Now that fall has officially arrived, the cold temperatures and icy conditions of winter are just around the corner. While winter weather is often difficult to predict, there are a number of ways to help to get your home ready for snow and ice long before a storm arrives. One of the best ways to prepare your home for winter is by trimming branches over your roof.
The roof is one of the most expensive parts of your home. According to Remodeling Magazine, a new roof costs an average of $18,800 – using high end materials can increase that cost to more than $36,000. Help protect that investment by trimming any branches over your roof before winter.
Why trim your trees before winter
Falling trees and branches due to ice and snow are one of the primary causes of damage to homes and property during the winter. While most homeowner’s insurance policies cover damage due to falling trees, your claim may be denied if you knew a tree or limbs were at risk for falling and did not remove them. Prevent this from happening by pruning and trimming any branches that may be too close to your home.
Benefits of trimming overhanging branches
In addition to preventing branches or limbs from falling on your roof because of ice, there are a number of other reasons to consider trimming overhanging branches.
- Branches can damage shingles: When tree branches touch the roof, they can cause damage to the shingles as they move in the wind. In addition to the damage done to the shingles themselves, this can also allow water to penetrate the roof and seep into the building materials below.
- Keep animals off the roof: Overhanging branches can give rodents like squirrels and roof rats direct access to your roof. These small mammals can then gnaw or scratch at the roof, as well as attempt to enter attics or chimneys as a way to escape the cold. Keep them away by trimming branches to at least 10 feet from the roofline.
- Minimize leaves and moss: Trimming branches and limbs away from the roof minimizes the building of leaves and moss. In addition to reducing the wear and tear on your roof, doing this can significantly reduce the amount of buildup in rain gutters.
Other ways to extend the life of your roof
Because a roof is a major investment, the following are a few ways to help you extend the life of your roof.
- Clean the gutters: While overflowing gutters can ruin siding and cause basements to flood, it can also go up. Water can wick into the roof, causing shingles, beams, and ceilings to get wet and rot.
- Replace shingles as needed: Don’t wait until the whole roof needs to be replaced to make repairs. Replacing shingles as needed can minimize the damage to the rest of the roofing materials.
- Have a roof inspection: Especially in areas like Middle Tennessee that are prone to extreme weather, a roofing inspection can identify areas that have been damaged or need to be replaced.