how to keep birds out of gable vents

Every now and then during a home inspection, we come across some eyebrow raising items, in this case birds in the attic. These guys were hard at work, likely attempting to build a nest under the very edge of the roof vent which seemed like a good idea at the time. Unfortunately, this roof vent was missing a screen to keep birds and animals out, so their efforts to build a nest up at the roof around the vent resulted in all the nest material dropping into the attic space. We can imagine this bird working diligently to deliver nest material and never seeming to make any progress at all.

The amount of damage done in this situation was limited to having a large pile of twigs and grass in the attic that needed to be removed. But animals and pests can cause significant damage to an attic space if they begin nesting or burrowing in the attic insulation. Typically a screen is installed on all roof and gable vents to attempt to keep animals out of the attic space. The roof vent shown in this picture mounts on the outside roof and is installed prior to installing roofing material. Most of these type of vents come with a screen material pre-installed. It is possible that the screening was accidentally removed or damaged during the installation, or was never installed. Some roof vents don’t have screening that come with the product, so the roofer needs to install some type of screen material. This is a minor detail item that a roofing contractor has to pay attention to, but an important one.

During a home inspection and an inspection of the attic space, we visually check all roof vents and gable vents to ensure that pest screens are in place. While a home inspection is not a pest inspection and we aren’t specialists on pests, when we do see some indication of birds in the attic, or other animals or insects being present, we will call this out for evaluation by a specialist.

At Scott Home Inspection, we perform all our inspections according to the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. We perform home inspection in Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins and all surrounding areas along the Front Range of Colorado. We have a team of home inspection and customer service professionals ready to help with your inspection needs. For more information on our inspection services click HERE.

Birds in your house?

Although birds can be lovely, when they get inside your house, they ruin the aesthetics. The three most frequent birds to visit homes are starlings, swallows, and pigeons. In their search for a warm, secure nesting location, these birds will fly into chimneys, attics, gable vents, roof vents, and bathroom vents. Once inside the home, it becomes unsanitary quickly. Bird droppings can carry up to 60 different diseases. Their lice and mites can infest your house, and they frequently build their nests in the electrical wiring or insulation of your house, which increases the risk of a fire. All in all, it’s best to avoid this situation.

How can you remove birds from your home?

In the event that you find a bird or birds inside your house, calling a licensed and experienced Wildlife Control Operator is the most efficient and secure way to get rid of them. We can recommend several capable businesses to you in order to assist you. However, a simple internet search will work too.

After you have selected a wildlife removal company, they will start removing the birds and their nests and working on creating an exclusion plan. As part of this plan, all entry points will be sealed off to discourage future birds from returning to your attic and to clean up any mess they may have left behind.

We visually inspect all roof vents and gable vents during a home inspection and an attic space inspection to make sure pest screens are in place. Even though we are not pest experts and a home inspection is not a pest inspection, if we notice any signs of birds in the attic or other animals or insects, we will report this for further investigation by a specialist.

There was only a sizable pile of grass and twigs in the attic that needed to be cleared out, which was the extent of the damage in this case. However, if animals or vermin start to nest or burrow in the attic insulation, they can seriously harm an attic space. Generally, all gable and roof vents have screens installed in an effort to keep animals out of the attic area. The roof vent pictured here is mounted on the exterior roof and is put in place before roofing material is applied. The majority of these vents have screen material pre-installed. It’s possible that the screening was never installed or was inadvertently removed or damaged during installation. Certain roof vents require the roofer to install screen material because the product may not include screening. This is a small but crucial detail that a roofing contractor needs to be aware of.

Occasionally, while conducting a home inspection, we discover something that raises questions, in this case, birds in the attic. These guys were probably working hard to construct a nest beneath the roof vent’s edge, which seemed like a smart idea at the time. Due to the lack of a screen to keep animals and birds out, the birds’ attempts to construct a nest around the roof vent unfortunately resulted in all of the nest material falling into the attic space. We can picture this bird putting in a lot of effort to deliver nest materials, but it never appears to advance.

All of the inspections that Scott Home Inspection conducts comply with the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. In Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, and all surrounding areas along Colorado’s Front Range, we conduct home inspections. For all of your inspection needs, our team of experts in home inspections and customer support is available. For more information on our inspection services click HERE.


How do you keep birds out of Gables?

If birds have previously nested or are currently attempting to nest in your eaves, the recommended solution is professionally installed bird netting. A professional installation of bird netting will humanely exclude birds from accessing the underside of the eave.

How do I keep animals out of my gable vents?

The answer is to cover the holes with a type of metal mesh called hardware cloth. hardware cloth is fairly rigid mesh with heavy-gauge wire that is not easily damaged by animals. This will keep out pests without restricting airflow through the vent holes.

How do I keep birds out of my fireplace vent?

Install a Cap or “Chimney Top Cover” The bottom line is—birds in chimneys is not something that you want to deal with. The good news is that you can easily prevent the problem by installing a chimney cap!

How do you block a gable vent?

Yes, any simple air block material like plastic, OSB or plywood can be used to block air flow into the attic through the gable vents. The minimum recommended attic ventilation is 1.5% of your attic floor space.