5 Ways Raccoons Damage Your Roof

Raccoons are a common roof issue, as they will tear through a roof to nest in the warm attic below. Damage to the roof tends to be concentrated in a few common entry points.

1. Weak Eaves 

Eaves can provide an entry spot either through the end caps or via the fascia board that faces outward. Missing, loose, or damaged end caps can easily be torn off by a raccoon. They can also tear through fascia boards, particularly damaged wooden ones. Repairs may require simply replacing the end caps, or it may be time to upgrade to new metal eaves. 

2. Soffit Vents

Underneath the eaves run the soffits, which contain vent openings to aid with attic air flow. These should ideally be metal-screened vents on enclosed soffits. Open soffits, particularly those that aren't screened, provide an easy access point for a raccoon. Your roofer may recommend enclosing open soffits or upgrading existing soffits to more durable metal as opposed to wood. 

3. Rooftop Vents

Various vents are present on most roofs, including attic ridge or mid-line vents and plumbing vents. A determined raccoon can easily tear off the vent covers, or even the vent itself, to create an entry point into the roof. Loose covers or those with missing hardware are most susceptible to raccoon damage. Replacing or repairing damaged vents before raccoons show up is ideal, otherwise, you may also need repairs to the surrounding shingles or roof decking.

4. Weak Shingles

Raccoons will take advantage of any opportunity provided to get into an attic, and any pre-existing damage may provide such as opportunity. Curling or loose shingles can provide an open invitation for a raccoon to tear up the shingle and gouge an entrance to the damp roof decking below. Full roof replacement that includes both decking and shingles may be necessary, at least at the site of damage.

5. Flashing Seals

Aluminum flashing creates a seal between the roofing material and penetrations like chimneys or vent stacks. Aging and storm damage can cause the flashing to warp or bend, and the tar sealant around the flashing seam may begin to fail. Much like a damaged shingle, this provides an easy spot for a raccoon to tear an entry into the roof. Both flashing and the surrounding roof structure will require repairs if raccoon damage does occur.

Contact a local contractor to learn more about roof repair.