vent that blends in.
- Aluminum Vents – Metal vents sit atop the shingles or metal roof and are left uncovered. The vent has two flanges extending horizontally, similar in shape to a mushroom, that comprise the entire vent.
Shingle over ridge vents are made of either plastic or fibrous material, and most often placed when the property is built or the roof replaced.
Wildlife Challenges With Roof Vents
The plastic or fiber used to manufacture roof vents have the advantage of being affordable, easy to install, and weatherproof, at least in the short term. But over time, plastic warps and can weaken and crack as it is continuously exposed to sunlight. This results in holes along the top of your roof.
Fiber style vents are weak, and animals that chew can easily eat their way through the vent. Animals like rats and squirrels can create holes in the vent that they can go through, and which allow other animals to follow.
Regardless of the vent material, a hole as wide a ½” could be enough space for a variety of animals to squeeze through. The most common invaders through roof vents include:
When any of these animals squeeze through the space around the vent in your roof, they gain access to your attic and the rest of your home. There they can build a nest, often causing extensive damage to:
- Insulation – Mice, rats, and squirrels will tear up insulation and carry it to new places to build their nests. Droppings and urine can also saturate insulation, lessening its ability to maintain the temperature of a home. Damaged insulation would need to be replaced after animals are removed.
- Wiring – Mice frequently chew on electrical wiring. With enough time, they can chew through a wire in the attic or behind a wall. Generally, this will result in lights or appliances that don’t work. In the worst cases, a sparking wire can start a fire.
- Ductwork – Many HVAC systems are housed in part in the attic space. Squirrels can sometimes chew through ducts while bird’s nest in vents, making heating and cooling systems less efficient and acting as a fire risk.
- Supports – Bird and bat droppings that collect around wooden support beams will destroy the wood. This weakens the beams if not addressed and can lead to long term structural damage.
- Staining – Droppings and the oils secreted through animals’ fur can leave stains on walls and ceilings.
In addition to the physical damage they cause, animals can also leave feces and bring in insects or parasites that present ongoing health concerns in your home. Bacteria in attic spaces can sometimes be picked up by home ventilation systems and distributed throughout the home. Insects could make their way through your home on their own, infesting areas beyond your attic.
The longer animals are provided access to your attic through the roof vent, the more advanced this damage becomes. This means greater expenses when removing and restoring your attic after a wildlife infestation.
Professional Options for Protecting Your Roof Vent
Usually, a professional wildlife control company is the first to notice that there is a problem with the roof vent. Once the problem has been found, there are two choices to protect your roof vent from further pests.
- The first choice for roof vent protection is to replace the damaged vent with a new one. This involves taking off the overlaying shingles, ripping up the existing vent, and installing a new one. The process is intensive, often requiring several hours or days and significant manpower.
- The other option is to install a protective ridge guard over the existing vent. A roof vent guard is a rigid metal mesh that encloses the vents on your roof. We attach the guard directly to your roof on either side ridge to create a smooth installation without gaps. The open wire has enough space for air to vent freely, but is too small to allow animals through.
Ridge-vented roof guards have several additional benefits beyond simply replacing a vent. These include:
- Long Lasting – These guards are made of a coated metal that is waterproof and rust resistant. The durability they provide means they will last for at least the lifetime of your roof without letting animals through.
- More Affordable – Replacing a damaged vent involves time and manual labor and is not something most homeowners should take on themselves. This makes the repair process expensive. We install roof vent guards quickly and without any disassembly on the roof, resulting in a more inexpensive process.
- Keeps Pests Out – Replacing the roof vent can provide short term protection, but it is likely that you will face the same challenges in a few years as the new vent deteriorates. A metal guard will not break down over time, giving you more years of protection.
- Inconspicuous – Ridge vent guards measure only a few inches high once installed, so they are nearly flat against the roof. From the ground, the guards are not easily seen and will not hurt your home’s curb appeal.
Vent protectors are available for both shingle and metal roofs so that it is possible to protect any home or building.
Our Wildlife Exclusion Services with Ridge-Vent Protection
If animals have already found their way into your attic through the roof vent, we first need to get them out. At NY and NJ Animal Control Trappers, we offer:
- Wildlife Removal
- Attic Restoration
- Wildlife Exclusion
We can humanely remove any of the animals that frequently infest attic spaces or nest behind walls. Then we provide the solutions that keep wildlife from getting back in later on. Alternatively, we can use a process known as exclusion to protect your home before an animal invasion occurs to keep your property protected.
With an inspection, we determine if your roof vent puts your attic at risk for wildlife and share the options for protection with a vent guard. We are the leading choice in NYC and NJ for wildlife exclusion where our local customers rely on us to keep out animals indefinitely with:
- High-quality protective guards.
- Thorough, attentive service to ensure the job is done right.
- Competitive local rates.
- Friendly and knowledgeable wildlife specialists.
We serve both residential and commercial clients in NYC, including Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Staten Island. We also travel throughout central NJ. Our wildlife exclusion is fast so that you can have peace of mind in the security of your property sooner.
Call NY and NJ Animal Control Trappers to Protect Your Home
A roof ridge vent is an essential part of your home, but also one that can provide easy access to wildlife if you’re not aware of any damages. Our exclusion products and services for roof protection make it convenient and affordable to keep wildlife out of your attic. When you face animal infestations in your attic, no matter the type of animal, give us a call at 646-741-4333 24 hours a day.