Trees are a useful and necessary component to life. They provide a myriad of benefits that outweigh the troubles they can often pose to your residential roof…and, let’s face it, they can be a real nuisance. But as long as you practice some smart routine maintenance for preserving the condition of your roofing, you can avoid high repair and replacement bills from your local roofers Alpharetta GA.
So, let’s consider the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to tree damage and the roof on your house. You can avoid many of the most common dangers by taking some simple steps for prevention before something falls on your home and steps for cleanup after branches or other tree-borne debris come down and land on the house.
Trees and Roofing
Believe it or not, the two do mix or at least they can co-habitate together. Even if your nearby trees are dumping branches and debris on your roof, they can still bring plenty of benefits as well. Besides the obvious things like shade and curb appeal, trees have other qualities about them that make for good reasons not to cut them down simply to prevent damage to your roof.
Older and larger trees are very good at blocking the velocity of wind that can have a serious negative impact on the condition of your roofing shingles. This is particularly helpful during heavy rainstorms that come with high winds.
Trees provide shade so when they’re standing high above or even near your roof, the UV rays from the sun are filtered and dissipated which can help prolong the life span of your roofing materials. In addition, that can also help reduce the temperature in your house as the sun’s rays and heat are filtered and that prevents your shingles from absorbing as much heat which can seep into your home’s interior, making it warmer and uncomfortable during the summer.
Distance from Roof
So, while there are benefits to having trees near or above the roof of your home, you should also be aware of the safe distance necessary to keep your roof from sustaining damage. The overall rule of thumb as to the space that you should maintain between the ends of a tree’s bough and the roof is approximate six feet.
This means planting larger trees about twenty to thirty feet from the house to keep that safe distance between the tree branches and the roof. Your homeowner’s insurance policy may also have some recommendations or even hard mandates as to how far your branches must be kept from the roof. While these types of insurance policies cover damage done to the home and the roof by trees and branches, you may find your claim being denied if your insurance provider determines you allowed the tree to get too close and the damage occurred as a result of your negligence.
Eliminate the Debris
Roofs are going to be hit with minor debris in the form of leaves, sticks, branches, blossoms, and other various needles, nuts, and even fruit. Having any of these things fall on the roof may not seem like all that big a deal. However, when all of that stuff starts to collect up there you could be courting danger.
That’s because when all of those items accumulate, they can begin to threaten the well-being of the shingles. You might be surprised at how easy a roofing shingle can become cracked by debris from a tree. If not a crack, you may find some shingles shifted out of place. That can lead to bigger problems, particularly water damage from precipitation.
The next time it rains, even small trickles of water seeping in beneath or in between a cracked or shifted shingle can bring lead to more water and that could end up with your home sustaining major water damage in a relatively short period of time. That can be costly to repair and you may not even realize it’s happening until the damage has become very bad.
Clean Out the Gutters
Your gutters are there for one very important reason and that’s to move water away and off of your roof when it rains. It’s a simple design, the water sluices from the roofing into a channel that leads to the ground. But for that design to work properly the gutters need to be free and clear of obstructions. If the gutters are clogged with leaves, branches, and various other detritus that can prevent the unhindered flow of water.
When that occurs, the gutters get backed up and the water starts to rise up and spill back onto the roof and down the sides of the home. More water hitting your roofing shingles increases your risk of moisture penetrating in between and underneath them, leading to the same potential for water damage under the roof and inside the home.
So be very diligent about monitoring your gutters and clean them out regularly. Even the smallest obstruction can create a clog and force the water to become backed up.
As we’ve seen thus far, trees can be a benefit and a burden when it comes to your roof. But the best way to prevent tree damage is to conduct routine inspections of the roof. Go up there right now and take a look around. You may need to clear away random fallen debris that is up there at this very moment.
But there are other specific times you should inspect your roof, such as after a major storm or high winds. Those are the times when the roof can sustain some damage, large or small. Either way, you want to diagnose problems before they become too big and you’re paying large sums of money to fix things. Even more important, finding those problems early can prevent you from taking on bigger issues with more widespread damage in the future.
Better to be safe than sorry when it comes to roof damage and if your roof has had any debris on it for any length of time, you may want to do a full inspection now to make sure everything is okay.