As discussed earlier during the week in part 1 of 2, home improvement tasks are one of the more unpleasant tasks for homeowners. Some issues are unexpected and stressful, while others can be prevented with a proactive approach to maintaining your home.
One issue that is fairly common, yet extremely controllable and cost effective on the part of the homeowner, is overgrown vegetation and shrubbery.
Overgrown Vegetation and Shrubbery:
Many homeowners are surprised to learn that vegetation greatly affects the appeal, condition, and perception of their home, yet it is one of the easiest tasks for homeowners to maintain on their own. Large plants such as the Golden Euonymus, Bradford Pear, and Leyland Cypress are perfect examples of overgrown, unnecessary, and unappealing vegetation.
Vegetation should never be closer than 3' to the home, although it's fairly common to see overgrown bushes, shrubs, and plants that seemingly become an unwanted component of the siding. Multiple reasons exist for why overgrown vegetation & shrubbery effects the condition of the home and should be maintained, including:
- Shrubs, trees and other vegetation can damage the structure, roof, and exterior of your home. As the plant roots spread out and grow over time, they can penetrate the foundation of the home, pushing and moving the ground and structure of the house. For example, the Leyland Cypress progressively grows on average 3' a year, and can become 70' tall and 15' wide. Large vegetation usually has large roots to compensate for its growth.
- The Bradford Pear is another example of a plant that grows much too big for most yards, roughly 50' tall and 40' wide, but weak branching structures make these types of overgrown vegetation prone to storm damage.
- Although you may not experience damage to your roof or siding from storm damage, overgrown vegetation also poses the risk for window damage and other problems that can be costly to the homeowner.
- Even if the vegetation is not overgrown enough to affect the home by storm damage, shrubs and plants can begin to grow between the siding of the home, opening up possibilities for moisture and pest access.
- In addition, the foundation becomes a viable risk as tightly grown vegetation can prevent proper water drainage during winter months.
- Also, large trees come with a large amount of leaves during the fall season.These leaves can clog the gutters and downspout drainage system, placing extra pressure on your roof and less room for water to move through your gutters and valleys.
- If you have purchased a home with overgrown vegetation, be cautious of the fact that a home inspector cannot see blocked features of the structure, siding, and roof.