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How Close Should Trees be to Your House? (and Roof)

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Here in the Raleigh area, we have all kinds of trees growing pretty much everywhere, including right next to your home, and right over your roof. 

What many homeowners may not know, is that having trees so close to your roof can actually cause a lot of damage to your roof’s shingles, gutters, and penetrations like your vents and pipes. 

So how far do trees actually need to be from your home to keep your roof safe?  

In this blog, we’ll break down just that, talk about the different kinds of damage trees can cause, and what you should do if you have damage from your trees. 

Let’s get started! 

How close can trees be to your house?

Depending on the kind of tree, you may want to keep them pretty far away. The taller and larger the tree, the further you want it. Anything that’s directly over your roof is going to shed its leaves onto your roof, and if there are branches hanging over, they may break off during bad weather and cause pretty serious damage to your roof. 

In general, we’d recommend making sure no branches hang directly over the roof, and that you keep taller trees more than 20 feet away from your home. 

What kinds of damage can trees cause?

Gutter clogs from tree debris

Clogged Gutters

If you have a tree too close to your house, the leaves on it will eventually start to die, and fall off, or be knocked off by the wind or rain. Clogged gutters can be detrimental to the overall health of your roof. Once water starts collecting, the weight can start to pull on the edge of your roof, pulling at it and causing damage to the fascia and soffit. Water can also back up onto your roof, wearing out and weakening the shingles, and seep into the roof decking, causing premature rot. 

Storm damage from treeS

tree falling on the edge of a shingled roof

Perhaps the greatest risk of having trees too close to your house is when a storm comes rolling through town. Trees that are old, ailing, or have already suffered some damage are very susceptible to having branches blown off, or even being knocked down by the weather. 

That happening could result in some serious damage for your roof, and your house as whole. Limbs that fall from a tall tree can punch holes in your roof, and if a tree falls onto your house... well, you’d be dealing with a tree that’s a LOT closer to you than you’d like it to be, and you’ll have a lot more problems because of it. As a roofing company in Raleigh, NC, we often have to go back to roofs we recently replaced after a tree limb falls during a storm. 

How should you deal with having trees by your house?

The solution to your tree problem pretty much depends on the problem itself. If your gutters are getting clogged regularly, the way to fix that is much easier than to deal with a tree that could fall on your home.

The best way to deal with gutter clogs is to clean them out regularly, or to invest in gutter guards to help keep that debris out of there to begin with. Another good idea, along with cleaning, is to regularly trim your tree’s branches so that they don’t hang over your gutters. Some debris may still get in there, but it will be much less than it was before.

If you have a larger tree that is showing signs of sickness or falling down, you’re going to want to get that tree taken down by a professional as soon as possible. Trees like that can cause devastating damage to a roof or house when it’s knocked down by a storm, and you do NOT want to risk that.

Want to get Your Trees and Roof Inspected? 

If you’re feeling nervous about how close your trees are to your roof, and want a professional's opinion, reach out to us using the “Contact Us” button below! Once you click that, just fill out the form and we’ll get you in touch with our representative for your area.

On Tops Roofing has been replacing and repairing roofs in the Triangle area for over 30 years, so we’ve seen all kinds of tree damage in our time. Whatever your roofing project requires, we’ll be happy to help!

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