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How An Electrician Can Repair Rodent Damage To Wiring

If you've just battled a rodent infestation in your attic, it's a good idea to have an electrician check the wiring. If rodents gnawed on the wires, there could be a fire risk in your attic that you don't know about. Here's a look at how rodents damage your wiring and what an electrician might do when making repairs.

How Rodents Damage Electrical Wires

Electrical wiring often runs across the top of the ceiling in the attic. That puts it in harm's way when you have a rat or mouse infestation. Rodents gnaw on things constantly, so they're just as likely to chew the insulation off of wiring as they are to chew on the wood structure of your attic.

Chewing off the insulation exposes bare wiring. This is a dangerous situation that can lead to a short or a house fire. An electrician should check the wiring and make repairs if needed. First, you need to eliminate the rodents since they'll just chew on new wiring too.

How Chewed Wiring Is Repaired

If the electrician finds gnawed wires in your attic, they have a few options for repairs. One is to use electrical-rated heat-shrink tubing. This tubing is slid over the wire, so the electrical contractor has to disconnect one end of the wire. When the tube is in place, heat is blown on the tube and it shrinks around the exposed wire and the good insulation on each side of the damage. The tube has a snug fit so it won't come off and expose the wires.

If the wire has a lot of damage, the electrical contractor may decide to replace the entire wire to ensure it's not a fire hazard. They have to find the ends of the wire and disconnect them. Then they may need to fish new wire up through the ceiling so it can replace the old wire at the connections. The electrician may also decide to change the wire if it is an old aluminum wire and is no longer in compliance with modern electrical codes.

If several wires are damaged, the electrician may need to change all of them. If the rodents were elsewhere in your home, such as between your walls, the electrician may examine the wiring carefully behind your walls to make sure all damaged wires are repaired and are no longer a hazard in your home. They might use a thermal camera to look for hot spots that could indicate wiring problems.

If you only had a few rodents, there may not be much damage to your wiring. However, if you had an infestation, it's best to be safe and let an electrician check for damage, especially if you're starting to have electrical problems in your home.