The leaves are changing, the weather is turning cooler, and you are getting out your favorite sweaters. It’s fall ya’ll! For many of us, that means we give our yard one good rake and mow, and then retreat to the indoors for a pumpkin latte. But while you’re carving pumpkins and decorating for halloween, spookier things could be going on. Creatures that scurry and gnaw are restlessly creeping are your home, looking for a way in.
The outside of the home gets a great deal of attention during the summer months when you are watering flowers, doing exterior home maintenance or yard work. But come fall, the exterior of the property can often be neglected. The seasonal demands of outdoor upkeep are not as critical, but a lapse in attention to your outdoor premises can be costly.
With temperatures steadily dropping, and cool nights coming on, outdoor pests and critters will be seeking viable options for warm shelter during the fall and winter months. Rats are sneaky, determined creatures that will gnaw through just about any material (even metal!) to gain access to your home.
Garages, sheds, attics, basements, are all favorite rat nesting places. You don’t want to be cozied up inside by the fire only to hear the scratching sound of a rodent crawling around inside your walls! Talk about disturbing. Not to mention the potential havoc they can wreak- chewed electrical wiring, a ransacked pantry, disease-carrying droppings.
Now more than ever, vigilance is necessary to keep pests out! Rodent proofing should be a top priority during fall. What is rodent proofing, exactly? Rodent proofing is the process of changing the structure of buildings in order to prevent entry of rats and mice. Don’t feel daunted, rodent proofing isn’t extremely complicated or difficult.
Follow these key steps to successfully keep rats and rodents out this fall and be sure to remove debris.
The leaves have fallen and they may be obscuring parts of your exterior walls. A general once over with the leaf blower is just not enough to uncover collections of leaves that rodents may use to hide in.
BEST PRACTICES FOR PREVENTING UNWANTED RODENTS
The best practice is to clear all leaves away from the house. Rake carefully and thoroughly, right up against the walls. This could even become a chance for a fun family chore! The important thing is to be able to see the foundation of your home.
Anything else that you may have against your home- compost piles, or wood piles for example – have got to go too! Sure, it’s convenient to have them right near the back door or against the house for easy accessibility. But pests have been known to hide in these piles. These spots will collect standing water and provide a water source that will sustain rodents. Imagine going to your wood pile, picking up a piece, only to find a rat scurrying underneath!
There’s just no telling if the exterior of your home behind the pile has been compromised. Many times, when you move the wood or compost pile, you’ll find a gnawed rodent hole in the siding or foundation behind it. Don’t leave anything to chance. You want to be able to have a clear view of every inch of your exterior to search for possible entry points.
RAT-PROOF YOUR HOME THIS FALL
Find all potential entry points
The most productive thing you can do to rat-proof your home during fall is to do a thorough sweep of the outside of your home and identify any possible entry points. You may be wondering, what exactly am I looking for? It’s simple actually. Any crack, hole, or tear in the outside walls.
If you live in an older house you are more likely to have a whole host of vulnerabilities.These are commonly found in weathered siding, worn exterior vents, loose or damaged roof shingles, gutters, even foundation. You know, all of those things go unnoticed or neglected over the years!
As you walk your property, carefully inspecting and seeking out weaknesses, take your time. This is not a step you want to rush! No crack or crevice is small enough to be dismissed. Rats can squeeze through a hole that’s just ½ inch wide! In fact, for peace of mind and a trained eye, your best bet is to consult with professionals. Team up with Attic Construction and get a high-quality inspection inside and out.
Seal all gaps leading into the home
The best way to keep rats out is to effectively stop them from getting in. Believe it or not, you do have the power to do just that. With the right tools and know how you can seal the exterior of your home, making it an impenetrable fortress against rodents!
Once you’ve located all potential risk spots (everyone’s got a few), it’s essential that they are properly sealed to keep rodents out. There is a certain way sealing has to be done. DIY quick and easy fixes can be tempting, but realistically, they aren’t effective or viable options. Duct tape, patching with plywood, and other cobbled together projects may be cheap, but will ultimately be a waste of time and effort.
In no time you’ll find that your handiwork has been gnawed through by rodents. And you’ll be searching inside your home for rats instead of outside.
Rats can chew through a surprising amount of materials! Plastic and aluminum to name a few. The following materials are considered rodent resistant:
- Sheet metal (26 gauge or heavier).
- Perforated metal (24 gauge or heavier with openings no more than ¼ inch).
- Hardware cloth (19 gauge or heavier with openings no more than ¼ inch).
- Brick with mortared joints.
- Cement mortar (1:3 mixture).
- Concrete (1:2:4 mixture).
The professionals at Attic Construction use a technique for sealing these holes with steel mesh or metal flashing which rats cannot chew through. They follow that with a treatment of polyurethane sealant to stop air flow, which prevents rats from smelling for gaps that they can chew through. It also protects from the gnawing edge.
A gnawing edge is the edge of any sealed area which rats could potentially try to chew through. It is essential that the gnawing edges get protected with rodent-resistant materials. Places to rodentproof carefully for gnawing edges are doors, windows, holes where pipes enter buildings, ventilation holes in foundations, roof vents, exhaust fans, and leave vents.
The first two weeks after sealing entry points are critical. After completing rodent-proofing, searching and sly rodents will try to find breaks in the rodentproofing. To protect your investment and your handiwork, Inspect frequently during these weeks and repair any needed breaks asap.
Go with the pros and rats won’t even be able to sniff out a weak spot in your home’s exterior. No matter how new or old your home is, you can achieve equally excellent rodentproofing conditions by following these steps.
This fall the best defense is a good offense. Don’t let your home fall victim to rodent infestation. You can practice effective rat control by teaming up with skilled experts. Attic Construction l has all the best tools and methods, as well as a friendly competent team. We also provide attic insulation installation for those who need insulation replaced. The feeling of safety, security, and confidence is what you’ll get when you invest in quality rat proofing. You have all the knowledge and resources you need to rodentproof your space, get started today!
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Written By Joseph Sheiner
Joseph Sheiner is a construction industry professional with over 15 years of experience. He began his career in the insulation industry in 2012, and co-founded Attic Construction Inc in 2013. As CEO of the company, Joe oversees all operations and is in charge of training and product knowledge.
Under Joe’s leadership, Attic Construction has become the largest leading Attic Restoration Company in San Diego, Orange County and Phoenix. He has personally performed and supervised insulation work in over 7000 homes. He is certified by Owens Corning as a CEE (Certified Energy Expert) and is a licensed contractor by the CSLB.
Most recently, Joe has helped expand Attic Construction to two additional locations – Orange County and Phoenix. He is currently working on expanding to additional locations in the near future.
Great work! Our attic went from totally disgusting to pristine. They are courteous and professional and clean up after themselves.
-Karen L. Santee, CA
Andrew was very informative and helpful during the whole process. Excellent communication and his team did a great job. He came on Sunday and the work was done and completed by Tuesday. Highly recommend to anyone who is looking for a fair prices and great service.
– Joey E. San Diego, CA