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Andy Alvarez
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The Inspector Newsletter
April 2014: Spring Maintenance
Snapshots From the Field

Snapshots from the Field

Take Care When Planting Trees

To a homeowner, trees provide beauty, shade and privacy from neighbors. To a professional home inspector, however, trees necessitate careful consideration. Oftentimes tree branches overhang a roof, where they can abrade the shingles and possibly damage the siding. Tree branches can interfere with overhead power lines, cable connections and the like.

A tree’s root system more or less mirrors its branches. If there are tree branches overhanging a roof, it’s very possible its roots could damage the foundation. In many cases, we have found tree roots growing in crawl spaces and/or through foundation walls. When this happens, it can be both tricky and expensive to repair.

Tree roots can also wreak havoc on driveways and sidewalks. If there are driveways or sidewalks nearby, trees can cause considerable cracking and lifting, as well as a tripping hazard. And perhaps the most dreaded of all: Tree roots can obstruct sewer lines.

Most homeowners plant trees too close to the house. Trees are generally planted when they are small, and little consideration is given to what grief they might cause at maturity. A good rule of thumb for planting trees is the one-half rule: Whatever height the tree reaches at maturity, plant it one half that distance from the house.

Noteworthy News

Noteworthy News

It’s Time to Check the Grading

Now that the snow has cleared, it’s time to check the soil around your foundation for negative grading . Negative grading means that the soil around the foundation of your home slants toward the house, and this means that your house is vulnerable to water damage and leaks.

If you notice negative grading around your home’s foundation, then it’s time to add soil and create positive grading, where the soil slants away from the foundation.

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