Squirrel damage to roof

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Redbunnyfruitcake
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Squirrel damage to roof

Post by Redbunnyfruitcake » Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:28 pm

My house is next to a council owned park that contains lots of squirrels. They have taken a liking to eating the lead from my roof and breaking in to the loft conversion behind the plaster board. A year ago I asked the council to cut back the trees in the park as the squirrels were accessing my roof from the trees, they didn't and the squirrels have now caused £1000's of pounds worth of damage. The council came a month ago and cut back a handful of twigs so as not to damage the integrity of their trees. This was ineffective as several large branches need to be removed for it to be effective. They strongly disagree and won't cut them back. I have been told by pest control and the roofers that the only way I can stop the squirrels is by restricting access. I need to repair my roof which is now leaking but feel like I will be throwing my money away. Is there anything I can do to encourage the council to do the necessary tree work?

ukmicky
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Re: Squirrel damage to roof

Post by ukmicky » Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:51 pm

Not really . They can’t be held liable for the squirrels even though they access your roof from their trees.

Round here they get under the eves and when I first moved in I was nervous going into the loft to investigate what the noise was about . it’s also amazing how small a gap they can get through.


The only sure fire way to prevent them getting in is to block there access points with wire mesh . Don’t use Chicken wire , it is not good enough they will bite there way through it sooner or later. Not sure if that will work with you however as I can hide the wire mesh under the eaves so it doesn’t look unsightly.
Any information provided is not legal advice and you are advised to gain a professional opinion

Redbunnyfruitcake
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Re: Squirrel damage to roof

Post by Redbunnyfruitcake » Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:02 pm

Thank you. My real issue is them chewing through the lead as it leaves the tiles exposed and causes leaks. I just don't know what to do other than replace it and wait for them to attack it again. Surely the council can understand my situation?

ukmicky
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Re: Squirrel damage to roof

Post by ukmicky » Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:42 pm

They may understand but that may be as far as it goes.


You can cut back as far as the boundary if the trees are not protected
Any information provided is not legal advice and you are advised to gain a professional opinion

Fairclough
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Re: Squirrel damage to roof

Post by Fairclough » Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:00 pm

I'm no naturalist, but I'm surprised the squirrels eat lead flashing. You could always install a different sort of flashing. I once used aluminium - it is quite soft but I don't think it's as soft as lead. It's not as pliable either so is more awkward to work with (hence roofers tend to dislike it), but it might be a solution.

I just wondered whether there is anything you could paint on the flashing that would taste bitter or smell bad - just as a deterrent. I'm not suggesting that you poison them (which would be illegal as well as unnecessarily cruel), but some kind of chemical deterrent might work. Years ago I used to use a product called Renardine, which smelled awful but deterred foxes, rabbits etc. I don't know of an animal that would go anywhere near it. Unfortunately, like most things that work effectively, it has since been banned because the public cannot be trusted to use it safely. (Yes, I know it was mildly carcinogenic, but so is glyphosate (allegedly), bacon and BBQ smoke. If people can't be bothered to take sensible safety precautions ... well, it's just natural selection at work.)

Collaborate
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Re: Squirrel damage to roof

Post by Collaborate » Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:42 pm

I have to applaud you OP - this thread sets a new standard on the misconception that the LA is responsible for everything under the sun.

mr sheen
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Re: Squirrel damage to roof

Post by mr sheen » Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:49 pm

Collaborate that brought a :D to my face....think I'll campaign for a 'like' button it was needed here :D :D :D

Fairclough
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Re: Squirrel damage to roof

Post by Fairclough » Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:14 pm

To be fair to the OP, he/she hasn't said that they believe it's the LA's responsibility to prevent squirrels from getting into the roof. They just seem to be looking for a solution to the problem. We still don't know how far the branches are projecting into the OP's air space.

Redbunnyfruitcake
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Re: Squirrel damage to roof

Post by Redbunnyfruitcake » Fri Apr 26, 2019 1:13 pm

Collaborate and Mr Sheen, maybe you enjoy mocking people and feeling superior but I did not expect the council to pay for cutting the trees back. I had a private contractor quote me £500 to cut the branches back so that squirrels could not repeat the damage. I contacted the council a year previous to ask them to allow me to do the works and they said I couldn't and had to wait for them to do it, in that time the squirrels have caused a leaking roof, blocked drains full of insulation that they have ripped from my loft space and eaten a large amount of lead. When they finally cut some of the tree back it was nowhere near what needed to be done to prevent access. I again asked if I could pay for the removal of more branches and they have denied my request.

I am left with the prospect of repairing my roof only for squirrels to do the same thing within a year. How does that constitute expecting the LA to be responsible? If I seemed distressed it may because I am faced with a massive repair bill of £2000 that may become a regular occurance, have a leaking roof, squirrels skittering around in my kid's bedrooms, blocked drains and a potential fire hazard. If all of that is funny then laugh on but I thought this board was for people to ask for help not to be mocked.

Redbunnyfruitcake
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Re: Squirrel damage to roof

Post by Redbunnyfruitcake » Fri Apr 26, 2019 1:17 pm

They do not eat the lead they wear down their teeth on it causing it to come away in little filings. They do this on ridges and edges especially around roof tiles etc, this causes it to wear away and expose holes underneath. Aluminium might be an option but there is not much other than lead that is pliable enough to fix around tiles etc.

Janieb
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Re: Squirrel damage to roof

Post by Janieb » Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:56 pm

Collaborate and Mr Sheen were being a bit naughty but were trying to gently point you in the right direction.

1. It's possible that the contractors that did the pruning weren't aware of your problems
2. Check for TPO's on the trees.

If there are no TPO's you are entitled to cut back the branches to your border.

As a local councillor and chair of the relevant committee, we had the same problem with a neighbour of one of our properties. I did point out that we were not legally responsible for the growth of the trees over their boundary. We did, however, agree to abate the nuisance whilst dealing with our annual maintenance of said trees. A hint in this is that the council have to maintain their trees and get bonus points if they help neighbours to their properties. I don't know if you are referring to a town/parish council or district/unitary authority but you can book to speak at one of their meetings which are public and it doesn't look good if they fail to maintain good relations with their voters.
"I prefer rogues to imbeciles, because they sometimes take a rest" Alexandre Dumas (fils)

Redbunnyfruitcake
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Re: Squirrel damage to roof

Post by Redbunnyfruitcake » Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:25 pm

Thank you Janieb although I do think you are being too generous regarding the other posters. This is the kind of information that goes a long way as I really have no understanding of how councils work. I really appreciate knowing that there might be another avenue to explore as this situation is very frustrating. The trees are in a conservation area and do not have TPO's but as such do not overhang my house but my neighbours garden which is at the rear of my house. The oak in question is very tall at 15 metres high and it's branches overhang right next to my roof so not technically on my land. My neighbour has agreed that she would be happy to let me cut back to the boundary wall but this would still leave the other branches quite close to my property.

North Somerset Council own the trees so I assume I would have to attend one of their meetings? How do I find out about them? I just want to resolve this issue and not have to spend every penny I have on fixing a completely avoidabble problem.

Many Thanks for your help.

Collaborate
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Re: Squirrel damage to roof

Post by Collaborate » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:00 am

You don't need to attend a meeting. You simply need to give notice of intention to conduct works to a tree in a Conservation Area.

https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/2 ... t_types/14

chilluk7
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Re: Squirrel damage to roof

Post by chilluk7 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:03 pm

This is a topic I know quite a lot about as in our old house we ended up with a squireel in the wall on Christmas day no less! The kids had just finished opening their presents when we heard a load of scratching and scuffling as it fell down through the boxing in from the soil pipe which went from the ground floor up through the roof. Ended up with me cutting holes in the wall on Christmas morning which went down well.

It was probably karma, as our house was bordered all along the back with large oaks in the neighbors gardens, and I knocked off a dray I saw them building a few weeks earlier as I didn't want them nesting that near the house - so I probably deserved the interruption to our festivities! The squirrel eventually burrowed its way out under the house somehow - the traps I spent the whole of Boxing day queuing in the sale traffic for did not entice them in through the holes in the wall despite the copious nut selection on offer!

Like you we had a loft conversion so it was pretty difficult to access areas inside the roof space - we had a small crawl space for storage that I could just about wriggle through. We had some repeat visits in the roof space and it was eventually driving me insane (almost literally according to my wife).

Anyway - take some previous advice - wire mesh. We had concrete pantile type tiles which left wavy gaps at the bottom that they seemed to be getting in through - I formed a shape out of the mesh to "plug" the gaps and wedged them in.

Where I couldn't get to the gaps on one side of the house (protruding porch) I went inside the crawl space and stapled mesh in between the roof joists to block access from the soffits into the space.

We also did take all the trees back as far as we could to our boundary - the neighbors were of no help at all really.

We have moved now thank god (the trees drove us mad) - but with all the wire mesh I blocked every hole, and I don't believe we ever had a visit after that.

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