Maintaining your vegetation growth to prolong your siding and shingles
By Pete Busch
Like all things our trees and shrubs in our yards need periodic maintenance. Honestly though, as a home inspector I couldn’t care less about the health of your trees, shrubs, or flower garden and if you asked me for growing advise I wouldn’t know what to tell you. What I can tell you though is if you don’t keep them trimmed away from your valuable siding or roof you will cause abrasion damage which in result will greatly shorten its life.
As wind blows it causes the branches to rub on your house, this will inevitably cause wear, especially on your shingles. Think of it like your using a piece of sandpaper on a piece of wood. While branches are not as abrasive as sandpaper they will rub for long periods of time. As the branches grow they will push harder and cover a wider area. This type of damage is easily avoided with periodic trimming.
Vines on the side of your house may look beautiful but this is also not recommended. Vines will hold moisture against your house eventually causing damage. While doing a home inspection in Minneapolis Minnesota I got the pleasure of finding this. This house had wood siding which is the last type of siding you want vines growing on. The siding on that entire side of the house had to be replaced. In this case the home owners though it was an acceptable thing to do. This is not a real common find however the picture below is.
Improperly Maintained Shrubbery
Here is some shrubs that have not been maintained and are growing into the house. This is a VERY common find inspecting homes. On this particular house there was no damage. Now since these people were not doing periodic trimming the likely hood of them starting is pretty low. The only think they had going for them is the shrub probably grows pretty slow. Another reason to trim this back is for security. This is a very good place for a burglar to hide while he is looking for a way in to the house.
This is another common home inspection find. A tree branch that is in contact with a roof. This will cause even more damage than a shrub in contact with your siding. Shingles are covered with protective granules that will easily wear away from a tree branch that has been blowing in the wind rubbing on them. Your insurance coverage will not cover this so your own your own with this one. There is a concern of safety and the health of the tree to take into consideration when trimming tree branches so it always best to hire a professional to trim your trees. Keep in mind you should hire a professional arborist, not just a tree removal company. Trees, especially large ones, are not easily replaced, proper maintenance from a licensed arborist will prolong their life.
Winter is almost here, now is your last chance for the season to get out and get this done, do it!!!
Minnesota Home Inspector.