Is Your Seattle Home Sealed Against Drafts and Pests?
Most homeowners assume that their home is impervious to pests and drafts. But, most homes in the Pacific Northwest aren’t sealed properly. Over time, small cracks and gaps occur. Most people are surprised at the high number of places where pests gain entry into their Tacoma and Bellvue area homes. Cold winter air or warm summer breezes can severely impact the efficiency of a home’s HVAC system. Most insects and spiders only need an opening the thickness of a credit card. Mice can squeeze their way through a gap the size of a nickel. Once they make their way inside, it is difficult to get rid of them. Preventing the entry of pests is essential.
Some Seattle homeowners are very maintenance savvy and prefer to try to seal their homes themselves. Others may may want to hire a professional to ensure that no tiny crack was missed. Fixing most of these problems is relatively easy and affordable, but some repairs can be more expensive or require extra equipment. Every crack, crevice and hole that is sealed properly will reduce the potential of a pest infestation and heat loss.
The DIY Approach
For the Do-It-Yourself homeowner, you will want to wear old clothes and work gloves. A thorough inspection is a dirty job and you will need to climb into the attic, up a ladder to the roof and crawl around foundations. Some equipment is also necessary:
- A broom with a mirror attached to the end is useful for searching hidden spaces.
- Caulk and caulk gun for quick repairs to cracks
- Boric acid dust in a squeeze bottle. Boric acid is a very safe insecticide in powder form. It is a slow-acting, so insects can carry it back to their nests and infect their nest mates. Squeeze a little inside cracks or crevices before your caulk over them.
- Fine mesh screen, a hammer and nails for repairing larger openings.
- A screwdriver for poling around potential repair areas
- Insect spray formulated for spiders and other household insects.
- Brightly colored tape to mark larger repairs or repairs that require additional materials
- Pen and paper to note larger repairs or areas of concern, or repairs that require professional expertise
You should expect to take more than one day for thorough inspection. Starting with the roof, exterior walls, and working down to the foundations will take time and a sturdy ladder. You should also look thoroughly under decks, stairs and foundation landscaping. This is also a great time to note the general condition of the exterior of your home.
Remember that no crevice, crack or hole is too small, so check every square foot possible. Pay extra attention to pipes, conduit, vents and poor construction workmanship that has left gaps and openings that permit pests to enter from the outside. When you are on the roof, don’t forget to check ventilation pipes and metal flashing.
Roofs and Eaves
Roofs and eaves are particularly susceptible to damage because of their exposure to the worst weather. Look for tree branches near your roof. Not only could limbs cause roof damage, but can provide pests a way around ground level pesticide barriers. There many places and ways insects, rodents, and other pests can enter your home from rooftops and bad joints under eaves and roof overhangs, so check carefully.
- Inspect the caulking around exhaust vents. Put fine mesh screens on outlets of vents. Roof rats and mice can get through open exhaust vents.
- Check for openings around fireplace chimneys and roof vents. Look for missing shingles, wood rot or evidence of termite tubes.
- Check around the edges of the roof and gutters for damaged areas
- Look for exhaust holes under roof overhangs that are open to attic space. Those may require fine mesh screens to prevent entry.
Exterior Walls and Foundation
Take the time to inspect walls from the foundation to the roof line, especially where walls meet foundations and the areas under roof overhangs. In addition to looking for pest entry points, check for evidence of wood-rot, loose siding and evidence of termites, like tubes and wood dust.
- Caulk or fill voids around electrical conduit. plumbing pipes, vents, phone lines, cabling, air conditioning or condensation lines dripping from rooftop units.
- Inspect for gaps and cracks around windows, doors and garage doors. Doors may need new molding, insulation or door sweeps. You might need to caulk around windows to ensure they are air-tight. Check that the window screens are in good repair and are attached securely.
- Make sure garage doors are sealed as well as possible
- Examine all vents in basements or crawl spaces and cover them with fine mesh screens.
- Caulk cracks in plaster, bricks, stonework and mortar joints. Also, check for foundation cracks and openings where walls meet the foundation.
Once you’ve inspected the outside, you should turn your attention to the inside. You will need to inspect and repair the interior areas of the attic, around doors and windows, and around interior plumbing, and HVAC vents. Also inspect around light fixtures, moulding, fireplaces or any other areas that may have a small crack leading to the outside.
Bring In The Experts
Most homeowners don’t have the time, the extra equipment, or the ability to make all these repairs themselves. And, there is the potential that you’ve missed some key area. Call the experts at Guardian Pest Control to fully inspect your Pacific Northwest area home for pests. Not everyone can squeeze into the small crevices in the attic or crawl around on the roof, but Guardian will. Our technicians will come to your home, perform a thorough inspection, and provide a written report. We will also address any current pest issues and eliminate them at the time. Guardian Pest Control has a protection plan that will keep your home safe from pests by monitoring and inspecting your home on a regular basis.
When your home is ready for a new roof, repairs, or maintenance, you need a reliable, dependable roof repair company. You count on you roofing contractor to keep your home safe and dry. Guardian Home is committed to providing top-quality service, professionalism and workmanship. If you are looking for a roof repair contractor please call us today at 877-926-9966 or complete our online service request form.