There’s a Bat in My Roof

...Can I Build ?

There's a Bat in My Loft, What Am I Gonna Do? 

If discovering you have bats in your roof fills you with dread, leaving you grimacing with worry and revulsion, don’t worry, it’s a natural reaction, if a little misplaced.

It’s easy to think of bats as pests, depositing droppings, disease and destruction in their wake. Not to mention that that they are a protected species in the UK, and therefore hard to get rid of.

But first impressions are not always right, so its time to take a deep breath and learn a few facts…

It's Us, Not Them

Living in a roof is not a bat’s natural environment.

Originally, they favoured dense woodland, caves and any other dark areas where they could roost safely and hunt for insects.

However, at the turn of the twentieth century numbers began to dwindle due to loss of woodlands and the use of pesticides leading to a decrease in insects. Humans were influencing the population by their actions.

In order to survive, bats sought out new habitats, and what better than those dark crevices in roofs and barns, created by the species that was destroying their old home. So, bats moved in with us.

At the same time, realising that bat numbers needed to be preserved, we slapped a preservation order on their heads.

Don’t blame the bats for their actions – it’s us, not them.

Not in Loft!

That may be so, you say. ..."But I really don’t want Bats in my roof".

Maybe you just don’t like the thought of them? Or want to do some major roofing work, or think they will over time destroy your roof.

...All valid points, so let’s discuss these in a bit more detail.

Will Bats Damage My Property?

The good news is – bats are not rodents, and will not eat wood, wires, stored items, insulation or anything else up in your roof. They eat insects.

So not only will they not destroy your structure, but they will work very hard to keep it free from bugs – what a bonus!

They also don’t build nests, so are not bringing bits of bedding, twigs, fur or anything else into your roof (including insects). They roost from your internal structures that are already in place.

As for droppings, these are very dry and crumble into dust that is very innocuous with no known health risks. The worst-case scenario is more dust in your roof space.

Bats are very particular and spend a lot of time grooming themselves. Rest assured your guests are clean!

Can I Build With Bats in My Roof?

Although Bats can be cause for concern, there are ways around obtaining building consent when you have bats in your loft.

It may cause you a little inconvenience, but as we have already caused the bats hardship by changing their environment, it’s only fair we show some leniency here.

Let’s be clear here; it is illegal to intentionally kill or damage bats or destroy their roost sites.

Legislation does allow for building work to be carried out on structures where bats live; you will need to contact DEFRA or your local authority first and discuss the options with them.

Of course, we are happy to chat with you about what can be done.

As bats are seasonal, work has to be carried out at specific times to avoid the breeding season, and possibly the hibernation season if they return. The Bat Conservation Trust is a font of all knowledge and will be able to advise you on the proper course of action.

Building a Long Term Relationship With Bats

If you do have bats in your roof, you will have to resign yourself to developing a long-term relationship with them.

Personally, I love sitting outside as the sun fades beneath the horizon, and suddenly catching a glimpse of the grace of a bat as he dives for an insect, only for him to disappear as quickly as he arrives.

Just remember, your roof is in no danger, but the bat is endangered.

Let’s live together in harmony!


If you need some advice, or to arrange a free, no obligation site visit please get in touch with our expert team today.

Posted on 04 April 2018 in Roofing, News and tagged london roofing, roof.
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