How Tree Trimming is Helpful to Preventing Roof Damage

july 17TH, 2020 UPDATED 3:00PM CT
How Tree Trimming is Helpful to Preventing Roof Damage - San Antonio, TX

We all love trees and on a hot summer day there’s nothing better than hiding out under the shade of a tree in your own backyard. But as beautiful as trees are, they can also cause a lot of damage to your roof. When a tree gets too comfortable in your yard, it’s branches can start to extend over your roof in San Antonio, which can ultimately lead to shingle roof and damage. Today we’ll talk more about how trees can affect your roofing, as well as what you can do about it. So let’s not waste another minute.

How do trees affect our roofing?

A little overhang on your roof may not seem like a big deal – until it is. Branches from trees can wreak havoc on your roof. Here’s how:

• On windy days, branches sway in the wind and can scrape up against your roof shingles. When this happens, layers can be stripped off of your asphalt.

• When the wind blows, especially in the fall, leaves fall off of your tree onto your roofing and into your gutters. When leaves buildup, the result can be mold which can lead to deterioration of your roof.

• If a tree is damaged, its branches can fly off during stormy weather. If the tree is too close to your home, these branches are likely to fall directly onto your roof.

• Trees can drop fruits and nuts which can be damaging especially if they are on the larger side. For this reason, you should avoid planting trees that grow fruits and nuts around your home. You should also avoid pecan trees, chestnut trees, osage orange trees, and hickory trees.

• Trees can provide too much shade. When it comes to roofing in San Antonio, shade can be a good thing but too much of it can become a problem. While shade can keep your roofing cool in the summer, it can also prevent your roof from drying off after a rainstorm. If your roof doesn’t dry properly, mold and algae can start to grow.

• Trees give pests access to your roof. If your trees or their branches are too close to your roof, pests like squirrels, raccoons, and mice can gain easy access to it. This can lead to them nesting on your roof, or even worse, finding their way into your home.

Does this mean that you should cut down all of your trees?

Of course not. In fact, there are many reasons to keep your trees around:

• Trees can help to block the wind and prevent the wind from blowing off your shingles during heavy storms.

• Trees can help to protect your roof in San Antonio against the damaging UV rays of the sun. The sun can not only deteriorate the color of your roofing materials but can also shorten their lifespan. The shade from trees can help to prevent this from happening.

• Trees can help to reduce the temperature in your home. When the temperature outside is high, your roofing absorbs the sunlight and that heat goes directly into your home. Trees can help to shade your roof and keep your home cooler during the hot summer months.

Whether you have roofing shingles or metal roofing, trees can provide a great deal of benefit. In return, you shouldn’t cut them down. What you do need to do, however, is keep them well maintained and trimmed.

How can you prevent tree damage to your home?

Tree pruning. If you have young trees in your yard you can prune them regularly to help them grow strong. Pruning helps trees to develop strong crotches (the point that connects the branch to the trunk) and helps to prevent them from breaking off during a storm.

Clean debris regularly. Make sure you clean up any broken branches, leaves, or other tree droppings from your yard regularly. Regular cleanup will help prevent these things from blowing onto your roof and creating damage.

Cut down dead trees. If your trees are dead or diseased, just cut them down. Dead and diseased trees are very hazardous to your roof as they can fall down anytime. Dead or diseased trees do not hold up well in strong windstorms and can blow onto your roof in San Antonio and cause collapse.

Plant trees away from your home. It’s okay to plant trees in your yard but try to keep them away from your house and your roofing. As a general rule of thumb, tree branches should be kept at least 6 feet away from your roof. This means that larger trees should be planted at least 20-30 feet away from your home to prevent damage.

Trim your trees regularly. If you have any branches that are too close to your roof (closer than 6 feet), trim them away.

How do you trim your tree branches?

Unless you are a knowledgeable and experienced arborist, you don’t. Trying to trim your own tree branches can be a danger to both you and your roof.

Firstly, a ladder is required to trim your branches. If you don’t know how to use a ladder properly or don’t have someone to spot you, you could be putting yourself at risk of a fall. Secondly, because the branches of the tree are already overhanging the roof, you are also putting your roof at risk. One wrong move and the branches could fall directly onto your roof and create the damage that you were attempting to avoid.

So unless you have experience with tree trimming, you should hire an arborist to do this job for you. A good arborist will know exactly what steps to take to remove your branches safely. Plus, if they have the proper insurance, any accidental damages will be covered.

How do I know when to cut down a tree?

If your tree is in good health, simply cutting back the branches should be enough to keep your roof safe. But if your tree is sick or diseased it could be unstable and should be cut down completely. Ultimately, an arborist will be able to tell you the best way to proceed with your tree. Having said that, there are some signs that your tree is diseased:

The trunk is starting to split. When trees are starting to split, it often means that something is wrong. A tree that is severely split needs to be dealt with immediately as it can fall on your home during a severe windstorm. If the tree is only moderately split, there is a chance that it can be saved. An arborist will be able to tell you whether the tree is worth salvaging and will be able to brace it for you if it is.

The tree has fungus growing from it. Just as our immune system is designed to fight off certain things, so is a trees. And one of the things that it fights off is fungi. Fungi growth then, is a sign that a tree’s immune system is not functioning properly. When branches become infested with fungi, they die and fall off. If they are near your roof, that’s exactly where they could land.

The branches are black or holy. If the branches of your trees are black or holy, this means that they are starting to rot. Rot can quickly spread to the rest of the tree and other branches, so any branches that do have rot need to be trimmed off immediately.

The tree is leaning. If your tree is leaning to one side, it’s at risk of falling over during a storm. There’s many reasons that a tree might lean and in some circumstances it may be salvageable. Again, a professional arborist will be able to tell you the best course of action.

Peeled bark. In some cases, as that with the birch tree, peeling of tree bark is normal. But in many cases if the bark on your tree is starting to peel, it could be susceptible to the growth of fungi and other infections. Ask your arborist if you can treat the tree, or if it needs to be cut down.

Missing leaves. Trees will shed their leaves seasonally and this is completely normal. But if your tree is missing a lot of leaves during peak seasons, it could have some type of illness. Again, it’s best to check with an arborist to prevent the tree from falling on your roof.

When it comes to roofing, the trees around your house can be a huge threat. Speak to an arborist about keeping your branches trimmed or if you think your tree could be diseased.

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