Ridge vents can provide their own set of challenges when dealing with nuisance wildlife. Animals can seem to detect an exploitable weakness and they frequently use it to their full advantage. Whether it is installation error, or manufacturers aren’t considering animals when they are designing their products, or just a very persistent animal, we see and solve a lot of problems with ridge vents.
Raccoons can get into ridge vents. When they do, it allows them access to your attic. Whether their motivation is to find a warm place to stay during the winter or a safe place to raise young in the spring, their nimble hands can easily claw through most ridge vents on the market today.
This raccoon was removed from an attic in a neighborhood in Griffith. At the time that I was doing this job, I was doing two other jobs within the same neighborhood, all with similar damage. I strongly believe that raccoons learn behavior and this was a learned behavior within this community of raccoons.
Bats also use ridge vents to gain entry into homes. Bats can squeeze into gaps 3/8 of an inch. Sometimes due to installation error or just aging, ridge vents can curl or nails can pull out a little bit and allow just enough room for a colony of bats to gain entry into your attic.
The biggest problem with ridge vents and bats is due to the fact that they can’t be checked. To properly verify that they are in fact bat proof requires removal. We see this often with the hard plastic ridge vents that usually come in 4-foot lengths. They are manufactured by many different companies but all are similar.
We have also had customers who hired us after the last company failed to fix their bat problem. They neglected the ridge vent. We need to be confident we are making your home bat proof the first time and for a long time! That includes replacing the ridge vent with something we can be confident with. This type, also manufactured by a few different companies under different names, is the long, fibrous, continuous roll.
This bat was found under the ridge vent during removal. He was a little groggy because it was daytime but after he woke up he was able to fly away unharmed. The other thing we found worth noting while removing this ridge vent was a rather large yellow jacket nest. Maybe just me, but I happen to feel your ridge vent should be insect proof as well. Too much to ask?
So what to do if you find your home with the wrong type of ridge vent? Probably nothing, unless it is time to replace, and then make sure you are using the right kind of materials. The expense of preventing a maybe isn’t worth it in most cases. Once you have a confirmed animal problem though, you probably need to replace your ridge vent with something that is animal proof.
In the case of raccoons, that could mean installing a wire mesh under the new ridge vent so that should another ever try to get in they will be stopped at the wire. In the case of bats, it would mean replacing your ridge vent with one of those long continuous rolls previously mentioned.
If you are experiencing animal damage to your roof or have animals entering your attic via your ridge vent (or any other way for that matter), give us a call. We would love to help.