How to Know if There is a Risk of a Tree Causing Damage to Your Roof

A lot of literature has been written about the benefits of having trees in your yard – and there’s no denying that there are plenty. Having well-maintained, strategically placed trees on your property can help to protect your roof from damaging wind, severe UV rays, and even the intense heat of a Florida summer. That said, there can be a fine line between reaping the benefits of trees over your roof and being at risk of some considerable damage. Today, we’re going over some of the key signs to look out for in order to make sure your trees are helping – not harming – your roof. If there’s potentially a tree causing damage to your roof, here’s how to know about it.

Overgrown Branches

Yes, branches can be a valuable source of shade and a natural shield from UV radiation. That said, overgrown low-hanging branches are what bridge the gap between “helpful” and “threatening” when it comes to your roof. As a rule of thumb, branches should be a good 8-10 feet away from your roof at their lowest or closest points. If they begin encroaching into that precious open space, it can be difficult to notice at first glance – but it’s certainly worth keeping an eye out. If branches get close enough to scrape your roof, they can cause considerable damage to your shingles or tiles over time. This is equally true of both thin and thick branches. In order to avoid costly and time-consuming roof repairs that would have otherwise been unnecessary, be sure to keep your trees’ branches a healthy distance from your home.

Fallen Branches

Another potential source of roof damage is the threat of fallen branches. Even small, thin branches can scrape your shingles or tiles, as well as clog your gutters over time. Larger, heavier branches can go so far as to create permanent dents on your roof. Though it’s inevitable that storms may cause some branches to fall off here and there, it’s important to minimize the risk that they’ll end up on your roof by keeping them trimmed to that safe 8-10 foot distance. If you notice that any tree on your property is regularly losing branches (or is unseasonally losing leaves), it may be a serious sign of decay – be sure to call a professional to make sure the tree itself doesn’t collapse.

Pins, Needles, and Other Debris

Sometimes, the little things can accumulate into the most serious damage. Don’t underestimate things like pins and needles: when a tree is in too-close proximity to your roof, these small but copious bits of debris easily end up on your roof. From there, they may end up in your valleys and gutters, which can cause serious damage when left to build up over time. Another risk associated with this kind of debris on your roof is that pins, needles, and fallen leaves easily capture and retain moisture. Since the growth of algae, mold, and mildew is accelerated in warm, moist environments, leaving fallen debris on your roof means turning it into a breeding ground for dangerous growths. Be sure to minimize the risk of debris accumulation on your roof by keeping your trees well-groomed and cleaning the roof itself regularly.

The first step to keeping your roof protected is diligence. The next is to be proactive about calling in professional services if you suspect they’re needed. If you’re worried that a tree may need maintenance but aren’t exactly sure, check out our free infographic to find out.


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