Preventing Rodent Damage to Electrical Wiring
Rodents chew many things around the home, primarily to keep their teeth at a manageable length due to the constant growth of their teeth. There is more than one reason to get rid of rodents in the home, they carry a number of diseases, for example, and they can chew on electrical wiring, causing damage and even the risk of fire. If you know or suspect damage to your home’s wiring, contact a Mister Sparky electrician for electrical repair services.
The Dangers of Electrical Wiring Damage
The home’s electrical wiring is sheathed in plastic insulation to prevent fire as the wire heats up. In addition, it serves to prevent shock. Unfortunately, rodents can damage wiring by biting or chewing through the plastic insulation. This leaves exposed wire capable of igniting combustible material such as the wood framing of your home, or insulation. When rodents chew through wiring, electrical outages, tripped breakers, or damage to circuits can also occur. The best way to tell if the wiring has been damaged and needs electrical repair services, is to visually inspect the insulation on the wiring, and that is not always an easy task for a homeowner.
In the U.S., electrical fires claim about 500 lives per year, and injure more than 1,400 persons. The potential for fire is why it is essential to call a licensed electrician to provide electrical repair services when you suspect damage or other issues to wiring.
Rats and mice are opportunists, able to squeeze into an opening a quarter of an inch wide. The best solution in preventing rodent damage to a home’s wiring is to hire a pest control professional. In addition, it is beneficial to routinely check the attic, basement, cabinets, drawers, storage boxes, and along baseboards for signs of a rodent infestation, such as droppings, nests, or chewed packaging.
Sealing cracks, gaps and other potential entries will also assist in rodent proofing the home. Inspect the weather stripping around doors, and seal cracks and gaps around cable, plumbing, and pipe entries with steel wool and expanding foam. However, hot flues will require high temperature tolerant sealant. Cover ventilation pipes on the roof with approved wire mesh, to prevent insect as well as rodent entry into the attic or home. In addition, seal cracks and gaps in the home’s exterior siding, and keep trees trimmed at least 2 feet from the home.
Crumbs and other food left out can attract rodents into the home. Storing non–perishable food in tightly sealed containers assists in deterring rodent infestations. Furthermore, keep the lid on trashcans tightly closed.
Be aware of electrical problems. If a light fixture is flickering, ensure the bulbs are screwed in firmly. If the lights continue to flicker after tightening bulbs, contact a Mister Sparky licensed electrician for electrical repair services.
The following are additional warning signs of electrical issues requiring electrical repair services from a Mister Sparky electrician in Huntsville, AL:
• Frequently blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers can indicate a potentially serious problem in the electrical system. Do not install a larger fuse/breaker as doing so is more likely to cause a house fire.
• Discolored or warm wall outlets, or sparks from an outlet. Wall outlets with what can appear to be soot on them, or are warm to touch can indicate a problem. These are serious danger signs. Do not use the outlet or switch, and contact an electrician.
• A burning odor emanating from an appliance, room, outlet, switch, or a specific area of the home may indicate serious wiring issues. An appliance, wiring, outlet, or a switch may be overheating or malfunctioning. Unplug the affected appliance or turn off the circuit breaker, and contact an electrician.
Experts believe 25% of house fires may be caused by damage to wiring from rodents. Whether or not your home has a rodent problem, having functional smoke detectors can save lives in the event of a fire.
A Mister Sparky electrician in Huntsville, AL is available for providing reliable electrical repair services. If you are experiencing flickering lights or other electrical problems, give us a call today. Mister Sparky’s licensed and experienced electricians serve the North Alabama region, providing commercial and residential electrical repair. Mister Sparky is a member of the BBB with an A+ rating.