While not as destructive as high winds and rain, falling leaves can damage your roof, which is why it’s important to keep your roof clear of them during the fall season. Here’s why.
Leaves on the Roof Retain Moisture
Dry leaves can retain a lot of moisture. When left to accumulate on a roof, they will hold on to moisture from rainfall and humid air instead of letting it evaporate or trickle towards the gutters. Moisture trapped by the leaves on the roof can soak into the shingles and cause them to break down over time.
Non-synthetic or “organic” asphalt shingles (usually made of cellulose from recycled paper) are particularly vulnerable to this kind of damage. A certain type of fungi that consumes organic material may also grow on the moist shingles and lead to dry rot. In addition to keeping your roof clear of leaves, consider choosing fiberglass or synthetic asphalt shingles on your next roof replacement as additional protection against the effects of moisture.
Wet Leaves Are Heavy
A pile of leaves may sound lightweight — you and your kids may have hidden inside them while at play — but they can become very heavy when wet. On a roof, they can exert the same pressure as inches-thick piles of snow. This can result in an imbalance on the roof’s surface that may lead to sagging and leaks.
They Can Clog the Gutters
Leaves and needles that find their way to the roof’s edge can accumulate in the gutters, which may result in clogged gutters. In addition to the risk of damage to the house foundations, rainwater can also flow back into the roof through the edges and result in damage to the framing and underlayment. Standing water in the gutters can also lead to corrosion and allow insects to breed within.
Fortunately, the conditions described above can be prevented by having your roof cleaned during the fall season. Trimming the tree limbs near the roof and maintaining a 10-foot clearance between the roofing surface and the outermost branches can make a significant difference. A local arborist can help you trim the branches safely if you’re unsure how to do it without harming the tree.
Christian Brothers Roofing provides roof repair and installation services to communities in Louisville and the surrounding communities. Give us a call at (502) 244-0208, or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.