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Encompass® Insurance Insights & Articles

Protecting Your Trees and Property

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As the warmer weather returns, many of us head back outside to enjoy the sun! We sit in our yards, and enjoy the gardens that are almost in full bloom. What we may overlook; however, are the trees that provide great shade throughout the summer. Have you thought about the potential damage your trees could cause to your home (most of which happens underground)? Here are some helpful things to keep in mind as you head back outside this spring:

Beneath the Surface: Tree Roots

Tree roots help provide the trees on your property with the nutrients they need to survive, but they can also cause some problems to your home.

Did you know that the sewer lines beneath your home may serve as a water source for the plants on your property? As such, your trees may actually begin to grow in the direction of the lines. Should there be a crack in your sewer lines, tree’s roots may grow into the pipe, causing blockage and increasing the crack.

To help prevent this from happening, make sure you know where the sewer lines on your property are located. Not sure where they are? Contact your local Public Works department. Make sure to make conscious planting decisions and ensure that your shrubbery is far enough away from the lines. If you have frequent clogs in your drains, this may be a sign that your roots have met your pipes and you should contact a professional to help.

Walking Paths and Your Plants

Depending on the kind of trees you have in your yard, they may have sophisticated root systems that can cross into areas other plants are living, and cause them to die. A similar thing can happen if these trees are too close to your home. If planted too close to walkways, roots may bulge and damage your walking paths. If you begin to notice cracks in the walls or windows of your home, this could be a sign that the roots are putting pressure on your homes foundation.

Your Possessions and Trees

If a tree or branch falls, who’s at fault? In most cases, the property owner of which the tree was growing is responsible for any damage from a falling tree or branch; however, the specifics of your coverage depends on your homeowner’s policy. Contact a professional to keep your trees trimmed and make sure you have records of when they came out in case the tree or a branch fall.

The leaves of a tree are always so beautiful when they change colors with the seasons, but never fun to clean up when they fall off. Make sure you are routinely cleaning your gutters of fallen leaves to help prevent things such as water damage, mold or odors from occurring. Wet leaves are also hazardous as they are very slippery when wet. Make sure that when they start to fall you are keeping up!

Did you know that the sap from a tree can lead to paint damage on your vehicle? When exposed to the sun, sap on your car can bake into the paint leading to clear coat and paint damage. Like your car, if sap is on your deck or outdoor furniture it can leave quite a sticky mess which is hard to clean up. If you are planning on planting new trees in the near future, it may be beneficial to select those that produce the least amount of sap.

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