I am a first time home owner, so please excuse my ignorance. My house
is on a heavily treed lot. I have a several large oak trees which
hang over the roof and provide a great deal of shade for the
blistering Texas summer and keep my bills quite a bit lower than my
neighbors. At the same time however, I have been cautioned that the
leaves and twigs that fall on the roof can be hazardous long term to
the shingles. Should I consider having the trees trimmed back?
Now you own trees, it is in your own interest to learn what
they are and what you may expect, e.g. what species,
how much larger they grow with each successive year,
and how they interact with the house. You should hire
an arborist for a half-hour session on all these points,
write down what trimming may be desirable in 2008,
2009 and 2010, then find out next year which parts
of the 2008 programme you can safely do yourself.
Remember, (1) these trees grow every year indefinitely,
(2) every tree develops weaknesses or diseases in
time: you need to find out whether "time" is 10 years
or 250 years.
The one thing everyone should agree on is that none of the branches
should be contacting the roof or house. If so, they need to be
trimmed. Beyond that, it's a judgement call depending on what kind
of trees they are, how big they are, what condition the trees are in,
the local climate regarding violent storm potential and youir own
comfort level. Any trees that showed any obvious size of disease or
dying out that could fall and cause significant damage to the house
you should have removed.
On Nov 4, 12:16 am, email@example.com wrote:
There are a number of things to consider.
Direct friction, as Smitty suggests.
Growth of mildew and even moss in shaded areas of the roof.
Debris clogging gutters or collecting on the roof surface to dam water
and hold moisture.
Limbs falling to damage the roof.
Insurance rates for trees overhanging or brushing against the house.
(Our last insurer required cutting branches away from the house.)
Health of the trees.
A competent arborist would be cheap insurance for you.
Previous posters all had good advice, but you also need to check the root
growth. If you have a septic system, etc., you'll want to make sure that you
don't have roots growing into the pipes, tank, etc., although due to tree
placement, that might not be an issue. Again, some time with an arborist
would be a sensible investment. Enjoy the trees, here in upstate NY our
trees save us from needing AC at all, except for the small computer server
(home business) room.
Hire a professional arborist. Have him evaluate the health of the
trees and get recommendations for trimming. Obviously no branches
should contact the house or roof. Any trees that are "iffy" may need
to come down. If they fall and damage your house (or the neighbors)
you'll have a headache. Remember trees keep growing and having large
trees requires regular maintenance. Neglecting it can cost you.
On Nov 4, 12:16 am, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Enjoy the house! I see lots of notes, all seem good. It's a fairly common
thing where I am too and I'll add 2 things I do not see mentioned.
Do not ever let the leaves collect up on the roof. This can trap moisture
in and damage your roof. The only other thing I kow of, is the tannins (I
think thats the right word) from the tree leaves can cause discoloration
depending on the color of your roof (cosmetic I think).
lots of great responses, one I can add, get gutter helmet so leaves
cant clog gutters and more important clog dry well where downspouts
sometimes drain, if they dont go to daylight.
congrats new homeowner! Do understand homes require maintence and are
a great responsiblity, actually we dont really own them,
since there life is probably longer than ours:(
we are caretakers of the largest expense most people ever
but it can be fun and rewarding:)
Kurt, not unless blocked. No matter what you use, grates and whatnot (good
idea to keep whole leaves out!) will have to be cleaned out. Usually 1-2
times a year if there are close by tall trees.
We live where it ices, but not that often or severe. When we had the new
gutters installed, we were advised in our area to have a grate just over the
downspout entrance. It lifts off and we can clear any jams (believe it or
not, but we use a heavy thick chain and just drop it through then collect at
the bottom. Noisy but effective).
In our particular configuration, had we put those gutter guards over the
whole lenght, they would just get leaves matted over them anyways and they
are harder to clear out then.
We have a nifty little 'tool' my husband made up for checking and clearing
minor buildup so we only have to actually climb on a ladder 1-2 times a
year. The 'tool' is nothing fancier than a long lightweight pole with a
sort of shepards hook and a little rubber shovel such as you get kids at the
dollar store. Fits in there perfectly and we can just walk along from
below. Don got the idea after seeing some stuff at a pool cleaner display
that looked like it might be handy, but wanted a scoup, not a brush. He
made it out of spare flotsam in the garage.
The renters didnt use it and it was still there in the overhead of the
garage when we moved back in. Still works! So was the chain fortunately as
3 of the 4 spouts were jammed. (all cleared now).
My $.02 on the matter- Shade is worth the hassle of trimming branches
that are close enough to brush roof when wind blows, and getting up
there with a leaf blower a couple times a year to blow the debris off.
If you blow the leaves before they rot into sludge, you can often clear
the gutters from above, assuming modern continuous gutters. I was
dreading it when I bought this place, since I have lots of trees, and
since middle age has done a job on my inner ears, and I can't just scoot
along the edge of the roof on my butt to clean them like I did as a
kid. But with those slick gutters and a fresh tight re-roof, it took
maybe 10 minutes for entire roof, 80 feet of gutter, and 5 downspouts.
A couple of three cautions: never blow shingles 'against the grain'- go
from top down, and make sure you are never putting high-pressure air
against bottom or side of shingles. And if you have aerial power feed,
pay close attention to what you are doing around the cables and weather
head. And of course, like any high work, make sure there is somebody at
ground level to call 911, put the ladder back up if it blows over, etc.
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