Dangers Your Tree Represents to Your Roof

Trees are a popular landscape addition because they’re attractive. Many people in Colorado also appreciate the shade the trees convey on sunny days, which can help cut down on cooling costs. However, a tree that’s too close to the house or that overhangs it can present dangers to your roof. Below are some of those dangers.

Moss Growth

Moss thrives in damp, dark areas. It can grow on and between roofing shingles. It’s unsightly at best, which can affect your house’s property value. At worst, it’s responsible for accelerating the deterioration of your shingles. Moss holds moisture against the roof. The moisture can expand during a freeze and pry up the shingles.

Moss is more common on the north side of a roof because it receives less sun. The presence of trees exacerbates the situation. The canopy and trunk might keep that portion of the roof in perpetual shade, which provides ideal growing conditions for the moss. Likewise, if moisture works under the shingles, it can promote mold growth, which also deteriorates the roof.

Tree Debris

The most common issue related to trees that overhang a roof is that they drop debris in the form of leaves, needles, twigs, and buds. On their own, these don’t cause much damage. However, as they stay on the roof, they, too, trap moisture against the surface. So, you have another source of excess moisture to accelerate the deterioration of your roof.

Eventually, the debris gets washed off of the roof, typically during the next rainstorm. The water cascades into the gutters, as it’s meant to do, but this watershed brings with it the detritus of the tree debris. Gutters aren’t set up to funnel debris, so the debris typically clogs them. When you have clogged gutters, the rainwater can wash back up onto your roof and cause more moisture damage.

Falling Limbs

The other common issue that occurs because of overhanging trees is considerably larger than dropped leaves — overhanging trees can drop the whole limb. When that situation occurs, the limb can cause considerable damage. Part of your roof can even collapse if the branch is large enough. At bare minimum, the branch is sure to damage some shingles and perhaps fascia.

Trees can drop limbs onto your roof for different reasons. If the area has experienced severe winds recently, a big branch can break and either fly onto your roof or drop later. A dying tree is more prone to dropping branches. Likewise, Colorado often sees wet spring snow after trees have started budding. The wet snow weighs down on branches, which can cause them to snap and fall.

Toppled Dead Tree

Speaking of dead trees, any tree that’s near your house can succumb to disease or infestation. Some common pests in Colorado are pine beetles and spruce bark beetles. Both are decay species that can cause disease in your tree, which eventually leads to death.

A dead or dying tree is more likely to drop branches onto your roof. Even worse, though, it may topple over in the next windstorm. The tree will do a lot of damage if it hits your house as it topples over. Keep a close eye on trees that are near your house to prevent this danger.

Animal Access

A tree that overhangs or is just near the house presents another danger many homeowners don’t think about. The tree provides a convenient ladder for animals such as raccoons, squirrels, and even rats. They can use the overhanging limbs to get access to your roof. Once there, they can take up residence or get into your attic. They might damage the shingles with their teeth or claws.

Birds don’t need overhanging branches to get onto your roof — they’re more likely to just fly up there. However, they can roost or build their nests on the branches that overhang the roof. Bird droppings are acidic. If a large amount of droppings top your roof, the uric acid can weaken roof tar and asphalt shingles. The droppings can also discolor the roof.

Contact Golden Spike Roofing if you discover any of these types of tree-related damage on your roof.

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