Expert Tips
February 5, 2021

5 Dangers of Trees and How They Can Damage Your Home

Well-cared-for trees do more than make your landscaping look great. They also add serious value to your property.

In fact, properly maintained and trimmed trees can add as much as 19 percent to your home’s resale value.

Unfortunately, many homeowners end up with trees that put the safety of their homes at risk. Tree damage can result in costly repairs if you’re not careful. But it’s simple to prevent as long as you know what to watch for.

Here are a few of the most common issues homeowners face so you can keep your trees and your home in good condition.

1. Falling Limbs Can Hurt Your Roof

One of the most significant types of damage caused by trees is due to falling limbs. When the trees are too close to your house, the limbs hang over your roof.

This does provide shade, helping to keep your home cooler during the summer months. However, it can also put your roof at risk of serious damage.

If the limbs break or fall in severe weather, they’ll land right on the slope of your roof. At best, they’ll damage the shingles and roofing materials you have in place. At worst, they can damage the support structure for the roof itself.

This puts your home at risk for water damage, mold and mildew growth, and forces you to deal with time-consuming and expensive roof repairs.

The best thing you can do is keep your trees trimmed and in good shape. Your tree care company will be able to remove limbs that pose a risk to your roof without damaging the health of the tree.

2. Overgrown Branches Can Damage Your Siding

Though roof damage may be the most common issue caused by trees near your house, it’s far from the only one you need to be aware of. Believe it or not, overgrown trees can damage the sides of your house, too.

If the branches get too long and scrape along the exterior of your house, they can damage the siding. Even minor cracks and warps in the materials can lead to serious damage in the long run.

Remember, your siding protects your home from the elements, just like your roof does. If your trees damage the siding, water can seep inside the walls, increasing your risk of wood rot and mold growth.

The easiest way to reduce your risk is to keep the limbs trimmed and pruned. Schedule inspections at least twice a year and let your tree care expert trim away any excess growth. This will keep your siding in better condition while also helping preserve the health of your trees.

Remember, properly pruned and trimmed trees grow more effectively and are better able to deal with plant diseases in the long run.

3. Roots Can Shift or Crack the Foundation

Though most damage caused by trees is visible from the exterior of your house and happens quickly, some damage happens over years. The most at-risk part of your house is the foundation.

Tree roots naturally spread out away from the trunk of the tree. This helps them find nutrients in the soil and gives the tree a stronger anchor against severe storms and high winds.

If the trees on your property are too close to your house, the roots can spread beneath the foundation. This puts pressure on the cement slab that supports the weight of the structure itself.

Over time, the pressure can cause the foundation to crack. This threatens the structural integrity of your home and increases your risk of cracks in the walls, shifting floors, and other structural damage.

Unfortunately, the best way to protect your home from foundation damage caused by tree roots is to remove trees that are too close to the house. The sooner you do, the easier it will be to keep your foundation in good condition.

4. Sick Trees Increase Your Risk of Insect Infestations

Insects and pests love to nest in trees. They have ample food supplies and the trees themselves give them shelter against changing weather conditions.

If the trees on your property are healthy and free of disease, those pests will likely stay confined to the trees themselves. However, if your trees are suffering, you’re at risk for insect and pest infestations year-round.

When food supplies run low outdoors, these critters will look at the closest and easiest place to get food: your home.

Luckily, this type of damage is fairly easy to prevent. Schedule regular pest control treatments both inside and outside your house. If you can, get your trees trimmed and inspected a few times each year to keep the trees healthy and naturally resistant to insect damage.

5. Falling Debris Clogs Gutters

It’s normal for trees to drop their leaves and lose small bits of bark and twigs throughout the year. This means the trees are healthy and doing what they need to do to thrive. However, all that falling debris can cause serious problems if it collects in your gutters.

Remember, the gutters on your roofline direct excess water away from your house. When the gutters are full of debris and leaves, the water won’t be able to flow to a designated drainage area. Instead, it will flow over the side of the gutters and down the exterior of your house.

If it happens long enough, you’ll experience water damage to your siding, your foundation, and your roof.

Clean your gutters once every season and get your trees trimmed each year. This will reduce your risk of water damage and can keep your gutters flowing properly.

Don’t Let Your Home Fall Victim to Tree Damage

These are just a few of the most common types of tree damage that homeowners can experience. Though it might seem overwhelming, preventing the damage is easier than you might think.

Get in the habit of scheduling routine tree trimming and inspection appointments each year with a dedicated tree service. If they notice anything out of the ordinary or see limbs that might pose a danger to your property, they’ll be able to remove them quickly.

Ready to give your trees the TLC they need to grow and thrive? Contact our team to schedule an appointment today.

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