If you recently invested in a new asphalt roof, you probably worry about potential threats to the structure. Wind, snow, and hail may cause damage to your roof over time, but most asphalt shingles are strong enough to withstand a good deal of weather-related stress. Your roof may not stand up well against squirrels though, and you should make sure that these rambunctious animals are properly repelled from your new roof.
Making Your Roof Taste Bad
Squirrels will often climb on top of a roof and chew on the metal flashing, gutters, and vents that are installed on your home. Squirrels have teeth that grow continuously and they sometimes chew on metal objects to whittle down the teeth so they do not grow towards the jaw.
When a squirrel chews on the parts of your roof, they can dislodge shingles or open up flashing, subsequently allowing water to make its way underneath the roof. You can prevent this from happening by making sure that your flashing, gutters, and vents taste bad when a squirrel decides to sink his teeth into the metal.
Using a Paint Additive
You can protect the metal parts of your roof by painting them with a latex paint that contains a bitter additive. One of the most bitter substances you can add is called denatonium benzoate. This material comes in powder form and you can find it at your local home store or you can buy it through a chemical supplier. Once you have acquired the material, add about one-half of a teaspoon of the powder to your can of paint and mix the additive in. Place the lid back on your paint can and prepare your aluminum surfaces.
Paint will not stick to untreated aluminum, because the material is too smooth. This means that you need to etch your gutters, flashing, and vents before you can paint them. Purchase an etching primer from your local home store and add the material to every metal surface you intend on painting. Allow the primer to sit for four or five hours. Within this time, the etching compound will create small openings within the metal that will help your paint cling to the surfaces.
Once you are done using the etching primer, use a paintbrush to add two layers of your bitter tasting latex paint to the aluminum surfaces.
Creating a Natural Repellant Spray
Make Your Mixture
If you do not want to paint the aluminum gutters and other parts of your roof, then you can create a spray instead that will repel your squirrels. Squirrels, like many other rodents are extremely sensitive to foods that are considered hot, and this means that capsaicin can be used to force squirrels away from your roof. Capsaicin is the compound found in hot peppers that creates heat. Onions are a good deterrent too, because they release sulfur compounds that can hurt the eyes and nose.
To make your repellent spray, purchase a large spray bottle that is able to hold at least 48 ounces of fluid. Cut up one large onion into small strips and add the pieces to the spray bottle. Place one cup of cayenne pepper or capsaicin powder in the bottle and then fill the rest of the container with warm water. Allow the mixture to sit for about one day so the sulfur compounds are released from the onions.
Spray the Solution
Spray your mixture on your roof and make sure to add a large concentration of the fluid on your gutters and flashing. Afterwards, locate any tree branches that hang over your roof and spray your repellent on them as well. This way, your squirrels are less likely to jump onto your roof once they come into contact with the offending branches.
You can add capsaicin powder directly to your bird feeders as well. The powder will not bother your birds, but it will drive your squirrels away to another location where a food source is more palatable.
If you have recently hired contractors to install a new roof on your home, then you are likely concerned about protecting your investment. Squirrels can easily damage your roof and the tips above can help you repel the devilish rodents.
To learn more about how to protect your roof, be sure to contact Roof Tech.