North Carolina is known as “the land of the longleaf pine” because of the abundance of pine trees in our state, especially the loblolly pine, eastern white pine and, of course, the longleaf pine. But while they are a source of pride and beauty, when it comes to your roof, there are a few things to keep in mind. 

  1. Pine straw sticks together — Pine straw, just like straw from grasses, creates clumps when wet. If you’ve seen grass clippings after a rainstorm, you recognize the issue. One needle alone is no big deal, but when many gather, it can become a problem. 
  2. Clumps of pine straw retain moisture — Not only does moisture make these individual needles clump together, but then the clumps continue to collect moisture, which can lead to many other issues. Moisture leads to mold and mildew; two fungi you want to keep as far from your home as possible. Pollen also collects to the moist straw, causing allergies for those inside the home.
  3. Pine straw rots — A brief time with pine straw on the roof will likely not cause a problem, but as the wet straw begins to decay, it will cause the shingles underneath it to decay as well. Moisture is meant to pass over the top of your shingles, not be in contact with them for months on end. So, don’t wait too long to address the debris on your roof. 
  4. Gutters can become clogged with pine straw — The main purpose of a roof is obviously to prevent water from entering a home and then directing the water down the gutters and away from it. Gutters that are clogged with pine straw fail at this most basic function, and can cause water to backup under your shingles or to overflow and affect your foundation. There is also a possibility of animals (especially mice and roof rats) making a home in the gutters if there is pine straw to use for bedding. 
  5. Pine straw falls all year long — You’ve likely heard pine trees, along with spruce and fir, being called “evergreen.” This is because they do not have a period of growth and then a period of dormancy, like with deciduous trees (those whose leaves fall in the fall). Since they are active all year, if your home is surrounded by pine trees, you’ll need to keep an eye out for pine straw all year long, not just the autumn. 

So, in addition to being simply unattractive, having a roof covered in pine straw can actually cause real problems for your home. To prevent rotting shingles and overflowing gutters, your roof and gutters should be cleaned on a regular schedule. 

Consolidated Roofing Services in Cary serves the entire Triangle area of North Carolina (Apex, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh and beyond), as well as Fayetteville, Greensboro, Greenville and Wilmington. If you have any questions on how to deal with pine straw on your roof, or if you want to schedule a service call, please contact us at 919-377-2644