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3 Ways Your Silver Maple Tree Is Damaging Your Roof

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Homeowners often plant silver maple trees in their yards and around their homes because of the excellent shade that these trees provide. However, planting a silver maple too close to the house does have its drawbacks. Below you will learn how a silver maple tree can damage your home and what you can do to keep your tree from ruining your roof.

Limbs Gouging The Shingles

Silver maples are a fast-growing tree species and this causes the trees to have weak wood. Limbs that hang over your house can easily fall on your roof, and peeling bark adds to the debris collection. In winter, when ice or snow collects on the limbs, this extra weight makes the branches even more susceptible to breakage.  

As a falling limb makes contact with your roof, the sharp, jagged edges gouge and scrape the shingles. When branches knock granules off the asphalt shingles, they can no longer protect your home. The cracks and fissures in damaged shingles allow water to leak in and the moisture causes the roof deck to deteriorate.

If you see broken pieces of shingles in your yard, this signifies shingle damage. To assess the damage, clean all bark, twigs and other tree debris off your roof so you can thoroughly examine the surface. Inspect your roof and look for splits, tears and missing shingles. To prevent silver maple branches from falling on your roof, remove all limbs that hang over the top of your house.

Samaras Clogging The Gutters

Commonly called helicopters, spinners and whirligigs, the actual name for the fruit seeds from your silver maple is samaras. These floating, flying, fibrous wings land everywhere in your yard and gravitate to your gutters. They begin as double samaras and break apart before they reach their final destination.

When your gutters are full of samaras, rain cannot properly flow through your gutter system and out through the downspout. Instead, the water stands in your gutters and pours out over the sides. The constant wetness on the fascia boards and on the edge of your roof will cause these wooden structures to rot.

In late spring, when all the samaras have fallen from your silver maple tree, thoroughly clean them out of your gutters. For easier cleaning, remove them when they are dry. Use your hands to pull out the majority of the samaras and then use a water hose to wash the rest of the helicopters and other debris out of your gutters.

Leaves Rotting The Roof

When your silver maple tree begins to drop its leaves, they too will land on your roof. When the wind blows, leaves that have landed on your roof collect in piles in the roof valleys and slopes on the top of your house. When it rains, the leaf pile holds in moisture and causes the leaves to decay.

The trapped moisture under the leaves soaks through the shingles and causes them to rot, right along with the wooden roof deck underneath. Wet leaves will become heavy and this added weight puts uneven stress on the roof rafters and causes them to become weak.  

To remove the buildup of leaves from your roof, use a broom with a telescoping handle to sweep them out of the corners of your roof. If possible, use a water hose to dislodge and wash the remainder of the leaves and debris from your roof.

By following the tips above, you can keep your roof safe from damage caused by silver maple trees. If the trees have already damaged your roof, contact a residential roofing contractor to repair or replace your roof. Check out websites like for more information.