Q: We are about to put a new roof on, and I’m wondering if there is a certain type of roofing material (or something else) that would discourage animals from walking on our roof?

I’m not sure what gets up there, but you can hear it racing across the roof at various times of the day. It may be a raccoon, a skunk, a cat, a bird or a rat.

Our existing roof is wood shingle and is about 20 years old.

A: To discourage animals from using your roof as a racecourse, we suggest you consider re-roofing with metal. This portion of the roofing industry has come a long way from the corrugated tin of the Quonset hut.

Metal roofs are available in a variety of colors. They are fire retardant and can be very attractive in the right setting, usually a rural environment that is wooded and prone to a heightened fire danger.

A metal roof may be less inviting in a cookie-cutter subdivision, but because you speak in terms of a variety of animals using your roof as a roadway, we assume that you live in at least a semirural setting.

To replace your wood shingles with metal it is necessary to remove the old roof and apply plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) sheeting. Metal roofing is applied in approximately 3-foot-wide vertical pieces that stretch from the eaves to the ridge. Each piece overlaps the previous piece.

The roof is attached to the sheeting with sheet-metal screws that contain a rubber washer to prevent leaks. Special ridge-and-valley metal is used to complete the roof.

The poor footing provided by the metal and the heat radiated by it should discourage the varmints from using your roof for their track meets.

***

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