Roof repair: Mind the gaps, banish the squirrels

pipe boot on top of the roof of a house
A lead-free and paintable telescoping sleeve can cleverly camouflage roof vent pipes and reduce unwanted sight-lines.
side by side images of a old boot pipe and a new boot pipe
A common roof problem involves cracked rooftop venting pipes made with cheap lead tops that eventually corrode over time versus a lead-free option.

Cold can aggravate a roof issue and quickly turn minor defects into costly repair bills; in fact, the latest “Cost vs. Value” report from Remodeling Magazine estimates the average roofing replacement costs over $20,000.

So, whether you’ve already noticed signs of wear on your roof or just want more “overhead” peace of mind, pay special attention to two seemingly small aspects of the roof that homeowners often overlook:

Gaps: Seal it, patch it

Be sure to check for any gaps around gutters, skylights and roofing vents then utilize the correct caulking, patching and sealants. Sealing these areas can keep out moisture and reduce heating costs – and many sealants are especially designed to adhere directly onto exterior surfaces. Even the tiniest cracks and gaps can allow moisture to enter, not to mention rodents, squirrels and other unwelcome varmints.

Pipes: Don’t leave a welcome mat for squirrels

Roof venting pipes are another area to closely inspect. One of the more common roof problems involves cracked rooftop venting pipes made with cheap lead tops as they corrode over time. To make matters worse, squirrels and other critters are known to relentlessly chew their way into a home via these thin pipe flashings as the lead entices these unwelcome varmints to gnaw at them, thus providing interior access for damaging rain, snow and more pests once whittled away.

“Squirrel infestation is a very big problem throughout many areas of the United States, especially older homes,” explains Amanda Williams, marketing manager at Quarrix. “This is exactly why we developed a durable, lead-free and easy-to-install vent pipe flashing called Pipe Boot that simply slides over the existing vent, nails into place, and then twists securely to form a weather-tight seal.” With Pipe Boot, no specialty installation tools are needed as the telescoping sleeve allows for varying pipe sizes and can withstand frigid winter temperatures via a patented design.

Enlist the pros quickly when there’s trouble

Waiting too long to call in a certified professional can lead to bigger issues. For example, squirrels quickly reproduce and can potentially gnaw on electrical wiring or crawl into difficult-to-reach wall spaces, making extraction a nightmare. It’s a wise move to seek out a reputable roofing specialist, especially when dealing with roof damage from weather or critters, or both.

The roof is no place to cut corners, and no matter the season, even seemingly minor roofing issues can put your home and valuables at risk. For a thorough seasonal roof maintenance checklist, visit: Quarrix.com/Checklist or call 800-438-2920.

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