Mature trees can help to keep your home cool by providing shade for your roof. This can help keep your energy bills down during hot summers. However, if your tree's branches ever come into contact—or near contact—with the shingles of your roof, it is only a matter of time before they cause damage.
Beware of the Windy Days and Roof Rats
On a windy day, a tree branch can tear a hole in the shingles of your roof. Even if you live in a relatively storm-free area, the little wind that you do get could cause a tree branch to drag back and forth over your roof. In time, this constant raking will wear away the shingles and leave your home exposed to the elements.
You also need to be wary of rodents -- namely, roof rats. These creatures won't wait for the wind to rip your roof open, not when they can do it themselves. Whatever happens, if not addressed promptly, you may soon find yourself combating rats, insects and leaks.
If you suspect your roof has been damaged because of nearby tree branches, you should explore the following solutions:
Tree Trimming or Removal
First, you'll need to deal with the branches. If a tree branch is high up enough to rip open your roof, you should seriously consider hiring a professional to trim your tree. Doing so yourself could be dangerous. When weighing up your options, consider the future too. You could hire an arborist to assess the situation. They'll be able to advise you on the best course of action.
Even if the tree is important to you, unless you plan to switch to a metal roof, you should probably remove it.
Repair or Replace
Obviously, a torn shingle roof should be repaired as soon as possible. However, when discussing your issue with a roofing company, explore the possibility of replacing your shingle roof with a metal one instead. This could be a good option if you decide to trim your tree instead of removing it.
If rats have used your tree's branches to access your roof, you'll need a pest control service to eradicate them completely. Roof rats breed quickly so this should be one of, if not the first, steps to complete.
Trees offer many blessings to a property. However, they can literally tear the roof off from over your head if you don't keep them trimmed.