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7 Subtle Signs Of Tree Damage To Your Roof And How To Repair Them

Posted on : May 6, 2023

7 Subtle Signs Of Tree Damage To Your Roof And How To Repair Them

By being in the roofing business for years and keeping in touch with arborists (a professional in managing trees), I have seen firsthand the damage that trees can cause to roofs. While many homeowners understand the importance of regularly trimming their trees to prevent them from causing structural damage or falling during storms, they may not realize that there are often more subtle signs of tree damage that can be just as detrimental.

In this article, we will explore seven subtle signs of tree damage to your roof and how you can repair them. By understanding these warning signals and taking action quickly, you can prevent costly repairs or even potential safety hazards in the future.

As someone who has spent a lot of time preserving and protecting the environment while also ensuring the safety of homes and businesses, I hope to provide valuable insight on this important topic.

#1 Broken Branches And Limbs

Broken Branches And Limbs

It is not uncommon for trees to cause damage to roofs, especially during storms with strong winds. Broken branches and limbs are the most obvious signs of tree damage to your roof. They can puncture through shingles, tear off gutters, and even crack skylights.

As a certified roofer, I recommend that homeowners practice proper pruning techniques on their trees before they become hazardous.

Safety precautions should always be taken when dealing with broken branches and limbs. Attempting DIY repairs without proper knowledge and equipment can put you at risk of injury or even death. Emergency response teams are equipped to handle such situations safely and efficiently. It is also important to check insurance coverage for damages caused by fallen trees or branches as repair costs can add up quickly. Certain tree species may be more susceptible to causing damage than others, so it's essential to consider this factor when determining whether professional help is necessary.

Weather conditions have a significant impact on the extent of tree damage, which further highlights the importance of regular maintenance and prompt repair.

In the next section, will discuss cracked or bent roof shingles resulting from tree damage in more detail.

#2 Cracked Or Bent Roof Shingles

Cracked Or Bent Roof Shingles

The cause of cracked or bent roof shingles can range from weather events, improper installation, and physical damage from branches or debris from nearby trees.

Repairing cracked or bent roof shingles can involve a variety of techniques, from complete removal and replacement to patching and reinforcement.

Causes Of Cracked/Bent Shingles

I have observed that one common cause of cracked/bent shingles is tree branches rubbing against the roof during high winds. This friction can slowly wear down the protective coating on the shingles, leading them to break or bend.

Repairing cracked shingles involves removing damaged ones and replacing them with new ones while ensuring proper sealing around any nails that hold them in place. It's essential to address this issue promptly because neglecting it could lead to more significant problems in the future.

Also Read: The 7 Most Common Roof Problems and How to Fix Them

#3 Accumulated Leaves And Debris

Accumulated Leaves And Debris

Cracked or bent roof shingles can be a sign of tree damage to your roof, but another sneaky sign is the accumulation of leaves and debris. While it may seem harmless, this buildup can cause serious damage if left unaddressed.

The weight of wet leaves and branches can put stress on your roof and gutters, leading to sagging and even collapse. Additionally, debris can trap moisture which can lead to mold growth and water damage.

Prevention methods are key in avoiding the negative impact that accumulated leaves and debris can have on your roof’s longevity.

  • Clean your gutters regularly to prevent buildup on your roof. 
  • Clearing out your gutters at least twice a year will help ensure proper drainage during the rainy season, as well as limit the amount of debris collecting on your rooftop.
  • Leaf blowers can be useful tools for removing smaller amounts of debris from hard-to-reach areas like valleys or dormers

By taking these preventative measures, homeowners will lessen the likelihood of experiencing common issues such as water spots appearing on ceilings due to leaks caused by blockages in drains or excess moisture build-up from fallen foliage atop roofs.

Also Read: 10 Quick Ways To Tell If You Need Gutter Repair

#4 Moss and Algae Growth

Moss and Algae Growth

When trees are close to your roof, they can provide excessive shade, creating a cool and damp environment perfect for moss and algae to thrive. The problem with this isn't merely aesthetic. Over time, moss and algae can cause significant damage to your roof. They can retain moisture against the roof’s surface, which over time can lead to rot and deterioration of the shingles.

 Additionally, during winter, the moisture trapped by moss can freeze, causing the shingles to crack or lift. These issues can lead to costly repairs or even a premature need for a full roof replacement. Therefore, noticing and addressing moss and algae growth early on is a crucial step in preserving the longevity and integrity of your roof.

Repairing Damage Caused By Moss and Algae Growth

To repair any damage caused by moss and algae growth, there are a few steps you can take to address the issue. 

Clean Your Roof

Use a long-handled brush or a pressure washer set on a low setting to gently scrub the moss or algae off your roof. Be sure to sweep or wash the debris off the roof, so it doesn't clog your gutters.

Apply a Moss and Algae Killer

Once your roof is clean, apply a moss and algae killer specifically designed for roofs. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for the application process and safety precautions.

Prevent Future Growth

To prevent moss and algae from returning, consider installing strips of zinc or copper along the peak of your roof. When it rains, the water interacts with the metal, creating a solution that inhibits moss and algae growth.

Trim Overhanging Branches

Trim any tree branches that overhang your roof to increase sunlight and improve airflow. This helps keep the roof dry and less hospitable to moss and algae.

Regular Maintenance

Regularly cleaning and inspecting your roof can help catch moss and algae growth early and prevent it from causing significant damage.

If the damage caused by moss and algae is extensive, it might be necessary to replace some or all of your shingles or even the underlying roofing materials. In such cases, it's recommended to hire a professional roofer to ensure the work is done properly and safely.

#5 Sagging Roof Or Uneven Roof Line

Sagging Roof

When conducting a roof inspection, it is essential to check for signs of sagging or unevenness. This could indicate structural damage caused by trees planted too close to the house.

Over time, constant abrasion from tree branches can damage shingles and the underlying roof structure, creating entry points for water which could lead to severe structural damage causing noticeable sagging.

Additionally, the presence of overhanging tree limbs often leads to a buildup of leaves and other debris on the roof. This accumulation can trap moisture against the roof's surface. If left unchecked, the constant dampness can lead to rot in the roof decking and rafters, weakening them over time.

If you notice any sagging or unevenness along your roof line, it is crucial to address the issue immediately before further damage occurs. Repair costs will vary depending on the extent of the damage, but it is important to note that insurance coverage may not extend if negligence is suspected.

In addition to tree-related damage, pests, and other insects, are also a common threat to roofs. We will cover this in our next point.

#6 Presence Of Pests Or Insects

One of the most common causes of tree damage to roofs is from pests and insects that inhabit trees. Common pests that can cause damage to a roof when trees are nearby include termites, carpenter ants, and rodents. Identification of these pests is crucial to prevent any potential damage they may cause.

Preventative measures are essential in preventing these insects and pests from causing significant damage to your property. Here are some things you can do about it: 

Identification Of The Pest

The first thing to do is identify which type of insect has infested the trees near your home so that you can apply natural remedies or pest control treatments.

Identifying the specific species of insect is crucial as different types require different methods for eradication. For instance, some insects may be deterred with natural remedies like neem oil or garlic spray, while others may require specialized pesticides such as pyrethroids.

Pruning Of Branches 

Another preventative measure arborists recommend is regularly pruning branches close to the roofline. This will not only remove potential pathways for pests but also improve air circulation within the tree’s canopy, reducing humidity levels that attract harmful organisms.

#7 Pooling Water and Stains On The Ceiling

Stains On The Ceiling

Water stains on the ceiling or walls of your home are a clear indication that your roof may be suffering from tree damage. When trees cause damage to the roof, such as broken or displaced shingles, it can create openings or weakened areas where water can penetrate.

During rainstorms, water can seep through these vulnerable points and make its way into your home. As the water infiltrates the roof, it often travels downward, leaving visible stains or discoloration on ceilings or walls. 

In addition to water stains, another sign of tree damage to the roof is pooling water. If you notice areas where water accumulates or puddles on your roof's surface, it can indicate that the roof's drainage system may be compromised due to tree-related damage, such as leaves in your gutter system. If there is a large tree close to your home that provides shade, then it will also reduce the speed that water dries out on your roof, leading to pooling around the roof. 


In conclusion, if you suspect tree damage to your roof, don't hesitate to take action. Addressing the issue promptly can save you from costly repairs and further damage to your home. At McClellands Contracting and Roofing LLC, we understand the importance of a strong and intact roof, especially after a storm. Our team of experienced professionals specializes in storm damage assessment and roof repair services. We are here to help restore the integrity of your roof, providing reliable and efficient solutions tailored to your specific needs. Contact us today at (412) 353-5660 to learn more. 

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