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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,517

    Default Problem Shrubbery

    Do you ever comment about overgrown shrubbery being too close to the foundation beam walls in that it can lead to foundation issues.

    Here in the N. Texas area, we have a shrub called a red-tipped photinia which must have been .25 cent a piece when they first hit the landscape market here. Everyone planted these types of shrubs because they were supposedly fast growing and provided a barrier between your home and that pesky neighbor.

    The only thing persons did not realize was this thing is like some alien mutant plant which takes over everything. The root system on this beast will drain the needed soil moisture away from the foundation beam wall and the roots will move in under the foundation beam wall and in my opinion is a factor in why foundation failure is so common in this area.

    Sure we have expansive soils, but when you have this type of shrubs planted so close to the foundation, it has to be of concern.

    I have been recommended their removal as I have heard several SE's doing the same. I'm curious if any of the inspectors here in the Texas area make reference to them in your reports.

    Below is an example.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    4,112

    Default Re: Problem Shrubbery

    Rick, I do comment on any plant which is close to the foundation that will grow large enough to contact the house above ground when not trimmed (i.e. mature size). Even if the limbs are pruned, the roots can still damage the foundation. The red tip photinia is a prime example but not the only one that can give problems. The red tip photinia is the only one that I typically recommend total removal if anywhere near the house, though. It is on my least favorite plants list. I have seen these get 30 feet across and 30 feet tall and people plant them right against the house, then wonder why the walls are cracking. I think there was a law you had to plant these things along every road in Plano back when it was being built!
    Or maybe it was just the law of supply and demand; it was cheap, grew fast, so every builder used it.
    Jim

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,517

    Default Re: Problem Shrubbery

    Jim,

    I have seen some homes in Plano completely covered over with them. I mean you can't even see the roof or the house from the street.

    The only reason I mention this thread is that a home I inspected over in Richardson a few days ago had to have foundation repairs and while I was out there, the foundation crew had opened up the foundation under a interior beam wall to add a pier. They had a chain saw cutting out the roots from a photinia. This was 20 plus feet to the middle of the house. Amazing.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,822

    Default Re: Problem Shrubbery

    Basically you want to be able to walk between any plantings and the home to be able to inspect properly for Termites and Ants and the occasional broker hiding in the bushes. So yes, I do comment on it and find that 80 percent of the homes I inspect have issues in this area.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,304

    Default Re: Problem Shrubbery

    Looks like that is just a screen enclosure around a pool.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
    Posts
    341

    Default Re: Problem Shrubbery

    I just called this one out last weekend.

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ft. Lauderdale Fl
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Problem Shrubbery

    I do, and I remember one time when I told the Realtor about the plants being to close to the house; she said home inspectors are not allowed to comment on landscaping. I said who told you that, she said her husband was a home inspector and could not comment on landscaping.
    I told her I could and I will. She said you will never get a referral from my office again. I said OK.

    Captain


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Problem Shrubbery

    The builers just love to make the house look pretty with a bunch of little trees and bushes right next to the house.... fast forward 20 years and they're ugly big bushes and trees... I'm surprised there aren't more problems due to this... the roots are one thing... watering plants next to the house is a whole other story... I just love it when somebody plants their entire garden along the house and runs the sprinkler around the clock.


  9. #9
    imported_John Smith's Avatar
    imported_John Smith Guest

    Default Re: Problem Shrubbery

    Rick, I always report it on the last page of my report. I document large trees, long grass, weather conditions (outside air temp and relative humidity) as well as if it was sunny, cloudy, windy, etc. If the owner had large dogs in the yard, etc.
    overly wet yards.

    All of these have the potential to impact the inspection effectiveness.

    Around Houston everyone seem to buy crepe myrtls instead of the red tip photina. The crepe myrtls are a real pain in the butt too.

    How about the houses with ivy growing up the side. Looks good to some people but man they can do some damage.


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