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Sweet Tooth Squirrels on the Roof

Squirrel on the RoofIn the House host, Jim Sellers, enlightens show listeners about the sweet flavor of lead boots! What to do about squirrels?
Kathleen: We bought a house and are fixing up some things that were missed on the inspection, among which are the boots around pipes on the roof. We are told that we need to replace them because squirrels have eaten them. I have never heard of this before. They are lead boots, and I’m wondering if that is an expensive proposition? We need a roofer, I think.
Jim: Yes, it is true. It seems to happen more in subdivisions than if you live in a rural area. Squirrels will definitely eat lead boots; I don’t exactly know why. Some people say they are simply sharpening their teeth on them; squirrels are rodents, so their teeth grow forever. Also, I am lead certified, and I know that lead is actually sweet. This was one of the dangers with lead back in the day; with the window sill height, kids would start gnawing on the window sill because it’s sweet, and it actually tasted good to them. And so that could also be the same thing with squirrels. I don’t know, but I’ve seen them eat those lead boots down to the nub.
If your roof is overall in good shape, you will be able to make the repairs without doing large portions of the roof. A good roofer, like Universal Roof & Contracting, could do that. Most roofers do have a minimum, but you should be able to do two or three lead boots for whatever a company’s minimum is, and Universal would love to come out and help you with that.
Another thing I would suggest is ask for one of the products out there that are better than lead. At Universal Roof & Contracting, we use a product called a “bullet boot”, which is a synthetic, rubberized boot. The neat thing about it is it’s not lead, so squirrels will not eat it. Another good thing about it is it comes in different colors and you can match the roof. Lead boots come in lead color, which is not necessarily the most beautiful thing in the world, so a lot of people end up painting them. The bullet boot was manufactured, so it could match different colored roofs. They come in black and gray and brown and more.
Kathleen: So would that be a big repair job and entail lifting the shingles?
Jim: It’s not big; the guys at Universal do them every day and can do them quickly. It’s actually amazing to watch. You would definitely want a roofer to do it. There are good handymen, but still most of them are not going to specialize in roof repairs. It’s one of those things that I would have a roofer do – somebody that will do it safely and is going to stand behind that repair and make sure it’s done right.
Kathleen: I wondered, too, if the shingles would be damaged, because we don’t have any matching singles around.
Jim: They wouldn’t have to remove many shingles, maybe one or two, and they can get a close match – either get the same ones or some that look pretty close. You can call Universal, and the number there is 407-295-7403, and we can definitely have somebody come out and take a look.
Kathleen: OK, thank you so much, bye.
Jim: You are very welcome. Have a nice weekend, Kathleen, thank you so much for calling. That’s true. Roofs are one of the items that are difficult for homeowners – or even pretty handy guys or girls – to get up and mess with. There’s just an element of danger. And there needs to be an element of familiarity, making sure you are applying the materials properly. Even shingles are not waterproof; they have to be installed correctly in what’s called the “shingle effect” to be able to work correctly. That’s something you do, and it’s probably not worth the risk for the average homeowner to tackle. Kathleen, good luck with your project. I hope that works out for you, and thanks so much for giving us a call.
Listen Saturday mornings to “In the House with Ken & Jared”. Get more Home Tips and show info at the In the House website. For a free estimate on your next Home Improvement Project, visit Universal Roof & Contracting or call now. Orlando: 407-295-7403 Jacksonville: 904-647-3907