Trees are a beautiful addition to any landscape. They provide shade, help clean the air, and give you a place to hang a swing. We rarely think about the problems trees on our property might cause. Recently, one of our neighbors received a letter from their homeowner’s insurance company stating that the tree limbs over their roof must be removed or else their policy might be cancelled. They complied, but weren’t sure why the trees were a problem. How could a tree possibly cause water damage to a home?

At Service Team of Professionals of Spokane WA, we’ve seen just about everything. Sure, a tree limb could fall on the roof or car and cause thousands of dollars’ worth of property damage. Roots can invade sewer pipes or even crack a foundation. Trees can drop debris such a leaves, twigs or even branches on a rooftop. Most people don’t keep up on roof maintenance and won’t realize they have a problem until have to call in STOP for water damage restoration or mold remediation. Improper roof drainage can lead to water damage. If debris builds up and blocks drainage routes on a roof, water can get trapped and seep beneath the roofing materials and into the attic. If the water isn’t discovered and dried out, mold can start growing within 72 hours. With repeated exposure to water, mold will continue to grow.

There are also plenty of hazards that aren’t so obvious. A large enough tree limb can damage the roof, weakening the structure or even creating a hole for critters to go where they don’t belong. Yup. I said critters. Cats, squirrels, possums, raccoons, rats and any other animals that climb will use trees as a bridge to find a cozy spot in your attic to raise their families. In addition to having unwelcome houseguests, they can cause quite a bit of damage too. We’ve seen our share of property damaged by water lines and electrical wires that had been chewed on by rodents. Do yourself a favor and pay attention if your insurance company sends you a letter.

By Brian Clark