Gardening Tips from a Home Inspector



Stunning Garden -Playing It Safe At Your Home

This time of year is a great time to be outside and see all the new growth and get some weekend projects done. When it comes to Spring Gardening try to keep these things in mind to help protect your family and your home. Sometimes what may look good may not be the best option. Below are 5 tips to help protect your home and keep your garden looking great. 

  1. Soil should slope away from house: Lot grading and drainage have a significant impact on the home structure, simply because of the direct and indirect damage that moisture can have on the foundation. It is very important that surface runoff water be adequately diverted away from the home. Lot grading should slope away and fall a minimum of one (1) inch every foot for a distance of six (6) feet around the perimeter of the building. Additionally, Siding should not be in contact with soil.  Recommend grading soil so there is at least 6″ of space (where practical) between the siding and the soil below and checking for any damaged trim and siding materials.
  2. Pests can enter: Prune or remove any plants/trees that are in contact or proximity to home to eliminate pathways of wood destroying insects. Not just wood destroying pests but ant, spiders, mice too.
  3. Safety: Holes/ Uneven landscape are a trip/fall hazard and should be back filled and properly compacted for even walking. Additionally, when placing stones or brick make sure the soil is well compacted and level for a smoother surface.
  4. Structure Damage: Climbing vines and flowers look pretty but can invade the structure causing structural issues. Tree limbs within 10 feet of roof should be trimmed away to provide air and sunlight to roof, while minimizing debris & dampness. This will also help reduce the frequency of having to clean out the gutters, which should be done on a regular basis. Maintenance Tip: When landscaping, keep plants, even at full growth, at least a foot (preferably 18 inches) from house siding and windows.  Keep trees away from foundation and roof.  Plants in contact or proximity to home can provide pathways for wood destroying insects, as well as abrade and damage siding, screens and roofs.
  5. Moisture intrusion: Moisture/ water can lead to major problems. Check the sprinkler heads/ valves and/or drip tubes often and repair right away. Sprinkler system needs to be adjusted so spray does not hit structures, sidewalks, fences. If you have planter beds against the foundation of the house make sure the excess water drains away from the house and not under the foundation.


We hope this helps you stay in contact with your clients and help educate them about their home as well. We plan on sending you something to share every month for free. Let us know if you have any ideas you would like us to prepare for the future. 


Trivia: Did you know that we have inspected over 7500 homes in Northern California and counting!!!


If you have questions or need further suggestions please give our office a call.

Mark Harman & Spencer Harman

Your California Property Inspectors


All Emails:

Central CA & Mail: Po Box 759 Hughson, CA 95326  Phone:209-324-3180

Bay Area: 4125 Hopyard Rd #225 Pleasanton, CA 94588   Phone: 925-699-2868