If you are like most homeowners in the Austin area, your landscaping includes at least one tree. Trees are aesthetically pleasing, provide a shady spot to sit during the summer and contribute significantly to the planet’s environmental health. However, trees can also inflict damage on your roof, so it is vital to include monitoring your trees as part of your routine roofing maintenance.
How Trees Can Cause Roof Damage | Austin, Texas
What Are the Primary Risks Trees Pose to Austin Residential Roofing?
When people think about roof damage from a tree, most of them picture a heavy limb falling on the roof or an entire tree toppling over. These are two of the risks, but too much shade on the roof, trees that harbor wildlife and insects, and the leaves, twigs, needles, and other materials that fall from a tree can also lead to roof damage.
How Can Excessive Shade on the Roof Cause Damage?
Virtually every Austin roofer has encountered more than one instance of roof damage from mold or mildew. These fungi thrive when their spores are shielded from sunlight, especially if moisture is present. Dense shade, particularly on the north side of your house, provides an excellent environment for the rapid growth of mold and mildew. Many times, mildew only causes cosmetic damage, but mold can be especially destructive if allowed to grow on asphalt shingles.
What Risk to a Roof Can a Tree That Is Home to Wildlife and Insects Possibly Pose?
If the squirrels, insects, and birds living in the tree are content to remain at home, there is little or no risk. However, they are not likely to remain stationary forever. Experienced roofing companies in Texas frequently find bird nests and signs of squirrel or insect activity in attics as well as on roofs, fascia boards, soffits, and exterior trim pieces. Since pests can find better shelter and more food in your home than in the wild, they will be willing to relocate if they can. Many outdoor pests are eager and able to chew their way inside. If you have tree limbs that provide an easy way to access your roof, they will likely attempt to move in with you.
How Can Needles, Twigs, Leaves, and Other Small Items Falling From a Tree Harm Your Roof?
Small pieces of materials that fall from a tree can cause roof damage in two ways. First, they can clog your gutters and downspouts. The water accumulated in your gutters can be forced under the edge of your roof if runoff from your roof cannot be safely carried away. This can damage the roof deck and underlayment, and it can also cause a leak inside the wall voids or in your home’s interior. The second type of roof damage occurs when debris from the tree accumulates on top of your roof. The material traps moisture underneath it as it decomposes, and this can inflict damage on your asphalt shingles. Eventually, the damage will spread through all layers of your roofing system and reach the interior spaces.
What Roof Damage Can Overhanging Branches Cause?
As mentioned earlier, a heavy limb that falls on your roof can inflict severe damage. Even healthy trees can have branches that snap during a severe storm. However, a branch does not need to fall to damage your roof. Branches that scrape against the roof can remove the protective granules from asphalt shingles, increasing the likelihood that a leak will develop in a relatively short time. The movement of the branches can also damage soffits and fascia boards.
How Can I Prevent My Trees From Damaging My Roof?
If you are planning your landscaping, choose your trees carefully. Consider their height and spread when they are fully mature, and plant them where they will not have an opportunity to harm your roof. If you have mature trees, call an arborist or roofing contractor to trim any limbs that overhang your roof. Keep a careful eye on all trees, but you should pay special attention to those that are nearing the end of their expected life, especially if they show signs of insect activity. Some species of trees are so hardy that they can still be growing leaves even after insects have hollowed out their core. If there is a chance that a dying or damaged tree could fall on your house, have a professional remove it.
About Alpha Roofing
Alpha Roofing is an award-winning, well-respected roofing company with its headquarters in Round Rock TX. We offer residential and commercial services to customers in Austin and many other locations in Central Texas. Our roofing services include roof inspections, emergency roof repairs, asphalt shingle installations, flashing repair and installation, metal roofing systems, moss and debris removal, and preventive maintenance plans. We are known for our craftsmanship, professionalism, and customer service. You can request a free quote by calling our office at 512-777-1086 or submitting the online form.