Everyone loves a great shade tree or a majestic pine, just as long as it’s never near your roof. In fact, trees too close to your roof can become a severe hazard during storms and high wind events. This is the reason trees should never be planted next to your home. When planting trees, consider how large they will be when they mature. Aim to space them far enough from your home that they will not overhang the roof. If you already have trees growing near your roof, make sure to prune them to avoid roof damage. Don’t let trees hurt your roof. Consult with a roofing contractor to evaluate potential problems due to trees located too close to your roof.

Can Trees Hurt Your Roof [infographic]

How Can Sick Trees Hurt Your Roof

Even when there isn’t a storm or high wind event, trees can hurt your roof if they fall due to disease or old age. In these cases, all it takes is a mild wind, heavy rain, or a light snowfall to topple trees that hang too close to the roofline.

One of the best ways to prevent damage from falling trees is to identify and remove trees that are in danger of collapse. If a tree is leaning, that is an indication that its root system is weak. It may be dead or dying, and a professional tree removal service should remove it.

If you notice a tree that is not greening up in the spring as much as the trees around it, it may be diseased. A diseased tree should be pruned or even removed to prevent a fall. If the tree is not completely dead, there is a possibility it could be saved. Many tree removal companies also have arborists who specialize in healthy pruning and diagnosing tree issues. If you want to save a tree, a trained arborist may be able to help you.

Debris from Healthy Trees

When a property has many trees planted too close to the home or commercial structure, the structures become unsightly due to foliage, twigs, and branches continuously falling onto the roof. But appearances aren’t the only reason to keep your roof clear.

Debris, and especially leaves or pine needles, can trap moisture on your roof. Moisture and standing water are the greatest enemies of any roof. The longer a roof remains wet, the higher the chances of rot, damaged shingles, and leaking. So keep your roof clear of debris at all times. If you don’t feel safe going up onto the roof, you can hire a roofer to do it for you.

Contact your roofing contractor to get a professional opinion of which trees present a danger to your roof. Tree removal is a convenient way of reducing roof debris. It can also minimize gutter cleanings since gutters tend to fill with leaves and other debris from nearby trees. However, tree removal is not the only option. Strategic pruning may be just as effective, so talk to a roofer or arborist before taking down an entire tree.

How Trees Hurt Your Roof In High Winds

If you live in an area where hurricanes or tornadoes are fairly regular events, a professional inspection of your property by a roofing contractor can help avoid serious damage. Your contractor can point out possible hazards on your property and will also consider trees located in neighboring properties that can pose a problem to your roof.

Even without a hurricane, a tree that overhangs your property can damage it without collapsing or dropping a large limb. The greatest danger is a branch that is close enough to touch your roof in high wind. As the tree branch scrapes along your roof, it can knock off the gravelly protective coating on your asphalt shingles. Without that coating, the asphalt in the shingles is directly exposed to UV light from the sun. Asphalt exposed to UV rays quickly degrades and can crack, leading to leaks.

Issues for Property Owners to Discuss with Eagle Watch Roofing

There are several questions to discuss with your roofing expert. These include:

  • What is my potential for roof damage by trees?
  • I need a roof inspection for past damage.
  • What type of roof repairs does my roof need?

It’s always better to be safe than sorry. A simple roof inspection and report provides the best information on the current condition of your roof.