A Home Inspector’s Weblog by Frank Schulte-Ladbeck

exploring homes and the lives in them around Houston

Plants that attack!

Probably the second most common item that I find in a home inspection is the damaged or missing window screen, which I dealt with in an earlier post: Look Through Any Window. Related to the post yesterday, I see concerns with our gardening efforts.

I love to garden, so I know that some of these items easily occur. Planting trees and shrubs close to the home leads to problems. Trees need to be planted far enough away that branches will not grow over your roof. Rain drops from the leaf edge to roots. If the leaf edge is over your roof, the roots are below your foundation. Leaves falling on your roof make a home for insects, as well as keeping moisture on your roofing material. Branches can do damage to your roof covering and structure. I saw a roof where a branch rubbing back and forth in the wind tore off the shingles, sheathing, and part of the roof structure.

Shrubs cause moisture to be held on your siding material. The rubbing of their branches can cause similar damage to walls that tree branches cause to roofs. Vines grow into cracks and windows. The root/support structure of vines can do real damage to stucco and brick, when it makes its way into crevices. I have seen vines grow into condenser units for your air conditioning system. Wiring and mechanical parts can fall victim to this attack.

Plan out were your plants should be by their full height and width. Nursery employees would know this information, but the annoying little plastic tags in the container have that data. You will want air to move freely along your walls, roofs, and equipment, and you will want to prevent contact between your home and plants. Constant back and forth movement from wind by branches can produce real damage over some years, and I have seen where homeowners just do not notice this fact.

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1 Comment»

  www.bestlandscapingadvice.info » Plants that attack! wrote @

[…] frankschulteladbeck wrote a fantastic post today on “Plants that attack!”Here’s ONLY a quick extractI love to garden, so I know that some of these items easily occur. Planting trees and shrubs close to the home leads to problems. Trees need to be planted far enough away that branches will not grow over your roof. … […]


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