Trees are an attractive and useful landscaping option for around your house. Not only do they provide the beauty of plant life, but they also create shade for your outdoor activities. They can even help keep your cooling costs down in the summer.
However, trees can also impact your house in negative ways. You don’t need to cut down any trees near your house, but you should keep them well-pruned. Below are some of the biggest reasons for preventing trees from overhanging your roof.
Falling Branches Can Damage the Structure
After a big storm, newscasters often display pictures of trees and branches that caused roof cave-ins. Granted, such caving in isn’t the most common outcome. However, when the wind blows hard enough, branches can dislodge from the tree itself. If the tree is near enough your house, it may take the brunt of the damage.
Potential damage depends on where the branch hits. If it falls directly on the roof, it can scrape off shingles even if it doesn’t damage the underlying structure. A falling branch can also pull off your gutter or some of your siding. If such damage does occur, take extensive pictures to file your claim. However, you’re better off preventing such damage by pruning your trees.
Debris Dirties the Roof
Any tree creates debris. Deciduous trees are the worst because they go through the whole lifecycle of blooms and leaves. As attractive as that cycle is, the falling petals and leaves have to land somewhere. If your tree’s branches overhang the roof, that’s the somewhere. That said, even evergreen trees produce debris.
A debris-covered roof is unsightly. Your HOA may even have regulations concerning keeping up the appearance of your house. Even if that’s not the case, the tree debris can trap dirt, making your roof even dirtier. Washing down a roof presents difficulty because of the height and the need to preserve your shingles.
Debris Promotes Moisture-Related Issues
Debris doesn’t just look unsightly. As leaves and petals sit on your roof, they start to decompose. What’s more, when it rains, moisture caught under the debris doesn’t fully evaporate. As a result, you have moisture trapped against your roofing, which can be detrimental to a roof.
For one, the presence of moisture can cause a blue-green algae to grow on your shingles. While this algae doesn’t harm the structure itself, it’s quite ugly.
Trapped moisture can also work its way under the shingles themselves. It can affect the underlayment or even the roof deck. The wood can start to warp because of the excess moisture. Likewise, the shingles themselves can buckle and start failing. You may end up looking at a roof replacement.
Leaves Clog the Gutters
Even if the debris falls off the slope of the roof, it usually lands in the gutters. The purpose of gutters is to funnel water away from the roof and foundation to a safe space in the yard. They’re not meant to be leaf collectors, but they do a good job of debris accumulation. A clogged gutter doesn’t adequately funnel moisture.
When a gutter doesn’t do its job because it’s clogged, the water can overflow. Said water can then end up right where you didn’t want it — at your house’s foundation. When that happens, you could encounter flooding in your basement. Your foundation may even start to crack.
The overflowing water can also end up trickling down the face of your house. It may work its way between the siding and house façade. Any wood in the path of this stream can start to deteriorate and rot.
Finally, clogged gutters can harm the roof itself. In the wintertime, melting snow can get stopped at the clogged gutter. The backup will cause ice to form at the edge of the roof. Called an ice dam, this ice creates the moisture-related problems described above.
Prune your tree to prevent its harming your roof and other structures. If you do need roof repair after a tree mishap, call the experts at Amenity Roofing, Siding & Gutters LLC.