Common Defects: Vegetation

Most homeowners take pride in maintaining a nice looking landscape. Inviting curb appeal is always charming, whether you’re trying to sell your home or simply trying to present a welcoming exterior that enhances the beauty of your home and neighborhood. Unfortunately, this often comes with a cost.

I see vegetation against the structure of nearly every house I inspect. Bushes, small trees, and other forms of vegetation are often planted close to the house and growing right up against it. The problem with this is that vegetation is an inviting environment for moisture and pests. In addition, roots of larger plants can grow underground against the foundation and cause damage over time.

The rule of thumb in preventing these problems is really very simple. Vegetation should be maintained at least 6 inches from the exterior. The farther away the better, but no one could be expected to have no vegetation anywhere near their house and still expect it to look nice. Six inches is far enough to offset the likelihood of common vegetation related issues while still maintaining that close-to-the-house look that we all desire.

Similarly, trees overhanging a roof should be at least ten feet away from the roof to prevent damage. This distance can’t guarantee that no trees will ever damage the roof, but it is a good and workable compromise that makes damage less likely while maintaining the beauty of a stately tree.

Be sure to periodically trim and maintain the plantlife around your home to avoid unexpected and costly problems. If you’re uncertain of how to go about this maintenance, contact a landscpaing professional to take care of the overgrown areas and enhance the beauty of your property. Whether you hire someone else or you do the work yourself, you’ll be glad that your landscaping is still appealing but no longer a potential threat.

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Author: hillinspections

I am a Certified Master Inspector (CMI) and the owner and operator of Hill Property Inspections LLC, the top-rated inspection company in the greater Johnstown, PA area, based out of western Pennsylvania. I specialize in property inspections and environmental testing services and have a passion for helping my own clients and other families in learning to properly maintain their homes. I’m also the owner of Hill Pest Control, LLC and a pest management professional committed to helping our clients rid their homes and businesses of unwanted pests. I am an Army veteran, former State Farm Insurance Agent, and real estate investor with experience in all facets of real estate construction, transaction and insurance. I am also the founder and President of the Southwestern PA Chapter of the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) and an affiliate member of the Cambria-Somerset Association of Realtors (CSAR).

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