I live in a 100 year old house with an addition on the back. We have a pine tree that is hanging over the addition. The roof and sky lights are leaking. The rest of the roof is ok. We want to just replace the 35+- year old sky lights, shingles and flashing. We are planning on keeping the pine tree. But I was hoping that someone can make recommendations for what kind of flashing that we should use and is it worthwhile going for something other than asphalt shingles? We will probably get Velux sky lights.

Any help would be appreciated.


roof over addition

  • 3
    You should probably consult with an installer or two and get their recommendations based on their product. I don't think there is a general answer here. – jwh20 Aug 24 '20 at 17:54
  • I am getting quotes from contractors. But when I talk to the contractors, I want to have a better idea about how to limit the damage to the flashing from the pine tree. – Gandolf989 Aug 24 '20 at 20:27
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    I'm sure they will all say the same thing, trim or remove it so that it doesn't touch the roof, the skylights, and the needles don't drop there. – jwh20 Aug 24 '20 at 21:20
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    What do the pine needles in the title have to do with anything in the body of the question? – FreeMan Aug 25 '20 at 13:55

Metal roofing will shed pine needles far better than asphalt shingles will. Still, trimming the tree is your best option, particularly since the skylights will make an area where the debris is easily trapped.

Putting "crickets" (peaked flashing) above them as for a chimney might reduce that somewhat .vs. the way they are now.

  • I will ask about installing crickets. That seems like a great solution. I will also work on trimming the tree back away from the roof. It would be hard to replace the roof while ducking branches from a tree. My wife seems to think that the pine needles are not a problem. I think that they are acidic and can eat through the flashing. Do you have an opinion on that. Thanks! – Gandolf989 Aug 25 '20 at 12:36
  • I've never seen pine needles cause damage, other than clogging things up. – DaveM Aug 25 '20 at 13:36
  • Anything that accumulates to the point that it retains or redirects water can cause significant damage, from flooding to decay. – isherwood Aug 25 '20 at 13:48

Skylights typically have full-height flashing. That's normal and what you should do. Whether you should switch to metal roofing is a large question and not suited to us making the decision. That's at your budgetary and aesthetic discretion.

I've lived with a huge, beautiful white pine over my home for many years. The bottom line is that you have to do seasonal cleanup. White pines drop a third or a half of their needles every fall. You need to remove them after it happens. You should also do a spring cleanup since lingering needles tend to accumulate, especially if snow is present.

This is all standard home-ownership stuff. There's no roofing or flashing that eliminate it entirely.


Dropped needles aside, I would counsel some serious tree-trimming here. Overhanging branches are a serious damage risk next time there's high winds or heavy snowfall. Keep trees away from houses!


You will need to blow,rake or otherwise remove the needles from the roof a couple times a year or in a couple years you will have pine trees growing on your roof. If I let mine go a year , the needles form a "carpet" that can be pulled off in big pieces. You will need to seriously trim the pine for people to work on the skylights or shingles. Looks like white pine , I would say no big loss , cut it down and plant what you what want you further away. You need the right roofer to flash it to prevent leaks ; ask locally who has had experience ( good) with skylights.

  • I do remove all of the needles several times per year. Not only do I want to get them off the roof, but out of the gutters as well. If it were up to me I would remove the pine tree. Its not entirely up to me. – Gandolf989 Aug 25 '20 at 17:48
  • I took down gutters years ago. Aren't much good when full of debris ., I tried all available gutter guards and none worked. – blacksmith37 Aug 25 '20 at 23:34

You blow them off. There is no other way to deal with an asphalt shingled roof as any other method would deteriorate the shingles.

Buy a lopper and trim those. That little of branches over your house has no benefit. You are talking about 45 mins of maintenance and you want to replace a roof?

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