Plants Growing against Your House.

The Danger of Creeper Plants Growing Against Your House

Creeper Plants

A while back, I inspected a house in an older part of Johannesburg. From the road, the house was very pretty with an ivy creeper growing on the house and boundary walls. However, having plants winding their way up your outside walls can cause actual damage to your house. Therefore, you should think twice before allowing creepers to grow on any wall in the first place.

In fact, the best advice is not to have any gardens within 1 metre of your home! Watering gardens against your home can cause uneven settlement of the foundation and cracks in your house.

The worst plants to plant against your house are destructive plants known as “self clingers”.

Self-clinging creepers

Self clinger creeper’s rootlets go into existing fine cracks and fissures, using them to enhance adhesion and occasionally penetrating the interiors of buildings through them. The mortar between bricks can be loosened through this activity and is often torn away from the wall when a creeper is removed. The same strong adhesion can result in chunks of plasterwork being pulled away, and attached to the creeper vines.

In addition, on roof structures, creeper tendrils and rootlets can work their way under roof tiles and other roofing materials. Unless you remove the creeper maintenance, like painting and roof repairs, is impossible.

Moreover, any plants and shrubs with their foliage against your home may even dislodge gutters and roof tiles and can hold damaging moisture against wall surfaces causing moisture to penetrate into the wall and roof structure of your home.

Some articles and posts claim not all climbing plants are bad for your house and some can provide “genuinely benefits”. However, the detrimental effect of having these climbers on your walls far outweighs any benefits they may have. Moreover, some climbing plants are very aggressive in the way they attach themselves to your walls and, if left unchecked, can cause serious structural problems.

Which creepers to avoid?

Ivy is a prime example. The sort of plants to avoid having grown up on your wall is often the ones that have “suckers” or little mini branches like spikes, that burrow under the paint into the plastered walls and into the mortar joints of the face brick walls for a foothold.

Continue reading “Plants Growing against Your House.”

Trees and Your Home

Tree Damage:

trees close to your home and clay soils can cause serious damage

Trees can cause major damage to your home, garden and boundary walls. This is especially true on the Witwatersrand where most areas and soils have some clay content. Without care and control, they may cost you a lot of money and no small amount of effort to fix.

Furthermore, shrubs should not be planted too close to the masonry walls either. The building regulations specify a minimum distance of 1,2 m for normal soils and 1,5 m if you have clayey soil.

Roots

Roots can also grow beneath your foundation and lift the house or they can leach water from the ground during dry spells and sink or settle the house unevenly.

They will cause the soil to dry out and, in the case of clay soils, to shrink.

Any subsequent watering or extended rain periods will cause the clay to swell. In this way, trees and large shrubs can cause movement on clay soils resulting in damage to your home and walls.

The amount of movement depends on the percentage of clay content, the depth and extent of the root system and the efficiency of the tree to extract moisture from the soil.

When underground sewer and water pipes develop small leaks, roots will quickly take advantage of those leaks. Before you realise it you have a blocked sewer line and pools of water and sewage in your yard.

What not to plant

All trees should be regarded as a potential source of damage. The following varieties are, however, particularly prone to causing damage:

Continue reading “Trees and Your Home”

What I Inspect

inspections of properties

I Inspect All Of The Following Components

inspections of properties
Some of the components inspected in your inspection report

My Comprehensive, Snag (New Home) and Maintenance Inspections include all of the above. Also included is the stand condition, property boundary and courtyard walls, swimming pools, garages, decks and so on. To clarify, an itemised list is provided below.

Your home inspection

Firstly, I am a trained and skilled InterNACHI Certified Home Inspector. Therefore, you will receive a thorough and professional, non-intrusive, visual home inspection and report of the property.

Moreover, I inspect the property you wish me to report on, inside and out, from the boundary walls to the top of the roof. Following that, I draw up a detailed comprehensive report of all the components inspected.

All my inspections are in full accordance with InterNACHI’s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.

My inspection process

Outside the home, I will inspect the property boundary walls, the garden, the building’s walls and roof, driveway, deck etc. Moreover, if you request it I will inspect your swimming pool. Then I will move inside to inspect the walls, ceilings, floors, doors, and windows. In addition, I also inspect the heating, air-conditioning, plumbing, and electrical systems to ensure that they work as intended. Likewise, bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms also receive a thorough check. Following on, I will check the roof (ceiling) space and basement, if any.

Following that, I will prepare a detailed home inspection report of all the items inspected, including photographs. Furthermore, the report will be clear and easy to read.

Moreover, as The Home Detective, I strive to ensure my home inspection services and reports are the best. I value customer service above everything else.

Items inspected:

  • Air Conditioning systems
  • Boundary walls
  • Ceilings
  • Cupboards and kitchen tops and units
  • Damp in walls, floors and ceilings
  • Decks (all types)
  • Electric fencing
  • Electrical boards & components (DB, plugs, light switches and lights)
  • External finishes (faced, plastered and timber and steel framed)
  • Fireplaces and braais
  • Floors finishes (tiling, carpets, timber, laminated etc.)
  • Foundation, floor, wall and roof structure
  • Garages, carports and external buildings
  • Garden sheds
  • Geyser installations 
  • Gutters & downspouts
  • Heating systems
  • Insulation
  • Interior finishes (faced, plastered and timber and steel framed)
  • Leaks and damp (rising, falling and penetrating damp)
  • Maintenance issues
  • Mould and mildew
  • Paving (driveways, courtyards, walkways)
  • Plumbing system & fixtures (baths, basins, showers, sinks, toilets etc)
  • Problem vegetation and foliage
  • Roof space (area above the ceiling)
  • Roof systems (tiled, sheeted, concrete and composite roofs)
  • Safety aspects
  • Steps and stairs
  • Stoves and hobs
  • Surface drainage
  • Swimming pools
  • Ventilation
  • Walkways and driveways
  • Waterproofing systems
  • Windows & doors
  • Wood destroying organisms and pests (termites, rodents etc.)
  • Yard and courtyard walls
  • and much more!

In addition, I invite you to come along and watch as I inspect your home. Furthermore, you are free to ask questions at any time during your home inspection

Finally, for more information on home inspections and your property, please browse the rest of my website.

Get a FREE Quote NOW!

 Inspected Once, Inspected Right!®

SEE WHERE I INSPECT IN GAUTENG!

THE HOME DETECTIVE » plastering

< MENU