How to Protect Your Home Against Tree Damage

ice storm damage to home rooffeatured image

Posted on November 23, 2021 by Phillip Camerer

While trees are quite helpful in providing shade and acting as a windbreaker, they can start causing problems and damages if you let the branches creep too close to the roof. Well-groomed and healthy trees are key to avoiding tree damage to your roof from weather conditions. With winter moving in, proper tree management can help prevent almost all roof damage caused by trees.

Roof Damage from Trees and Tree Branches

Regardless of the benefits of trees, they can cause multiple problems if left alone. In the winter, damage from tree branches is quite common and can leave dents in your roof from the impact. Your roof could become exposed to rain and other elements even just from branches rubbing against it as they damage the shingles. A recommended rule is to keep branches trimmed back to at least six feet from the house.

Leaves and needles from the tree branches are also dangerous as they can clog your gutters. This can not only encourage mold growth but also block snow from melting which can cause ice dams. Winter preparation is essential as melting snow can freeze and expand if the gutters have a blockage that prevents drainage, which can cause damage to the roof. Even the slightest damage can become worse if any moisture freezes and expands, creating more problems. Any roofing repairs are generally more expensive in the winter as the repairs are harder and more dangerous to complete.

Signs of a Sick Tree

While keeping the tree branches trimmed is important, it is also essential to inspect the health of any trees surrounding your home. It is best to check the overall health of a tree now before it becomes unstable and topples over due to the weight of accumulated ice.

A splitting trunk or rotting branches is a very obvious sign that something is wrong. Depending on the severity of the split, the best course of action may be to have it removed before it causes problems. Any rotting branches need immediate attention as the rot can spread and affect the health of the whole tree. The rot could spread to the inside of the tree and cause internal structural damage that could also cause the tree to topple over.

Fungus is another sign that the tree is not completely healthy. Branches that have fungus growth will die and fall off the tree causing damage and debris. Just like rot, fungus can spread and eventually kill off the entire tree.

How to Prevent Damage Caused by Trees

  • Do a complete inspection of any nearby trees and removing any tree hazards to protect your home from preventable damages.
  • Regularly observing the health of your trees is crucial. When checking for any signs of decay be sure to remove any dead or rotting limbs, as well as any limbs that are too close to the house.
  • Schedule regular roof maintenance to check for damages and problematic areas. Regular gutter cleanings will also help prevent clogs that keep your roof from draining properly and forming ice dams.

Roof Damage Insurance Claim

While damage from trees is typically covered by homeowners’ insurance, they may refuse if they discover that the damage was caused due to improper tree management. If you ignore the branches hanging over the roof or an infected tree without treating or removing it, you may end up paying for it later down the road.

If you have to call your insurance company due to tree damage to your home, they will send someone out to investigate. Be sure to find and document the extent of the damage as trees can not only damage the roof and siding but also internal damage like plumbing. Keep an eye out as the damage might have occurred to an electric line or to gas lines in the home. It is important to call your utility company to shut off service to your home if you smell a gas leak or see sparks.

Call the Professionals

Even a metal roof can be damaged by trees as the waterproof finish can be scratched by a branch rubbing or falling on it. If the branch is big enough, it may also leave dents in the roof.
No matter the type of material, practicing proper tree management to prevent roof damage will save you a lot of headaches down the road. If you’re unsure or have questions, contact us at Phillip Camerer, a local roofing contractor. We can inspect your roof for any small damages that might become worse in the winter months as well as check the health of any nearby trees. Our professionals can advise you on what steps to take to ensure your home and property are safe.