Nature is making a real come back with the way people have been decorating both the inside and outside of their homes. Green is IN! With that said, there are ways to do it and ways not to do it. Let's discuss how trees and shrubs can cause damage to your home and how to protect your home while still letting nature shine!
As famously quoted in Jurassic park "nature finds a way" and in many cases when it comes to your home, nature finds a way to overtake it faster than you realize and can be a real hassle to get things back under control.
Nothing is prettier looking than a nice big shade tree next to a home, right? What we don't think about is the root system you can't see underneath. A root system can grow to be up to 3 times larger than the tree is tall! Think of it like an iceberg, and your house is the Titanic.
As the tree grows, the root can literally dig itself in to the foundation of your home causing structural damage to the house or power lines near by. Also, the contracting and expanding of the soil due to moisture being absorbed by the tree can can cause stresses on the structure not accounted for when it was built.
Pests and Water Damage
I love to look at homes that are covered in climbing vines like creeping fig... unless I have to inspect them. When trees or shrubs are physically touching the side of your home this creates a bridge for moisture and pests to get into the home.
In Florida with our high humidity, the constant touching of plants to the house can cause mold and mildew to grow in the walls, often times unnoticed. Pests which are always hanging out in trees and shrubs anyway, now have easy access to the home where they can build nests in the walls and attics.
Make sure there is at least 6 inches of space between the plants and your home and if not, prune them up and save yourself the headache later.
Last but not least is what most people would think of when it comes to potential risk from trees: the possibility that a branch can fall on the home.
I have personally seen the damage that falling branches can have on a home. In Florida we have extreme weather conditions like hurricanes that come with high winds capable of knocking off branches and hurling them every which way, but even on a bright and sunny day, a tree branch can fail for any number of reasons and fall on a home.
It's best to keep trees trimmed back at least 10 feet away from the home, to avoid this danger.
Trees and Shrubs look GREAT, but be smart when it comes to how close you allow them to get to your home as they can bring all sorts of issues your way. Our advice is the further away the better, and definitely NEVER physically touching the home.