A tree that's too close to your roof can do a lot of damage -- even a small tree can tear up shingles as it moves back and forth in the wind. A problem with trees is that they seem to turn into problems suddenly while you don't realize it. A tree that seems far from the roof in the winter begins to scrape the shingles when it is bushy with leaves in the summer. Here are some examples of roof damage that trees can cause and why you should keep them far from your house.
Scraping Against Shingles
Tree branches that touch the shingles do constant damage because they scrape the shingles every time the wind blows. The added weight of rain on the leaves as the branches scrape during a storm makes the damage progress at a more rapid rate. The granules on top of asphalt shingles protect your roof from rain and UV damage. The shingles age much faster when the granules are scraped off. Plus, intense scraping can cause the shingles to come loose and fall off.
The solution for this problem is to have the tree branches trimmed away from the roof of your house. After that, the shingles on the roof that have been damaged should be replaced so you don't have to worry about the roof leaking in that area.
Clogging And Mold From Leaves
Another problem with tree branches hanging over your house is the accumulation of leaves, needles, and seeds in the gutters and on the roof. Clumps of wet leaves lead to mold growing on the roof, and leaves can clog up the gutters and cause rain to back up onto the roof and rot the wood. If branches hang over your roof, consider putting leaf guards on your gutters, and clean your roof and gutters as often as needed to keep decaying leaves off.
Staining From Algae
Another problem with trees hanging over your roof is too much shade, which allows algae to grow. If sun is blocked from the roof, black algae stains may cover the area that's in the shade. This makes your roof look old and ugly, even if it's still in good shape. Thinning the branches so more sunlight gets through is a possible solution. Your roofer might suggest installing copper strips on top of the roof as a way to combat the algae.
Cracking Shingles From Fallen Branches
A more serious danger associated with trees near your house is falling branches. Even small branches can crack shingles if they land hard on your roof. A larger limb can crash through the roof and cause extensive damage. For that reason, you should trim your trees so no branches and limbs hang over the roof. If branches are on your roof, have them removed promptly so they don't move with the wind and scrape the shingles. A roofer should inspect your roof after a limb strikes it to make sure the deck and shingles are okay.
Trees add a lot of beauty to your yard, but when they're near your roof, they can cause damage that leads to costly roof repairs. Plus, trees lead to an increased need for roof maintenance due to their shade and falling leaves. Avoid planting trees too close to your house, and if you already have mature trees that hang over your roof, trim the branches regularly so you can avoid unnecessary roof damage and roof repair.