Trees can do wonders for your home’s appearance. But they need to be properly maintained, for the safety of your house and family.
In the past we have talked about how trees properly planted can help cut the energy bills costs in your home. We touched on how beneficial they can be to you, but it’s also important to understand they can also be a liability. Trees help beautify your property, of course. However, as with any aspect of home ownership, they require planning before planting and upkeep after they have matured. Some trees have aggressive root systems that travel 30 feet or more, while some burrow deep down below even the foundation of the house. So, it is necessary to know which species and what root system and characteristics. Consult with a landscaper or arborologist to find out what trees would best suit your home.
Existing trees, especially mature trees, should be evaluated for overgrowth and dead limbs and branches, which can be dangerous during storms. The limbs can bend and cause abrasion wear to the roof and siding. Another issue that can arise over time is mold and moss buildup on your roof because the trees are creating too much shade. The excess shade can prevent natural drying effects of the sun and create heavy lichen growth that accelerates roof wear by as much as half its expected life. Of course, the proximity is used as an access pathway for squirrels and mice, which can damage wiring, insulation, and interiors of your household.
Roots can also cause structural damage to the foundation of the house. This can happen when a tree is planted to close to the foundation of your home. When roots get into the foundation of your house they can cause conduits for water damage into your basement. This can also create a crawl space into the basement where animals can enter.
Dead limbs on trees can be troublesome. It’s not only your roof that is vulnerable to these conditions but your gutters as well. Especially during the fall, over-hanging branches over your house will create clogging of the gutters when leaves and other debris get in them. We do recommend accurately planting your trees around your home because it can affect your home in many ways. Trimming your trees back is a great bit of spring and summer lawn care anyone can do. In cases where foliage is very large and the branches are high, we do recommend hiring a landscaping professional. This ensures that you won’t do any serious damage to your trees, while keeping the branches a safe distance away from your home.
Lastly, large trees near roadways with powerlines can be very dangerous. Severe winds can cause trees to bow into electrical lines, creating serious fire hazards and putting your home at risk. Trees near streets and powerlines are typically maintained and trimmed by your local utility, but don’t be afraid to call if you see a tree in your yard is growing dangerously close to a powerline or transformer. Many suburban neighborhoods now have powerlines run beneath the ground to avoid these kinds of accidents, which creates a whole new set of problems for homeowners. You should NEVER dig up your yard to plant anything without consulting your local electric utility. It’s important to know if and where subterranean powerlines might be near your home. Here in Connecticut, the number to call is 800-922-4455. You should always place a call 48 hours before you start digging.
That’s it for us this week. For more tips on how to make your home a better living space, be sure to check back with us for weekly updates.
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