Stronger Than Steel

By
Home Inspector with JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC HOI 394

Nicely landscaped Connecticut homeThe first thing most people notice about a home is usually referred to as the curb appeal. An integral part of the appeal is the landscaping. Beautiful blooms and striking shrubs intertwined with walks and accents draws one in like a moth to a flame.

Looking with an inspector’s eye I often see landscaping gone amok. Bushes bursting onto the house, ivies entangled with wires and snaking under siding, it all begins to look ugly to me. As delicate as plants look, they are incredibly strong. Left alone plants will cover a property in little time, soon obscuring the house working to turn it back into soil. The very thing plants need. One could say they are purposeful as well as beautiful.Landscaping gone amok on a Connecticut house

On a bright brisk morning not long ago I was reminded of the humble plants strength. Walking around the exterior of this neglected home I saw numerous over grown plants. A large vine meandered its way up the side of the home, reaching around the chimney.

Walking the roof I noticed the vine was well established up here where the light was better. It could be said plants are the ultimate sun worshipers.

Branches grown behind a chimney flashing on a Connecticut homeSeeing branches tangled among the chimney is not all that unusual for me to find, but finding them growing through the flashing is a rare first. The sheer will and strength it took for these first tiny branches to find and exploit a weakness is amazing.

And a reminder to keep your landscaping in check.

 

James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
Former SNEC-ASHI President
NRSB #8SS0022
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

To find out more about our other high tech services we offer in Connecticut click on the links below:

Learn more about our Infrared Thermal Imaging & Diagnostics services. Learn more about our home energy audits, the Home Energy Tune uP®.

Serving the Connecticut Counties of Fairfield, Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, Southern Litchfield and Western New London.

Posted by

James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
Former SNEC-ASHI President
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

 ASHI Certified Inspector

To find out more about our other high tech services we offer in Connecticut click on the links below:

Learn more about our Infrared Thermal Imaging & Diagnostics services.

Serving the Connecticut Counties of Fairfield, Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, Southern Litchfield and Western New London.

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Gene Riemenschneider 01/22/2012 07:23 AM
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Rainmaker
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Michael Thornton
RadnorLake Video - Nashville, TN
Nashville Area - Photography & Videography

Good morning, James. It is amazing what plants will do to a home. I once saw a tree growing out of an abandoned chimney... 

Jan 19, 2012 11:50 PM #1
Rainmaker
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Ron Marshall
Marshall Enterprises - Saint Michael, MN
Birdhouse Builder Extraordinaire

Oh, I am seen some of these nasties.  One was wrapped around some branches on a tree I was taking down.  No matter.  But, they were amazing keeping branches attached after I sawed them off, I thought.

Jan 20, 2012 12:03 AM #2
Rainmaker
647,093
Kathy Sheehan
Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021 - Atlanta, GA
Senior Loan Officer

It is something that definitely needs to be kept in check.

Jan 20, 2012 12:03 AM #3
Rainmaker
694,615
Clint Mckie
Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections - Carlsbad, NM
Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586

Hi James,

It's simply amazing to me that the home owners don't do anything to help the home and the maintenance to the home.

I hope that you really looked at this one good.

Maybe a disclaimer for all the "unwanted greenery".

Have a good day.

Best, Clint Mckie

Jan 20, 2012 12:04 AM #4
Rainmaker
861,100
Gabrielle Kamahele Rhind
KGC Properties LLC, Tucson Property Management & Real Estate - Tucson, AZ
Broker/Owner

GOOD MORNING JAMES!  And stronger than rocks - when I see plants growing through rocks and steel it is amazing!

Jan 20, 2012 12:07 AM #5
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jim, I have seen this issue with wysteria---where it has gone up the side of the house and gotten into a knee wall attic and filled it up with albino vegetation :)

Jan 20, 2012 04:05 AM #6
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Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life

James - The power of plants is quite amazing.  Rocks, steel, homes, it seems they know no bounds.  Makes me try to treat landscaping like a woman treats her eyebrows.

Jan 20, 2012 10:31 AM #7
Rainmaker
2,250,139
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

You post reminds me of a home I purchased to flip, last year. The home was in pretty good overall condition. Because it was the fall of the year, we decided to get the outside done first. The Shrubs in front was all overgrown and too far gone to save, so we pulled everything out. The second day, one of my employees called me to say, one of the neighbors, was there and was interested in purchasing the property.

I spoke to him, he told me he had been renting in the neiborhood for two years and never realized how nice the house was, that the front of the home could be seen. The next day I meet with him and his wife, ended up selling them the property. We did work on the property for 1 week. The first impression good or bad, lasts a long time.

Jan 20, 2012 11:58 AM #8
Rainmaker
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Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

That's a great one!  I have found English Ivy in basements, happily growing 40' from where it entered the house through the basement window.  It just loved the indoors!

Jan 21, 2012 12:05 AM #9
Rainmaker
684,559
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Michael, That sounds pretty neat. I would guess the chimney hadn't been used in a while :)

Ron, Vines do seem to be the toughest.

Kathy, Yes it does.

Clint, I look at all of them good:) As for disclaimers, I do not use them or should I say canned ones. I write into the report the limitations I found at the time. I think it better covers me.

Gabrielle, It sure is!

Charlie, Albino Wisteria, a new species? Don't think we have that one around here. 

Jason, I like your analogy :)

Joe, Interesting story and does make the point for keeping ones home trimmed. 

Jay, I have seen that too, but just a few feet inside. 40' is amazing. 

Jan 21, 2012 12:36 AM #10
Rainmaker
1,431,210
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Great point.  Even small plants in abundance can cause problems people do not think about.

Jan 22, 2012 06:36 AM #11
Rainmaker
233,467
Reuben Saltzman
Structure Tech Home Inspections - Minneapolis, MN
Delivering the Unbiased Truth.

Ha!  You gotta send that one in to the ASHI Reporter.

Jan 22, 2012 01:43 PM #12
Rainmaker
684,559
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Gene, All plants grow...some a lot.

Reuben, Yeah, maybe I should.

Jan 22, 2012 11:35 PM #13
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James Quarello

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