Homebuyers often do not seem concerned or alarmed about trees. But as fall approaches, big storms and windy days appear frequently. You should always keep those roof projects checked, as hearing a giant crash and realizing that a tree branch has come down on your roof is every homeowner’s worst nightmare. There are several types of damage caused by trees as a result of a catastrophic climate every year. 

But the good news is, with low cost, a bit of effort and routine planning tree management can be done easily without much struggle. 

To learn more about how trees can pose a danger to residential roofs and the ways to prevent such havoc, this article might come in handy for you.  

Actions that need to be taken after roof damage by trees have also been written here. 

How Trees Can Damage Roofs

Overhanging Branches: If not pruned, branches and limbs can easily damage your roof by hanging over it. Overhanging tree branches can easily penetrate your susceptible roof and generate leaks. 

During catastrophic situations or a windstorm, the larger limbs can break or put holes in your roof; the smaller scratch away at the shingle’s outer protective layer.

Dropping Branches: Falling trees and small branches both can scratch roofs and create a destructive issue. A mere branch that blows off in the wind and repeatedly rubs a roof will eventually damage your shingles and even cause dents on impact just as a fallen tree could. 

Dropping Leaves and Needles: Cleaning leaves and pine needles from the roof is a very effective way to reduce property damage caused by trees. During fall most of the leaves get evacuated from deciduous plants. In that time, clearing off the leaves and other debris before winter will keep you in good shape. Sometimes even evergreen trees can exude leaves and needles. Do not let these pile up as it will make a big mess. Also, if you leave them to collect, they might start trapping moisture, which is bad for your roof. Leaks and rotting are the common sight of piled up leaves and needles.      

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Dropping Nuts and Fruits: Some trees surrounding your house might produce hard fruits or nuts. If such trees drop fruits on the roofs, then it can even cause serious roof damage.    

Gutters: Before wintertime, cleaning up roof gutters is important. If leaves and needles create clogs in the gutter, it’s bad news. Water might spill out from the gutter if it gets clogged up by leaves and debris. This can ruin the base and ruin your landscaping. It also stops melted ice water from flowing down the gutter during winter and creates ice dams on your roof.    

Animal Access: To have beauty, shade, and greenery, if you buy a house surrounded with mature tall trees, you may find animals, especially squirrels, venturing on your roof. This can cause roof damage if the animals keep jumping on your roof back and forth.  

Preventing Roof Damage From Trees

According to experts, tree branches should be 6 feet away, and branches anywhere close to your roof must be trimmed. Mostly insurance takes care of the roof damaged by trees, but still, prevention is better than cure. Also, sometimes, an insurance company may refuse to take responsibility. So, go to your toolbox and choose the best one for trimming branches! 

  1. Trim the Tree: Go around your house every two months to spot overhanging branches. To stop trees from growing close to your roof routinely trim their branches. Also, removing the entire tree is a better option if you have to prune it more than 25%, as it has already expired. 
  2. Prune Young Trees: Young trees need to be treated with care. Pruning is one of them which plays the role of controlling tree growth.  It helps to develop strong crotches in young trees. As a general rule, plant trees 20 feet away from your house. 
  3. Clean Up Debris: Debris, leaves, and needles can give birth to mould, moss, or algae growth, resulting in the discolouring of your roof. So, cleaning them is one of the most important activities to prevent roof damage. Try to clean them every few months to be on the safe side. It will also work as a prevention method during extreme storms and snowfall.  
  4. Hire an Expert: If your roof requires repair, or if you’re not able to cut branches, you can always hire an expert from professional tree removal companies. It’s important to take measures immediately as it also prevents further damage from spreading into the interior of your house.   
  5. Cut Down Unstable Trees: On a monthly basis, go around your house to inspect nearby dead trees or trees that have signs of rot or decay. Unstable tree leaves and branches are more likely to fall and break. Trees with signs of instability such as rotting branches, leaning, peeling bark, swollen spots, discoloured leaves, etc. need to cut down. 
  6. Neighbours’ Tree Branches:  There could be situations where your neighbours’ unstable and overhanging tree branch might touch your roof. In that case, ask them politely to trim the tree. If they refuse to do so, some cities have bylaws or ordinances that you can apply. As the laws are different in different locations, you should take legal help regarding the issue.         
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Keep in mind that the tree is your neighbour’s property, so without proper legal aid, cutting the tree against their will may make you liable for the issue. If the tree has already cost you damage, then the insurance company will handle this.   

Now we do appreciate it if you have trees in your yard. In fact, trees are good for shade, beauty, and temperature. They can save you from the harsh, hot afternoon sun.  

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Overgrown tree limbs lurking dangerously close to your roof is a common sight. Do not feel vulnerable due to this. Just pay attention and make sure to not let the trees grow too close!  

Maintaining the aforementioned suggestions strictly will help you to avoid this unfortunate situation. 

Don’t just wait for a tree to fall on your roof. Take precautions. Protect your house! 

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