If you have trees overhanging your home, you may be surprised to learn that the dropping leaves can be a major hazard to your roof. The following are a few kinds of damage that leaf debris can cause.
1. Trapped Moisture
Piles of dead leaves on the roof trap moisture. In fact, the leaves can become quite saturated in humid or rainy weather. Not only does this moisture sit on top of the roof, but it can also creep beneath the shingles. The result is a slow leak into the attic, and eventually, you will have to contend with mold growth and rot issues. If there are a lot of leaves and a lot of moisture, there can even be concerns with the weight of the debris and the load capacity of the roof itself.
2. Roof Stains
Although this is a purely aesthetic concern, it is a concern nonetheless. Leaves can leave unsightly stains on the roof. Some of the stains are caused by minerals in the leaves themselves, such as orange iron stains. Others are caused by trapped moisture, such as greenish-black mildew stains. The only way to prevent the stains is to keep the leaves from collecting on top of your shingles.
3. Ice Dams
A big danger that leaves on the roof and in the gutters pose in winter is that they can lead to the formation of ice dams. The leaves either form a dam or block a gutter so the dam forms at the eave. Then, melting snow hits the dam and backflows up the roof where it can get under the shingles. Temperatures drop and the water refreezes beneath the shingles. This repeats until a large dam forms. Once it melts, you end up with a big leak indoors.
4. Hidden Damage
You won't be able to spot small damage on the roof if it is hidden under an old pile of fallen leaves. Problems like loose shingles or small punctures can be completely hidden under debris. When small, this damage can be fixed or the shingle can be replaced. If the damage goes unnoticed, though, extensive rot can set in and you will need to get a whole new roof put on your home.
5. Shingle Degradation
That constant moisture exposure that results from collected leaf debris doesn't just hide damage, it can also cause it. Shingles are meant to repel water and then dry out. If constantly exposed to moisture, they can begin to warp and curl. They may also lose the granules on their surface, which weakens them and makes the roof more prone to leaks.
Contact a roof repair service for more help.