Hugh Cairns: Vegetation against the house

December 25, 2014 7:02 pm

Vegetation growing on the house attracts insects to the house and they will make a home if they can, and get inside. Photo: Contributed – (Photo: Hugh Cairns)

Hugh Cairns: Vegetation against the house

Sure vegetation increases a home’s appeal, but it might add other things too. Vegetation growing on the house attracts insects to the house and they will make a home if they can, and get inside.

Climbing plants growing on the walls will attach themselves to the siding material and, if given opportunity, will actually get in and grow inside the walls, soffits and facia.  I have seen vines growing into wood shake roofs on occasion.

Most climbing plants have strong tendrils with sticky roots that attach themselves to the surface of your home. The result is they are hard to remove and their residue is evident and very difficult to eradicate.

Vegetation and their roots hold moisture against the house and foundation walls. Trees can be especially damaging. They can hold moisture against houses. Aggressive roots can push on and even crack foundation walls.

The ivy on this house is growing under the vinyl siding, between the vinyl siding and the synthetic stucco on the chimney, and is holding moisture against that synthetic stucco.

My recommendation: plant trees well away from the home. Shrubs at full growth should end up being at least 3 feet away from the home. If you must have smaller plants, consider placing them in large pots rather than flower beds. If you must have a climbing plant, build it a trellis.

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