Your Roof vs. Trees

Monday, September 28th, 2020 by Amanda Ciufecu

Your Roof vs. Trees

 Trees. One of the biggest enemies of roofs anywhere. Roofs are meant to protect our home, but by doing so, they continuously bear the brunt of nature, and we have to deal with the aftermath. Many people know the danger of falling trees and branches flung by the wind during storms, but what about the problems trees pose on a daily basis?

Your Roof vs. Trees: Overhanging Branches

Overhanging branches of any size could cause your roof problems because there is always the possibility of them falling and denting your roof, breaking shingles, and causing leak damage.

Branches that overhang your roof also scratch at the shingles like talons, slowly but surely wearing away the protective coating of your shingles and causing them to be prone to leaks and less effective.

Once these overhanging branches fall, they gather on your roof, adding additional strain and causing uneven pressure and wear on the support beams. Falling branches can even cause dents just as fallen trees could, but this is more likely to occur in the wintertime when the branches are already weighed down with snow and ice.

Your Roof vs. Trees: Branch Bridges

Branches can also serve as a bridge between tree life and your roof. This means that any animals, from termites to squirrels to even rats, can scurry across to your roof. Merely the presence of trees around your home could encourage nesting birds as well. Birds may be a welcome addition at first, but they won't be very appreciated once you find increased bird droppings on your roof and birds trying to nest in your chimney!

Your Roofs vs. Trees: Plant Growth

Trees also produce shade, which can increase and promote moss, algae, and lichen growth on your shingles. Moss and algae thrive off of the limestone dust added to shingles, and with the addition of a shaded, moist environment, they latch on quickly. That's one reason we prefer to use IKO's performance shingles, which contain small amounts of copper that slowly release over time, hindering the growth of algae.

Moss and lichen grow thicker than algae and are usually more dangerous. They trap moisture against the roof's surface, prematurely wearing down the shingles. Algae is thinner and doesn't tend to pose AS much of a threat, but it's a good indicator that your roof is getting too much shade and moisture.

Your Roof vs. Trees: Tree Debris

Falling leaves and other tree debris can create problems for your gutters and your roof. Leaves and other debris and organic materials can get stuck in your gutters and block water flow.b This can be a serious problem unless you’re using the GutterShutter system, which allows water to safely run off your roof, without leaves and other debris getting stuck in the gutters! Even if debris falls away from the gutters, the dead plant material can decompose and trap moisture on top of your roof. This can seep into your roof system and cause severe damage. Excess debris buildup is significantly compromising in the winter, as it aids in the formation of ice dams.

Trees Vs. Other Roofing Materials (Not Asphalt Shingles)

You may think that certain roofing materials may be superior when it comes to tree damage; however, materials such as metal roofing can dent under pressure as well and have waterproof finishes that can be scratched off from branches. So, in the end, no roof is TRULY safe from tree damage—the best you can do is perform preventative measures and monitor your roof.

Your Roof vs. Trees: Preventative Measures

In the case of storm damage and falling trees, the best thing to do is to perform preventative measures like having your property regularly maintained or inspected to check what trees may be a problem in the future. It's recommended you trim all branches that come within 6 feet of your roof to prevent any damage from wayward branches or falling debris.

Your Roof vs. Trees: Interesting Facts

  • The National Storm Damage Center says that tree damage caused by severe weather can cost more than 1 billion dollars in property damage in the US every year.
  • Trees aren't all harmful to your home, planted near the southern side of your home; they can help decrease the damage and heat from the sun's rays.
  • Some of the worst trees for your home include White Pines, Red Oaks, Cottonwood, Willows, Birch, and Poplar trees.
  • Trees are the longest living organisms on earth and never die of old age
  • The oldest tree is a Methuselah in the White Mountains; it is 4,800 years old
  • A tree can absorb 48 pounds of carbon dioxide every year

Put a Klaus on Your House Today! 

Unsure if the trees near your home are causing damage? Or have they already, and you need a repair or replacement? Schedule a FREE estimate today, and we'll be out to help you as soon as we can!

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