Every summer, Soundseals Insulation receives calls from cottagers who arrive at the cottage only to discover their insulation is being occupied by unwanted visitors. Raccoons, mice, bats, and squirrels are among the many rodents that look for shelter during the winter months.
While our local wildlife is essential to the health of our ecosystem, these animals belong outdoors – far from the insulation in our ceilings and walls.
“Raccoons, for instance, can pose serious health hazards to cottagers and the cottage itself,” says Colin Hinksman, General Manager of Soundseals Insulation. “They destroy the insulation, creating gaps that will greatly impact the thermal regulation and energy efficiency of a building.”
Whenever they are called about pests, the Soundseals team does everything within their power to ensure the animals are removed and rehomed humanely, putting their work on hold until the animals are safely removed, despite any restraints it places on the project timeline.
After pest control removes the unwanted occupants, the Soundseals team suits up in hazmat suits, removes the damaged insulation and droppings, and looks for entry points to be repaired by contractors.
“In Muskoka, animals like mice, squirrels, and bats will always look for shelter – especially to survive the harsh winter months,” says Colin. While there’s no perfect solution, Colin says there are steps that you can take to discourage animals from making a home where they don’t belong.
Start by paying extra attention to your home and cottage: think about what you hear at night once the family has gone to bed. If you hear scratching noises, it could be an animal making a home.
Animal droppings are another sure sign it’s being occupied. Call a pest control company right away to limit your health risks, patch any entryways created by the critters, then have an insulation expert replace any damage.
While no insulation is animal-proof, Colin says some insulation is less inhabitable than others.
“Spray foam insulation is a great option because it seals all holes, cracks, and any seams where unwanted ‘guests’ can get in,” says Colin. “Blown-in cellulose insulation is also a good option because it’s made of 100-percent recycled materials that are environmentally friendly and treated with fire-resistant boric acid – a product that rodents don’t like.
Insulation is fundamental to the structural health and efficiency of your home. If you’re noticing your energy bills rising, or noticing temperature fluctuations in your home that are impacting your comfort, Colin says now’s the time to call in an insulation specialist.
“Our team offers free in-home assessments,” says Colin. “We are committed to protecting your home from the inside out.”
TEXT SHELANNE AUGUSTINE | PHOTOS ANDREW FEARMAN