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Preventing Tree Damage to Roofs

Tree damage to roofs is a real and never-ending problem. Trees are a wonderful part of homeownership. A mature tree is an invaluable part of your landscaping, as well as shading your home and property in the summer and blocking winter winds. Just like the rest of your house, from the roof to the basement, it’s important to make sure your trees aren’t causing damage while they’re shading your home.

Keep an Eye Out for These Kinds of Damage:

  • Toppling trees
  • Dropped branches
  • Leaf debris
  • Dropped nuts and fruit
  • Animal damage

Managing your Trees to Prevent Damage to Roofs

Keep trees trimmed at least six feet away from your home. Not only will this minimize damage from falling branches during storms, it also will keep your roof from being part of the tree “highway” for animals. While it’s wonderful to get to watch squirrels and our trash panda friends frisk and play, it’s not so great when they’re doing so in the insulation in your roof. By trimming branches back, you discourage animals from making a home.

tree damage to roofs showing a family of racoons living in a tree.

Planting time is also a good time to prevent tree damage. Make sure you’re aware of how big your new tree will get when it’s mature. Plant it far enough away from your home so that when it is fully grown it won’t get within six feet of your roof. This may mean that you’ll need to plant a large specimen like an oak or maple 20 to 30 feet from your home.

If you’re going to get a Great Dane of a tree, you need to be ready when it gets big. Planning ahead can prevent heartache down the road. You may also want to check your homeowner’s insurance policy to make sure there aren’t any stipulations about tree distance. Always consult a trained arborist to keep your home and your tree safe.

Managing Your Roof to Prevent Tree Damage

Tree damage can come in more subtle but no less important forms. Leaf debris can lead to clogged gutters and pooling water. Over the long term, clogged gutters can cause flooded basements, foundation issues, and damaged driveways. Keep your gutters and all of your roof, clear of tree debris. Don’t let it build up in the valleys or along the edges of your roof. Debris leads to dampness, and water leads to damage. Your roof is meant to shed water quickly and easily. Tree leaves, seeds, branches, and other materials can create a log jam where you don’t want one.

Make sure to harvest or remove dropped nuts and fruit as well. Nuts and fruit can not only contribute to clogged gutters, but they can also damage or scratch roofing materials, causing tree damage as well as creating stinky fermented messes on your roof.

Weather Vane provides Leaf Protection Gutter Guards. Learn more.

Signs That Your Trees Could Cause Damage

Look for bulges in the soil around the tree or a leaning tree that indicate it may be starting to topple. Fallen trees are no joke. If that’s the case it’s time to take the tree down. Consult a professional to make sure it’s done safely and effectively.

tree damage to roofs showing a large tree that has smashed into the side of a house, through the roof and into the side of the house.

Tree damage to roofs can also be caused by a diseased tree. Rot, spotting, discoloration, and fungus can all be indicators that your tree has an infection that could be damaging its core integrity or could even kill the tree. If you can properly identify the illness it is possible that it may be treatable, or it may be time to consider removing the tree and planting a new one.

A splitting trunk is a sure sign that some serious work needs to be done. Major branches can crack and fall where they connect to the tree. It is possible that the branch can be saved with professional hardware, but that really is a time to call an arborist. Do not attempt to hold the tree branch in place with rope. It’s entirely possible that the weight of the branch could be enough to break the rope and the branch could escape, crashing on your roof or car. No one wants a tree that is an escape artist.

tree damage to roofs showing a tree that has split in half all the way down to the base.

Missing leaves or peeling bark can also indicate that the tree is sick or just getting old. Trees have life cycles just like everything else. While some trees can live for hundreds of years, short lived trees like poplars only live for 30-50 years. Depending on how old your home is, you may have trees that are ready to go.

Tree Care Means Healthy Roofs

In 1736 Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” when talking about preventing fires in Philadelphia. It’s just as true now as it was then. Prevention can be as simple as cleaning gutters and keeping a watchful eye on your trees to make sure they stay healthy and beautiful. Tree damage to roofs can cost you hugely in money, time, and wellbeing. Knowing when to call the professionals can save your sanity in the long run. Here at Weather Vane we make sure to be your knowledgeable trusted professionals who can help you make the best decisions for your family and your roof.

About Weather Vane Roofing

We provide roofing, siding, insulation, windows and gutters. Making your house beautiful and efficient is our main goal. We use the latest in technology and products to provide eco-friendly and cost effective solutions for your home and business. With locations in Lansing, Owosso, and Brighton/Howell we are Mid-Michigan’s roofing experts. Let us transform your house into a home.

Always the right direction!

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