There is no denying that rats are pests and should be evicted from your living space as soon as possible. Other than the fact that they carry diseases, rats can also cause significant damage to your home. These damages can cost thousands in repair since many insurance companies do not cover for damage caused by rodents.
Below are a few examples of structural damage caused by rats so you know what to look for in case it happens to you.
Rodents chew on anything they can, and they are particularly fond of electric wires. If rats get inside your walls or attic, they can reach the wiring inside, which makes expensive work necessary to reach and repair them. As rats chew the wires, they also strip away the insulation, exposing the wires and turning them into fire hazards that can start fires without warning. Rats damaging the wiring can also disrupt power throughout your home if they get at your electrical panel.
Given time, rodents can also chew through pipes. The areas surrounding pipes within your home make for good nests for rats, so it’s very likely that they might target your pipes. Leaking pipes can be expensive and difficult to repair, in addition to causing damage to your house like warped walls and foul odours. Leaks caused by rats will also bring your water bills up until you deal with the problem as water leaks from the supply. If the leak is large enough, it can cause flooding in your home (e.g. your basement).
Rats can usually enter your home by squeezing themselves through holes and cracks in your walls. But if the hole is not large enough, they will chew around the hole until it is large enough for them to fit. These entry points can allow other pests access to your house and can make it easier for environmental damage to occur (e.g. loss of heat and water damage). If they are in the right place, rats can also damage your foundations as they can chew through soft concrete and sheetrock. If this happens, these parts of your house can be permanently compromised.
Rats have no problem chewing any material that would be suitable for making a nest such as paper, clothing, and insulation. Rats in the attic are prone to chewing at your insulation to make nests or tunnel into the insulation to stay warm. This compromises the insulation and creates cold pockets so the insulation becomes less effective at keeping your home warm. Replacing the insulation can also be expensive, doubly so if you also have to pay to have the rats removed properly.
Duct spaces can make attractive homes for rodents thanks to how insulated and out of the way they are. If they do, rats can gnaw through the insulation in the ducts and build nests in your HVAC system. This makes the system less efficient and can cause permanent damage. Repairing or replacing your HVAC system after having rats in it can also cost you. Having rodents in your ducts also exposes everyone to health risks as germs and hair are transmitted all over your home.