A Look at How Trees and Leaves Can Damage Your Roof

Posted on: 10 October 2018

You know that wind and hail can cause roof damage, but you may not give thought to the leaves that pile up on your roof at the end of autumn. These can cause roof damage as well. The trees around your home can cause roof damage in a number of ways. Here's a look at the repairs you may face due to trees in your yard and how you can avoid or minimize the damage they cause.

How Leaves Damage Your Roof

Leaves pile up on your roof as they fall from trees, and they form wet clumps when they get wet. The clumps of leaves can be heavy, which keeps them stuck on the roof. What's worse, the wet clumps hold moisture against the shingles. This moisture can soak through the shingles and reach the felt and deck below. This causes mold to grow and wood to rot. The leaves can also create dams in your roof valley that cause water to back up and leak under flashing and shingles.

The result could be extensive water damage to your roof and inside your attic. By the time you realize there's a problem, a roofer may need to replace shingles in the affected area. You may even need to have the deck and other wood parts of the roof replaced as well.

This problem can be partially eliminated by cutting back trees so no branches hang over the roof. This reduces the number of leaves that fall on your roof and allows more sunlight to reach your roof so it can dry out when it gets wet. Cutting back branches also reduces the number of leaves in your gutters. This is important because leaf clogs cause water to be pushed under the roof, which can lead to problems with ice dams in the winter.

How Tree Branches Cause Damage to Your Shingles

Trimming trees away from your roof also prevents damage from blowing tree branches. You might think your roof is safe from a nearby tree, but you should realize how much tree branches can droop when weighed down with rain and how much they can bend in strong wind. During a storm, the branches may scrape against the shingles and knock off asphalt granules and cause shingles to get loose. Additionally, strong wind can knock off branches and other tree debris. Big limbs could even break off and fall on the roof. Tree debris can cause the same problems as leaves if the mess is not cleaned off in a timely manner. Falling branches can even crack the shingles or knock them off. You may need to have shingles replaced to prevent leaking, and that can often be avoided if you keep your trees trimmed so they aren't near your house.

If you can't clean off your roof yourself and inspect for damage, it might be necessary to hire a roofer to do the job before winter sets in. By taking care of roof repairs and clearing off clumps of compacted leaves, you can avoid unnecessary and expensive damage to your roof over the winter and when the rainy season begins the following spring.