Rodent-Proof Insulation: Home Protection Tips
Insulation pertains to materials used in a house or building’s walls, ceilings and floors to prevent sound transmission, heat loss or heat gain at the appropriate times. It is a cost-effective and practical solution to keep a house warm during winter and cool during summer, and it helps home and building owners realize significant savings on their energy bills.
Insulation can be made of materials like recycled paper, polyester matting, glass wool or natural wool, polyurethane foam, or reflective foil. Because these materials aren’t solid (like concrete), they can be damaged by rodents like mice, rats or squirrels when they find their way inside a house. Typically, these animals would shred the insulation and use them to build nests, or leave their urine and droppings in it, effectively ruining the insulation.
How to rodent-proof your home insulation?
The only way to rodent-proof insulation is to prevent rodents from getting inside the house or building in the first place. You can make sure this happens by trying the following tips:
- Inspect every inch of your property (typically along the foundation, around utility pipes and between eaves and roofs) to find openings that could potentially allow rodents to enter. Even holes that are only 1/4 of an inch thick can serve rodents well as an entry point.
- Once you’ve discovered where cracks and openings are, you need to block or seal them off to prevent rodents from coming inside the house. You can use wire mesh to the opening and then apply concrete (you can try the quick-drying kind) to keep it in place. Other options for materials that can seal openings are copper mesh (formed into a ball), galvanized window screen or expanding foam insulation.
- Make an effort to keep your home from becoming a highly attractive place for rodents to live. They’ll often be drawn to places where they know they can find food and a place to nest, so discourage this by keeping all your garbage cans covered, storing all pet food in sealed containers, and not leaving pet’s food bowls outside or on the ground when your pets aren’t eating. If you keep paper and clothes in the attic, store them in damage-proof and well-sealed containers so rats won’t be encouraged to nest in them.
- If you have a lawn or garden, be diligent about keeping shrubs, trees and flowering plants away from the house’s foundations, and trim them regularly so they won’t grow to a height that would enable rodents to climb and gain access to the upper levels of the property.
- If you’ve found possible entryways in your house that you can’t completely block off, the alternative is to install a cover using nails—make sure that the flap side of the cover faces the exterior. This can allow and rodents inside the house to get out, but they won’t be able to go back inside.