Trees in the yard provide many benefits. They provide shade, add lush beauty to your yard and prevent soil erosion within your property. However, the same trees can also pose a hazard to your roof. Gutter cap contractor Gutter Helmet® of Eastern NY shares the ways trees can cause damage to your home and how this can be prevented.
According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), tree roots are not strong enough to pierce house foundations. However, that doesn’t mean that tree roots are completely harmless. Trees that are planted too close to the house may have roots that can penetrate existing cracks in the foundation and basement walls. Large root systems can extend beneath the house and cause uplift. Additionally, roots may leech moisture from the soil, which can cause moisture imbalance, later leading to the house settling.
The roof and gutters can also be damaged by tree branches. In addition to the leaves that may clog the gutters, sharp branches can poke into the gutters and damage your gutter filter. The outer roofing layer—protective granules on asphalt shingles or the outer coating on metal roofs—can be gradually scratched off. Exposing layers underneath to the elements can compromise roofing performance.
Preventing Damage from Trees
If the property was planned by a professional, there should already be enough clearance between the house and the trees. If this is not the case, you will need an arborist to help mitigate the aforementioned problems. Root barriers must be put in place; however, the roots will need to be carefully cut to make sure the tree is not harmed. Repairs may also need to be done to the foundations and/or basement walls if the roots had already started their way in.
To prevent roofing damage, the trees must be pruned with a minimum clearance of 10 feet. As with the roots, care must be taken to make sure no major branches are cut. A well-pruned tree also helps keep gutters free from leaves and debris. There is also less risk of the branches getting entangled with power lines and becoming a fire hazard.