Rocky Situation: Repairing Squirrel Damage

Q

A squirrel or several squirrels ate a hole in my lead flashing, and now it leaks badly when it rains. Water from the roof runs down into the hole. The top of the flashing is cemented into the chimney between the bricks. The job appears to be well done and has lasted many years. The hole is about the size of a squirrel’s head. How can I repair it?

A

The squirrel is doing what it has to do to shorten and sharpen its teeth: gnawing. The lead is just right for him: soft but able to keep wearing down the teeth. Buy a heavy-duty piece of sheet aluminum or galvanized steel big enough to cover the hole and surrounding area. Lead flashing around chimneys is usually not glued to the roof, so lift it carefully, slather the roof and patch with roofing cement, and insert the patch under the flashing. If the flashing is glued to the roof, you can put the patch directly on top. Putting the patch under the flashing might work better, so keep an eye on the on-top patch and see how long it lasts. Finally, treat the patch with a critter repellant, sold in hardware stores.