Close your eyes. Is your dream house surrounded by big, full, mature trees? Sounds beautiful, but if you’re in the market for a new home, you may want to take a pause because trees too close to your home can spell serious problems for homeowners.
But don’t give up completely on the landscaping at your new home. With proper preventative steps, you can be hanging those Pinterest-worthy lanterns from big tree branches in no time!
We’ll walk through 5 problems mature trees can cause homeowners. If you notice any ahead of time, you may want to talk with your real estate agent about negotiating repairs before signing on the dotted line.
- Falling Tree Danger
- Roof Damage
- Foundation Damage
- Increased Insects and Pests
- Sewer Damage
Beware of Falling Branches & Trees
When it comes to trees close to your home, perhaps the first thing people think about is branches or limbs falling on the home, or worst case, a person. And for good reason. Tornados and hurricanes can defiantly uproot large trees, but even just a strong wind can be enough to cause problems if a tree is unhealthy or has dead branches. The taller the tree, the more likely it will fall from storms or wind. Even if just a branch falls, windows and personal property, like your car, are at risk.
Mature Trees May Cause Roof Damage
In addition to falling trees or tree branches causing issues for your roof, any hanging branches on the top is a definite burden. Branches can rub against roof shingles, causing them to become loose and detached. Leaves can fall, clogging gutters and causing backups, damaging both the roof and the attic. Additionally, low-hanging branches are the perfect opportunity for pests and rodents to gain access to your roof, where they create nests or attempt to enter the attic.
Tree Roots Can Cause Foundation Damage
Although it may not seem like a tree is close enough to your home to cause damage to the foundation, did you know that tree roots extend two to three times farther than the tree’s foliage? This means it’s best if trees sit about 15 feet away from the home, with larger types of trees needing even more space. Tree roots can add pressure to foundation walls, forcing them to crack and bow inward. Once a foundation is cracked, the tree roots may even start to grow through the crack. Additionally, tree roots suck up large amounts of moisture in the soil. When this occurs close to the foundation, it can cause erosion, causing the home to sink unevenly. If tree roots grow under the foundation, you may see foundation heaving. All these problems can cause thousands of dollars in repair.
Trees Are Home to Insects & Pests
We mentioned rodents could use low-hanging branches to gain access to your roof and potentially your attic, but trees are also home to other insects. Think termites in many areas, ants, as well as bees and bee hives. Also, expect increased mosquitoes if gutters are clogged and not cleaned quickly.
Trees and Sewer Lines
Since your sewer and drainage lines, maybe even septic tank, lay underground, any damage is a big headache. Older sewer lines are perfect for tree roots because they provide water and nutrients all in one spot, causing tree roots to grow directly into the line, creating clogs and backups. It’s a good idea to get familiar with trees that are often the most common offenders for invading sewer pipes. These differ regionally, but one popular tree is the silver maple because of its invasive and shallow roots.
Pros of Trees
In addition to creating your dream home, trees offer several positive attributes.
- Energy Saving
- Noise Barrier
- Increased Home Value
- Provide Natural Shade
- Strong Curb Appeal
Obviously, it’s desirable for some homebuyers to be surrounded by trees; still, it’s important to have a certified arborist inspect the landscaping and offer both suggestions and warnings. While inspections range in price, it’s not uncommon for them to be free. Your realtor should be able to help facilitate this inspection. But do know tree removal can range from $200 to $2,000 depending on the tree size.
It’s also a good idea to take a look at your homeowner’s insurance policy and ensure it covers damage from trees.
As you can see, there is no reason to give up on your leafy new friends as long as you take a few additional steps before buying and are committed to regular trimming and tree care.
Groundworks Can Help
If you’re noticing the foundation showing signs of damage due to tree roots, the good news is that your local Groundworks expert can help. Our team of inspectors and trained installers have seen and repaired it all. Ask the seller’s real estate agent if any foundation inspections have been issued or if you can schedule one. Our friendly scheduling staff will work with you to find a date and time that works best for both you and the seller’s schedules. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.