Keeping animals from living under your porch will play a big role in preventing damage. The area under your porch or deck is dry and dark, which makes it a perfect home for animals trying to hide out. Unfortunately, animals can cause a lot of harm living under there, and there’s always the chance they’ll figure out how to get even further inside. Keep them out with one of these methods.
Before you block your openings, make sure there’s no one living under your porch or deck. Wedge sticks or newspaper in any opening to your deck. Monitor the opening for at least three days. If nothing has been dislodged, you’re free to seal it up. If you do have a critter living under there, call local animal control.
Dig 3 to 4 inches below ground level near the exterior of your building or edge of your porch. Using high-quality ¼ or ½ inch galvanized metal cloth, create an L shaped barrier to your deck or porch. Make sure the crease of the L is flush against your structure, and the bottom part of the mesh runs at least a foot away from the building. Once it's attached, bury the bottom and cover the visible mesh with paint or lattice work.
If you’d rather not dig, try this variation. Make the same L-shape with the high-quality metal cloth and place it at the opening to your deck or patio. Instead of digging and burying the bottom, set patio blocks in a neat row.
Discourage animals from living under your porch or deck by making the space less desirable. Remove any shrubbery or objects that block light to that dark area. The less cozy the space, the less likely an animal will want it for its den.