What about the tree’s roots? Can they cause a lot of damage? If the roots of the tree are big enough, they could begin to grow underneath the home's foundations causing them to lift. Roots can also find their way into cracks that already exist in the foundations.
Damage can also occur above the foundations as well. For example, an excess of leaves and branches will quickly block gutters and if this is not cleared quickly enough, bigger problems may start to develop like water intrusion.
Another potential issue that can happen when a tree is close to the house is the risk of large tree limbs and branches falling and damaging the roof. They would also disrupt the household if they fell on power or communication lines, not to mention cause serious injury if they fell on a person.
Pests may also become a problem as a tree can give insects and rodents greater access to different parts of your home. A tree’s many branches could also aid in the rapid spreading of fire from one area of the house to another.
So, although a lot will depend on the type of tree as well and its age and condition, we can see just some of the ways that a tree may cause harm to a building.