A home surrounded by mature trees can not only look lush, but also create a real sense of calm. But unless well-established trees are properly maintained, they can cause trouble for your roofing system—including your gutters.
Gutters are a vital part to your home’s structural integrity. They are strong and built to last, but the impact of a fallen limb, branch, or tree can damage them—possibly even beyond repair. Discover the preventative measures you can take to give your gutters the best chance of staying intact and doing their job for their expected lifetime.
Here’s a look at how to avoid gutter damage from your trees.
Mature Trees around Your Home Require Upkeep to Prevent Gutter Damage
While large, established trees provide benefits like blocking high winds, creating shade for your roof, protecting your home from damaging UV rays, preventing soil erosion, and decreasing air conditioning costs—they come with some drawbacks. But with proper preventative maintenance, you can enjoy them without suffering damages when storms hit.
Chicago Storms May Cause Trees to Fall and Trigger Damage
Known as “the windy city,” beautiful Chicago is naturally breezy due to its location on the shores of Lake Michigan. But when wind picks up, it can lead to destruction around your home’s exterior.
Regardless of how sturdy the trees around your home are, they are vulnerable to high winds and could fall on your home, damaging your roof and gutters, and causing destruction (like roof leaks) that needs to be quickly attended to.
Pro tip: If you have mature trees in your landscaping, have them trimmed by the pros to decrease the possibility of damage. When planting trees, you can lessen your chance of damage by planting them away from your home. There should be at least 15-20 feet of clearance to preserve your gutters and roofing.
Unhealthy Trees Can Become Weak
Splitting tree trunks, fungus, rotting branches, and discolored leaves are all signs a tree is becoming weak, and can make it more prone to falling or splitting—and damaging your gutters or roof.
Pro tip: Consult a local tree expert to inspect the landscaping around your home so you can address any unhealthy plants and avoid the possibility of damage to your gutters or roofing. Cut down unstable trees or have a team of professionals remove them for you.
Even a Fallen Branch Can Damage Your Gutters
If your gutters are struck by falling limbs, it hinders them from doing their job of guiding water away from your home.
Pro tip: Broken branches can do a lot of destruction, but you can lessen the possibility of the trouble they cause by keeping trees healthy and professionally pruned. They should be trimmed to create a minimum clearance of 10 feet from your roof. By controlling tree growth, you’ll keep your gutters free from damage.
Falling Debris Like Pine Needles and Leaves Block Gutters
A shower of pine needles or leaves can keep your gutters from functioning properly. They will create a dam, and water will in turn spill over your gutters and pool around your home’s perimeter (which can lead to foundation problems if not addressed).
Pro tip: Keep your gutters free from clogs by investing in gutter guards, or (with the utmost safety precautions) clean your gutters yourself every few months.
Winter Snow Can Trigger Problems with Gutters
Chicago snows are gorgeous, but the weight of snow and ice on tree limbs can cause them to break off and damage your gutters.
Pro tip: Stay atop the condition of all your landscaping, and make sure the areas below your trees are free and clear so that if a branch falls, it doesn’t harm your home exterior.
Trees Create Animal Access to Your Gutters
Trees allow animals to get in your gutters, on your roof, and possibly even in your attic. If an animal makes a nest in your gutter, it will cause it to clog and hinder water from flowing.
Pro Tip: If you don’t have gutter guards, check gutters regularly for nests, and remove them promptly.
Even without a Tree Falling, Tree Sap Can Affect Gutters
Oozing sap from nearby maple, elm, pine, or birch trees can leave a sticky residue on your seamless gutters and cause a buildup of debris.
Pro tip: Either hire a pro to do the job, or carefully clean sap out of your gutters yourself with warm, soapy water.
Will Insurance Cover Gutter Damage Caused by Trees that Fall Due to Bad Weather?
If gutter damage occurs as a result of the elements (windstorm, hail, tornado) or damage from a fallen tree limb, your insurance provider will sometimes assist with repair costs. For the best possible results, file a claim, take pictures, and contact a roofing company who can report their findings to your insurance carrier.
Safeguard Your Home with Durable Gutters
You can avoid flooded landscaping, damage to your home’s foundation, and deterioration of shingles, soffits, or fascia. Seamless gutters protect your dwelling from water damage and more.
At LeafCo, we specialize in gutter installation, and offer gutter materials from trusted, top manufacturers. Mastic Seamless Aluminum Gutters don’t rust or leak, and the 5” K style comes in a host of color options. For those with distinct taste, you’re sure to love our specialty gutters that come in gorgeous copper, sturdy steel, or visually interesting half-rounds.
Our financing options make it easy to address gutter damage promptly. Take a moment to learn more about our gutter options that will not only effectively direct water away from your home, but also enhance its curb appeal and overall value.