Rodent Damage
One of the worst parts of having a rodent infestation in your home is the damage they will cause to your property. Not only do these furry squatters make a mess, but they also cause legitimately hazardous damage to the structure of your house.

Some of the most common types of damage you will encounter from rodents include:
  • Chewing on wires, causing a risk of fire
  • Gnawing on wooden beams in the attic
  • Destroying pipes and causing water damage
  • Destroying insulation, making it less effective in your home
If you suspect a rodent infestation, these are the main issues to consider. Before taking any further precautions to keep rodents out, you must deal with these issues. Look through your basement and attic for any chewed wires, pipes, or wooden beams.

If you find serious damage in any of these areas, you will most often need to deal with this symptom before you can deal with the cause. The risk of a house fire or water damage is incredibly high. Further, you are likely to be best off contacting an electrician, plumber, or contractor for any of this type of serious damage.

Rodents and wires: A deadly combination

You may think, “I can understand a rodent chewing wood and pipes to get to the water, but why would they chew on wires? Wouldn’t they just be electrocuted?” That’s a valid question if you are unfamiliar with rodent habits and lifestyles.

If a wire happens to be close to a nest where rodents are living, it will be chewed. Rodents like to make nests in places that are warm and dry, and in most houses, wires are found in warm and dry areas. This makes wires targeted for chewing, as they are in the way of the rodent’s nesting area.

As for why rodents don’t get electrocuted, it is mainly because they do not chew on more than one wire at a time. That means no grounded connection would cause electrocution. That said, if a rodent is standing on some conductive surface, it will undoubtedly be electrocuted and could cause a fire immediately.

Knowing why rodents chew on wires can help determine where to set traps and keep them at bay. Chewed wires can be expensive, so keep this in mind when dealing with a rodent problem.

Will this be covered by my insurance?

So, you have found rodent damage and are ready to get it fixed. You decide to call the company with which you have a home insurance policy to find out how to solve this issue. You explain the situation and end up hearing the following phrase:

“I’m sorry, but your policy does not cover rby damage.”

Rodent infestations are usually considered issues involving home maintenance, and most policies require the homeowner to conduct repairs. Luckily, some services do this for you, so you don’t have to deal with this burden alone.

Now, there are situations in which a rodent infestation could lead to a payout from your home insurance policy. For example, should an infestation lead to damage to your home wiring that leads to a fire, most policies will pay. This is because fires are considered a peril in most home insurance policies.

However, some home insurance policies have exceptions, and it is important to contact your insurer to discuss what specific protections and circumstances are in place for your plan.

How to prevent rodents from entering in the first place

So, we know that insurance will notany help through this challenging experience. While you will have to pay a fair amount of money out of pocket to repair the damage caused by rodents, you should also do yourself a favor and spend a bit on preventing any further infestations in the future.

There are no 100% specific ways to keep rodents out of your home, but you can take several steps to make your home as rodent-proof as possible.

To begin to secure the home, you can:

Seal any holes that could lead outside of your home. This includes even tiny holes you may not think a rodent can fit through. For example, a full-size rat can get through a hole as small as a quarter. The best material to seal your attic is some form of galvanized steel mesh.
Outside, you should keep vegetation trimmed back and away from the walls of your house. Rodents can climb ivies and trees to get into your house.
  • Keep firewood away from the walls of your house.
  • All garbage containers inside and outside of your house should be tightly sealed.
  • Keep your food stored in airtight containers.
  • Ensure there is no pooling or dripping water inside or around your house.
  • Try to eliminate any clutter from your residence.
  • Place steel screens over roof vents, and ensure a secure chimney cap.
  • Permanently shut doors when exiting your house.
  • Ensure that all of your window screens are in good condition.
Use caulking to seal any edges that could allow air to escape from your home. Rodents can smell the air leaving your house and be attracted to the smells it carries.

If rodents still find a way to enter and damage your home, it is also useful to know how to get rid of them. Many online resources, such as pest control specialists, provide information on how to safely remove rodents.

If you take the time to rodent-proof your home using these steps, you will mitigate the risk of having to deal with serious issues like needing to have the wiring fixed. The cost of doing this may be steep, but it is certainly less inconvenient than losing your home to a fire.