It's important to keep tree limbs trimmed away from your roof. When a tree gets a growth spurt, the branches and leaves can grow a lot faster than you expect. When that happens, the branches brush against the roof every time the wind blows. Eventually, this wear and tear will knock the granules off your asphalt shingles and lift the shingles or knock them loose. This might even lead to water leaking into your attic which causes more damage. The first step to solving the problem is to have the tree limbs trimmed. Then you can assess the damage and call a contractor for repairs. Here's what you can expect.
Inspecting The Roof
Repairing your roof may not be as simple as replacing a few shingles if rain has been leaking through the deck. The contractor will climb on your roof and check the condition of the shingles. In addition, he or she will check the deck underneath the damaged area. Checking the deck could be as simple as walking on the area and testing it for a spongy feel. If the deck is still dry, it should be firm underfoot rather than spongy. The contractor may also go in your attic to look at the roof from the underside. He or she will check for wet areas, dampness, and a mildew odor that signals dampness and mold.
Repairing The Deck
If the deck has damaged wood, the damaged part has to be cut out and replaced with dry plywood. To do this, the shingles have to be stripped off the roof in that area. The contractor won't put new shingles over rotted wood because the deck will continue to deteriorate and cause further roof damage. Once the new deck is in place, then shingles can be put on the roof. If the deck is still nice and dry and doesn't need to be replaced, then the roofer can make simple repairs by replacing the damaged shingles.
Replacing The Shingles
Your roofer will choose shingles that closely match the existing ones on your roof, but an exact match won't be possible because the ones on your roof have faded and changed color due to age. The old shingles are pried off the roof after the nails are carefully removed. New shingles are slipped into place and nailed down into the original holes used by the old shingles. Replacing shingles is fairly quick and easy work. As long as the deck doesn't need to be repaired, fixing the damage from your overgrown tree shouldn't be a major expense.
If you can't get a roofer to come to your home right away because it's the busy season or because a storm has caused damage to a lot of houses in your area, you may want to cover the damaged part of the roof with a tarp until you can get roof repairs. A tarp isn't very attractive, but it will keep rain out of your attic and it may save your roof from further damage. However, you don't want to delay too long in getting your roof repairs done. When your shingles are damaged, your roof is vulnerable every time it storms or rains heavily.