Here are some examples from real home inspections on how vegetation and trees can affect your home.
Tree branches and bushes that are near or in contact to your home
Tree branches that overhang the roof or are in contact to the home, can abrade or damage the siding and roofing materials. Trees that overhang the roof also contribute to gutters becoming clogged with leaves more frequently and can shade areas of the roof. Roofing materials that stay shaded for longer periods of time have trouble drying out properly, which can result in moss or algae growth that shortens the life of shingles or can cause potential moisture intrusion. Vegetation in contact to the home can also trap moisture and invite pest or termites into the home.
Another big concern to keep in mind is falling or damaged branches. Falling branches can severely damage a home or fall on power lines feeding the home.
Moss or algae growth on roofing shingles from a heavily shaded roof
Tree branches nearby electrical lines
Tree branches nearby electric lines can be prone to wind damage. Tree branches in contact or near power lines should be trimmed back to prevent potential hazards and should not rest on electrical lines. In most cases, your local power company can help take care of these concerns.
Tree roots near retaining walls or home's foundation
Trees that are too close to the home pose the potential risk of root damage. Trees send out roots to find water and can grow under the home's foundation, under walkways and driveways, penetrate sewer lines, and apply unwanted pressure to foundation walls or retaining walls. Trees ideally should be planted at least 15 feet away from a home's foundation, further away for larger homes or trees. Buyer's should keep this in mind when looking at potential properties and look for any surface damage, cracking around the home, erosion, plumbing not draining adequately, uplifted concrete, or areas of settlement around the home.
Vegetation around utilities
Home owners love to try and hide the outside AC/condenser units, electrical panels, and gas meters with shrubs or vegetation. Although all of these items or utilities need to have proper clearances for easy access and prevent other issues. Bushes or shrubbery too close to AC units can block air flow to coils, making the system work harder, shorten the life of the system, and raise energy bills. Gas meters and electrical panels should have easy access for maintenance purposes or in case of emergencies, if they need to be shut off.
Call Risley Home Inspections today for a thorough and detailed home inspection!
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