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The Silent Culprit: Tree Damage to Roofs

The Silent Culprit: Tree Damage to Roofs

When we think about potential threats to our roofs, we often consider extreme weather conditions like storms or heavy snowfall. However, there is another silent culprit that can cause significant damage to roofs – trees. While trees provide numerous benefits, their proximity to our homes can sometimes lead to unexpected consequences. In this blog, we will explore the various ways trees can damage roofs and discuss preventive measures to avoid costly repairs.

1. Falling branches:

One of the most common ways trees can damage roofs is through falling branches. During storms or strong winds, weak or dead branches can break off and crash onto the roof, causing immediate harm. These falling branches can puncture or dislodge shingles, creating openings for water to seep in and cause further damage to the underlying structure.

2. Overhanging branches:

Trees with branches that extend over rooftops pose a different kind of threat. Overhanging branches can scrape against the roof surface, wearing away protective layers such as shingles or the protective coating of flat roofs. This constant friction can weaken the roof and make it more susceptible to leaks and other forms of damage.

3. Leaf accumulation:

When trees are close to houses, their leaves tend to accumulate on the roof, especially during the fall season. While it may seem harmless at first, a buildup of leaves can trap moisture, leading to mold and rot. Additionally, decaying leaves can clog gutters and downspouts, preventing proper water drainage and potentially causing water to back up onto the roof.  

4. Root intrusion:

Although less common, tree roots can also cause damage to roofs indirectly. As trees grow, their roots can extend underneath the house and affect the stability of the foundation. This movement can result in cracks in the walls and ceilings, which could eventually lead to roof damage. Moreover, tree roots can disrupt underground drainage systems, causing water to accumulate around the foundation and increase the risk of leaks.

Preventive Measures:

1. Regular tree maintenance:

Regularly inspect and maintain trees surrounding your property. Remove dead or diseased branches promptly and trim back overhanging branches to prevent them from coming into contact with the roof.

2. Gutter cleaning:

Keep gutters and downspouts free from debris, especially during the fall season, to prevent leaf accumulation and ensure proper water drainage away from the roof.

3. Protective barriers:

Consider installing metal or plastic guards around the base of trees near the house to prevent root intrusion. This will help maintain the stability of the foundation and reduce the risk of roof damage.

4. Professional assessment:

If you have concerns about trees close to your house, consult with a professional arborist or a roofing contractor. They can provide expert advice on the best course of action and help identify potential risks.


While trees offer beauty and shade, it is crucial to be aware of their potential impact on our roofs. Falling branches, overhanging branches, leaf accumulation, and root intrusion are all factors that can cause significant damage. By taking preventive measures and regularly maintaining both trees and roofs, homeowners can mitigate the risks and ensure the longevity and integrity of their roofs. Remember, a little proactive effort today can save you from costly repairs in the future.
Matt began his roofing career at the age of 12 working for free for his uncle cleaning/organizing trucks tools. At 16 he began working on the roof for his uncle Jerry Adams of A&B Roofing/Jerry Adams Investments. He learned the fundamentals of various types of roofing including: hot tar, wood shake, shingle, tile as well as composition shingle. He then went to work for C&M Custom Roofing. Looking to expand his knowledge and gain further advancement in the industry he went on to run a crew at Nu Shake Roofing. After Nu Shake he decided to focus his attention on metal roofing and began working for Cal Pac Metal Roofing Co. After that he went on to Cal Neva which was another metal roofing company. Still looking to learn more and push the limits of what he had been taught he moved to the Sierra Nevada mountains where he ran crews for Carter Roofing, Robinson Roofing and Matteson Roofing before finally opening the doors of Warren Roofing in 2008.