how-plants-can-damage-your-home

How Plants Can Damage Your Home

Going green is generally seen as a good thing for the environment and is known to be beneficial to us humans as well. People in general, look at all plants as positive for their surroundings.

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There are however some exemptions and as the old saying goes too much of anything can be bad for you. Which is indeed the case if homeowners are allowing random, unfiltered mother nature to run rampant in their backyard.

They can bet that there will be problems galore which can be avoided if they're aware of possible issues.

Trees

tree

Mother nature gave us the gift of trees to provide us food through the fruits they bear and even clean our air through photosynthesis. The are many benefits of being surrounded by trees, they give us shade, prevent flooding or landslides and enrich our lives.

Trees are majestic to behold, no wonder they are desired to be part of any owned property. Homeowners love the advantages of owning trees in their personal property. The benefits are numerous, but there are many negative possibilities that tree owners need to be aware of.

Tree roots can disturb foundations and cause subsidence. This damage can be pinpointed by having a house survey. You’ll want to spot these problems as soon as possible so they’re easier and cheaper to fix.

Beware of Tree Roots

People sometimes get lost with the grandeur of trees and its presence above ground that they forget what's happening underground. The roots of nurtured trees are powerful enough to move the earth itself.

Do not plant trees in general too close to home to prevent statistically predictable structural damage to the house.

Before planting trees near or around their home, homeowners should perform a quick internet search on the possible root length of the species of trees they want to plant.

Foundation Damage

Tree roots are immensely powerful, they quickly move the surrounding soil, and can even push or puncture concrete foundations.

The force of their roots can cause cracks to load bearing walls and cause concrete settling as well. Concrete settling is another form of foundation damage which will result in noticeable cracks throughout their home's flooring.

Driveway Damage

Do not position trees near a paved driveway or walkway. Rapidly growing tree roots can push up out of the ground and are strong enough even to destroy a concrete paved driveway.

There are instances where the tree roots do not break the surface of the driveway but shift a significant portion of the underground soil to cause cracks to the driveway. This can all be avoided by not planting trees too close to structures that need protection.

Plumbing And Septic Damage

Its general knowledge that tree roots burrow deep into the earth. There they extract water from the soil for nourishment which then helps the process of photosynthesis. Tree roots will dig deep into the ground with the sole purpose of seeking water sources.

If a tree is planted near their plumbing system, drainage, water main or even septic system, tree roots are strong enough to puncture any of these systems. The damage of having any of these systems compromised will result in many financial and logistical problems for their home.

Roof Damage

Homeowners with overgrown trees with large heavy branches that are too close to the house pose the danger of falling on the roof of their home. Make it a point to perform basic gardening jobs and cut these overgrown branches to prevent the possibility of an accident.

Avoid the basic gardening mistake of not clearing large branches from the vicinity of their roof, homeowners also need to clean the rain gutters of their home.

Ignoring to do this simple tasks will result in rain flowing down to the walls and foundation of the home which will result in excessive moisture causing water damage.

Climbing Plants

Climbing Plants

While allowing plants and vines to crawl up the outside of a home can indeed be beautiful there are possible repercussions for it.

Not all climbing plants cause damage to their wall, but there are some that will aggressively anchor itself utilizing aerial rootlets and burrow in between the bricks of a home to weaken the structural integrity of the wall.

English Ivy

This rampant, clinging evergreen vine has strong roots that can damage any house's brickwork and can even cause damage to the foundations of the wall itself.

It is native to most of Europe and western Asia. The vines are known to grow up to fifty feet long, there is little to no maintenance involved.

While it is safe to have English ivy sprawled out around your garden or even perimeter fencing, it is not recommended to plant them to climb your house walls as it will cause damage over time.

Trumpet Vine

The vibrant orange, red flowers of Trumpet vines make them a favorite for gardens. Their flowers unique trumpet shape and beautiful color make people want to plant them around their home.

This plant is also otherwise known as Trumpet creeper and is known as the cow itch vine or hummingbird vine in North America.

Their nectar-rich flowers are a favorite of hummingbirds in North America, hence the name. These vines have the same aerial rootlets as English Ivy and can grow up to forty feet long.

Hydrangea Petiolaris

This vine originates from Korea and Japan which has heart-shaped, vibrant green leaves adorned with bountiful clusters of white flowers. Hydrangea is a creeping vine and can grow up to twelve meters in length or even more than forty feet.

It is more accustomed to colder climates and does not do well in dry heat. Hydrangea is well adapted to growing in fences or trellises, they can also grow on masonry walls as well.

Trachelospermum

This evergreen vine can grow up to twelve meters and is an excellent climber as well. Their white, five-petal flowers smell like jasmine and resemble the shape of a star which is the reason for its nickname Star Jasmine.

The flowers are surrounded by lush, dark green leaves which provide a stark contrast to the flowers. Since this plant also uses aerial rootlets to climb walls or trellises, they can also damage the walls of a home when left unchecked.

The Trachelospermum species are native to Asia. The flowers are also sometimes colored yellow or purple depending on the species.

Parthenocissus

This is a climbing plant in the same family as grapes. They are native to North America, the Himalayas and Asia. Parthenocissus meaning in Greek is virgin ivy. It is named so because this creeper vine does not need pollination to generate seeds, so it easily propagates.

It is also known as Boston-ivy. Their leaves come in many different colors, from various shades of green to red and purple. Their berries are dark blue on some species, and this vine is a favorite of gardeners when used for ornamental purposes.

Poisonous Plants

Poisonous Plants

People make their gardens beautiful to enjoy the natural wonder of nature. Not all plants that are beautiful is safe for humans to ingest or touch. These are some of the examples of aesthetically pleasing plants and flowers but are inherently harmful to humans.

Wild Black Cherry Leaves

This plant is a disaster waiting to happen. Every part of this plant is poisonous except the flower, the seeds, leaves and bark of this plant contain hydrocyanic which release cyanide when they wilt.

Dieffenbachia

Dieffenbachia is a common houseplant admired for its large beautiful green leaves. The plant contains oxalate needles. Calcium oxalate is inherently toxic and can be detrimental if ingested.

It can also cause physical abrasions also make skin burn or itch because of its tiny sharp crystals which are present on the plant's stems and leaves.

Hogweed

Physical contact with the plant will result in blistering, severe burns or even worse if the tree sap comes in contact with human eyes it is known to cause permanent blindness. The sap of this weed has a severe reaction to sunlight.

Monkshood

The purple petal of this stunning flower makes it a favorite in gardens. It is toxic if ingested and is also harmful when it comes in contact with human skin. The most beautiful and most likely the most poisonous flower in the garden, Monkshood is one plant on the lookout for.

Stinging Nettle

This plant has pretty green leaves and is covered in millions off tiny toxic hairs. Do not touch this plant because it will undoubtedly be a stinging sensation.

Conclusion

Surrounding themselves with trees and plants is terrific for the environment as well as their soul. Just be careful to not go overboard with going green and keep in mind that too much of a good thing can become a negative.

Before planting trees check online to see how deep their full-grown roots burrow. Check to see if the species is safe and plant trees a safe distance from their home’s vital systems. The family needs to be educated about poisonous plants and their telltale signs.

About the Author Laura Bennett

Hello, I’m Laura Bennett. I love nature especially when it comes to flowers and different kinds of plants. I started a very small garden behind my house and I named it Humid Garden. So, I created this blog to provide aspiring and inspiring thoughts about gardening for gardeners and anyone who has the intention of keeping a garden.

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