Do You Like Wasting Money and Having Bugs in Your House?

Overgrown House

Do you like bugs and expensive repairs? I’m sure there is one guy out there saying, “Yeah, I think they’re great,’ but that guy would disagree with anyone on anything, (he’s also the type who would complain about getting a pay raise because his taxes will be higher.) I’m just going to assume your answer is “No”. 

One super common issue at home inspections are problems caused by trees and vegetation too close to the house. Problems like:

1. Drainage Problems at the Foundation: If water pools up against the foundation it can work its way inside over time. Water intrusion is one of the biggest reasons for building damage, structural damage, termites, wood rot, and mold. Proper grading can help mitigate pooling water by having a minimum 6-inch slope away from the home over a 10-foot span. 

Cartoon Termite
Not an Actual Picture of a Termite

2. Shrubbery in Contact with Siding: An 18-inch clearance is recommended to prevent branches holding water against the siding as well as providing a pathway for insects. Termites think cellulose is delicious and once they finish with a plant they may look for the next tasty thing nearby…like your house. 

3. Trees too Close to Home: Ideally, trees should be a minimum of 10-feet from the foundation of the home. The roots of a tree can damage the foundation, plumbing, and driveways over time. Some species root systems are more aggressive than others but better safe than sorry. 

In the Youngstown, Ohio area we have many species of poplar trees that grow very fast. The fast growing nature means that the roots also spread fast up to two or three times the height of the tree. That means a 50ft tree could have root systems 100-150ft around its base. 

Roots can also cause cracking and displacement of driveways and walkways, reducing their life and creating potential trip hazards. I’ve seen streets in the area where the sidewalks look like somebody sledgehammered them and they’ve been that way for decades. 

4. Trees Under Power Lines or Eaves: Keep in mind that your local garden store may tell you a small tree will only grow to 8-feet and it can grow much taller. So look up when your planting and make sure there are no power lines or other potential issues in the future. Tree branches should be no less than 4-feet away from power lines to avoid potentially serious problems.   

Tree branches that grow and touch the eaves of a home will cause the same problems as vegetation by holding water against the home and providing a path for insects. 

5. Tree Branches Over Homes: In the Mahoning Valley, we have a lot of Beech trees. They can be massive and in some older neighborhoods, you’ll find their branches providing shade over peoples homes. The American Beech can be up to 80ft tall and provide a 70ft wide canopy. What makes them scary is that they often have hollow trunks and strong winds can cause their massive branches to come crashing down. 

This also means that very often smaller branches will land of your roof and yard and sometimes with a surprising amount of force. Other than having them trimmed or cut down, there’s not much you can do about it so just something to be aware of when looking for your new home. Oh and stay out of the yard in high winds or you may find yourself in the least fun game of “Whack-a-Mole” ever. 

It’s summer, so a good time to get out there and fix these potential problems before they happen.

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Monsters In the House?

The problem with being an adult is that you forget things you once knew as a child. As the so-called rational world molds your mind you begin to lose the ability to see things that you once could see, things like Monsters.

As an adult you are taught to dismiss the whispers coming from the walls, tapping on the headboard of your bed, and the thing moving in the closet at night but kids don’t have that luxury.

You too once knew the truth about those shadows that creep out of the closet when the lights go out or the clicking sound coming from under the bed. That weird room in the basement or place under the stairs that the adults ignore, you knew they were the places the monsters lived.

You knew the rules too:

  • Pulling the covers over your head provided some protection
  • Make sure your feet are never sticking out from under the blankets.
  • When walking up the stairs and you feel something behind you…run.
  • Turn the light on and off rapidly before sprinting to the bed to make sure nothing appears when the lights go out.
  • Have mom or dad inspect under the bed and in the closet.
  • Teddy Bears help fight off monsters.


Teddy Bear protecting child from monster


Look, let’s be honest…Ohio has its fair share of ghosts and monsters. Mahoning, Trumbull, and Columbiana counties have been occupied a long time and have an extensive history…not all of it pleasant. Before the settlers there were Indian tribes here and before that the Clovis people who we know almost nothing about. What spirits and beasts are trapped in the other realms and trying to get through to our world? We don’t know but kids do. They are still sensitive enough to see and feel them around.

So why is a Home Inspector telling you all this?

Kids know that there all kind of monsters to deal with:

  • Shadow people
  • Werewolves
  • Wraiths
  • Ghosts
  • The Skinny Man
  • Demons
  • Doppelgangers
  • And other unnamed horrors

So if you’re buying a home they are concerned about what else lives in that house…or under it. Are there any dark portals to the netherworld hidden in the attic or a closet? Is there an anchor of some kind hidden there that is keeping the ghosts from leaving or causing the poltergeists to rage?

These are important concerns but there is an answer: Hire a Home Inspector who is also a Certified Monster Hunter to make sure nothing else is in the house. You can assure your children that I am well versed with the realm of monsters. I even took a trip to Poenari Castle high in the mountains of Transylvania, one of the most haunted places in the world, just to expand my knowledge.

So if you’re buying a home, make sure you get an inspection from a Certified Professional Inspector who is also going to track down any monsters and present you with a certificate like the one below. 

So if you’re fleeing your old home because of a poltergeist or other monster be sure to not make the same mistake twice. Have a Certified Monster Inspection done before it’s too late.

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Have You Thought About Your House Numbers Lately? 

Bad House Numbers

If you’re like most of us, probably not.

If you’ve ever tried to go to an address that didn’t have the numbers displayed in a prominent way, you may know the frustration. Sometimes house numbers fall off or bushes grow up in front of them and it’s never really given much thought. Sometimes the numbers are really tiny and on a house that is offset from the road a good distance…You could use binoculars but people tend not to like strangers with binoculars creeping around their neighborhood…don’t be that guy.  Continue reading “Have You Thought About Your House Numbers Lately? “

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