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After a recent rainstorm, the bathroom ceiling of a North Etobicoke home came crashing down without warning. An investigation revealed that the homeowner had racoons as tenants. The critters, in their quest to make themselves at home caused major damage to the attic. resulting in the water penetration which led to the bathroom ceiling collapse.

Have you discovered critters such as mice, squirrels, racoons, bats or bees living in your attic? Have you ever even seen your attic? Homeowners who don’t pay attention to what’s going on in their attics can face serious and costly damage to their entire home.

Rodents in the attic can be a nuisance at best, and if not dealt with quickly, they can easily become home wreckers. Racoons & squirrels have been known to chew through electrical wires in attics. It almost always ends badly for the animals, but sparks from their gnawing can set a house on fire.

Many attics also house mechanical equipment, such as central air conditioning systems, exhaust fans, electrical junction boxes and plumbing. Homeowners should regularly make sure that any system that is connected to an electrical or water source in their attic is in good working condition. A burst pipe or a clogged drain in the attic could lead to widespread water damage on the floors below.

Adding to the risk of loss, many homeowners store valuables, such as antiques, art and family heirlooms, in their attics. Others use their attics for storage of seasonal clothing, luggage, family photographs, memorabilia and other items. These valuables are often exposed to significant temperature fluctuations throughout the year, which can hasten their deterioration. It is recommended that fragile valuables be stored in another part of the house that is not subject to extreme hot or cold temperatures. It is also a good idea to have your attic equipped with alarm systems to detect smoke, water leaks and extreme temperatures.

The greater Toronto area has seen quite an increase in the racoon population, and it seems they are determined to stick around. Check your attic regularly for any signs of disturbance and take corrective action to decrease potential loss to your property.

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