Many people have trees surrounding their homes and do not give them much thought beyond the shade they provide. The reality is trees, especially large ones, can cause substantial damage to a house, namely the roof. The following describes four ways that trees pose danger to a home.

Broken Branches

Overhanging tree branches often break under the weight of snow, heavy ice or strong winds. When this occurs, big branches can punch holes in the roof while smaller ones pull shingles off as they slide to the ground. This leaves the roof vulnerable to the elements and often leads to leaks. Homeowners can avoid this by keeping a 10-foot radius between the house and any tree branches. Inspecting trees for signs of disease and rot as well as removing any potentially damaging branches ahead of time will help keep the roof safe.

Toppling Trees

A falling tree is one of the most destructive events a home can experience aside from fire. Even if a tree is only small or medium size, it can crash through the roof and cause damage that will require a lot of time to repair. All older trees that show signs of being unstable should be removed by a professional tree-cutting service. Cutting down an old tree can be a difficult decision, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

Excessive Debris

Pine needles and leaves can accumulate on a roof, and it is best to remove this debris before it snows. The leaves and needles not only add weight to the roof but also trap moisture, which soaks through the shingles causing leaks, warping support beams and spreading rot. This will substantially weaken the roof, leading to a collapse.

Clogged Gutters

Most homeowners do not like cleaning gutters, but the task is a requirement before winter arrives. Trees drop leaves and needles into gutters, which can cause ice dams during cold weather. Downspouts become clogged and force water to exit the trough in other areas, resulting in erosion, roof damage and ruined landscaping. Keeping gutters clean all year round is best practice for protecting a home.

Trees are good for a home and yard. They give shade, keep a house cooler and are pleasant to look at. By following the tips above and not letting trees grow too close, a roof should last for many years.