I just had a ficus tree removed from a property I bought in Anaheim. The 30-foot tree was planted about one foot from the house. Luckily, the tree damage wasn't horrible, but it was definitely beginning.
Believe it or not, trees can cause serious damage to your house if not trimmed, maintained, and sometimes removed. Tree damage can cause problems that you might never see or think about that happen beneath the soil. There can be serious damage about ground, too, it's just easier to notice.
Roots and Plumbing
Ficus trees are my favorite example of a beautiful tree that can major damage. The root system on a ficus is very invasive. That means the roots will grow and grow, possibly getting into your sewer line, not only causing damage to the line but blocking the drain, too. Both of these are costly fixes.
Roots and Foundation
Roots can also become so large and pervasive that they cause damage to the foundation of your house. Now, we are talking about more money in repairs and possibly damage that can truly never be fixed completely.
These roots can lift concrete walkways with such power, causing major damage in need of repair.
Branches near Roof
Believe it or not, I have seen branches that have been allowed to grow so close to the roof that they actually start to damage the roof and break it. If that's not a reason to keep a tight schedule on tree-trimming, I don't know what is. The leaks that were caused by this tree branch were incredible.
Branches hanging over the House
Even if the branches of a tree aren't touching the house, they shouldn't be hanging over the house. If a tree branch breaks on a windy day (and we've had quite a few really windy days in Southern California lately), those branches can break and become spears piercing through your roof, windows, or walls.
It's very important to maintain trees by trimming them and making sure they are healthy. Do you remember the winds in 2012 that knocked over hundreds of trees in the San Gabriel Valley? I had a neighbor's tree branches break and fall into my yard. Luckily, no one was hurt, but it could have easily been very serious. No cars were parked nearby either, in this case, but again, it could have been serious.
Those trees were long overdue for a trim. Had they been properly maintained, the damage would have been less and maybe none at all. I guarantee you that hundreds of homeowners lost thousands and thousands of dollars in fixing the problems caused by the trees falling down and the branches breaking.
Mother Nature acts at unsuspecting times. Make sure you have prepared for the unexpected and have limited potential problems.