Japanese knotweed spreads like wildfire and in its wake leaves behind devastating damage to the environment, biodiversity, gardens, human activities, buildings and property.
Asking yourself ‘ should I buy a house with Japanese knotweed?’, can turn out to be a costly mistake if you are not prepared.
The damage can be unprecedented based on the scope of the infestation in an area, however; one thing for sure is that the mere presence of these weeds in an area should be a cause of concern lest it causes havoc.
Amusingly, Japanese knotweed does not have a forgiving heart even when it comes to peoples’ houses and places of residence.
Hence, the question of whether you should buy a house with Japanese knotweed becomes vital based on the devastating effects that the weed can cause on your house.
To better answer the foregoing question, it is important to first acquaint yourself with the damage the weed plant can cause to houses, as discussed in the next segment:
Bearing in mind that Japanese knotweed does not discriminate on its preferred location of growth, this poses a greater problem to homeowners of the possibility to deal with the weed plant once it starts creeping through the tiny cracks and occupying the inside of the house.
The weed plant can ascent up the house walls, making the interior unpleasant and uninhabitable if not dealt with urgently. Basically, this weed plant can go to the extent of scrubbing off the paint on your walls, creeping under your household’s items and making life a living hell.
The weed can grow in between the spaces, forming paves and driveways. Although the damage may not at first be extensive if left unattended, this may lead to the expansion of the joints of the concrete and eventually result in serious damage.
In extreme cases, the weed can completely block such facilities’ usage. There are various causes of the Japanese knotweed lifting asphalt; thus, we cannot undermine its damage.
It is a common practice to find homeowners erecting fences around their property. Such fences/boundaries most times are made of wooden or plant material that is meant to act as beautification hence may not be very strong to withstand heavy force because this is exactly what the weed plant brings when it comes into contact with such fences.
Considering that the Japanese knotweed, once fully grown especially from the ground up, can become very heavy, it can easily overwhelm lightweight garden walls and fences, especially where the foundations are not so strong or poorly constructed.
- Underground structures
Most buildings have underground water drainage pipes, electrical underground cabling, and water or gas supply pipes amongst others. All these underground structures face the danger of being attacked by the Japanese knotweed.
You may wonder why but the reason is quite simple; Japanese knotweed, just like any other plant, requires moisture and sunlight for survival. This natural element makes the weed more treacherous in its quest to seek moisture.
When it grows beneath the building where these underground structures are located, it is easier to find that the roots and stems of this weed plant have occupied the spaces in between the pipes leading to clogging or even their complete blockage.
In other instances, as the weed plant coils itself around these underground structures, this can easily lead to their damage.
- Building structures
Japanese knotweed has a tendency to creep through the walls of buildings mainly in search of sufficient sunlight as this is one of the components that it requires to constantly grow.
This genetic behaviour makes the weed plant extremely harmful because it will exploit the tiny cracks, especially those that are near the joints of doors and windows and forcefully penetrate through.
Although, as a homeowner, you may deem this to be less harmful, in essence, you should be worried because as the weed plant forcefully makes its way in and around the cracks, the structure will eventually weaken and if no repairs are done, this may lead to the collapse of the structure in the long-run.
Taking into account that Japanese knotweed can grow to lengths of 12 feet, this means that it can become a menace if allowed to continue growing on your property. More so, if the weed attacks your garden, the dense nature of its growth can impede the growth of any underground vegetation.
Furthermore, the playing space will be limited as time goes by and you will no longer be able to enjoy a beautiful environment.
As to whether you should buy a house with Japanese knotweed…
Based on the above-mentioned damage that Japanese knotweed can do to your house, the question as to whether you should buy a house with Japanese knotweed is negative.
As a matter of fact, it should be a big no. Recent studies show that the presence of Japanese knotweed in an area causes the value of the property in that area to depreciate depreciates based on the invasive nature of the weed and the unprecedented damage that is likely to result.
Additionally, very few people will invest in a property that does not guarantee good serenity, peace, and quiet free of an invasive weed such as the Japanese knotweed.
Taking into account that Japanese knotweed is dangerous to the environment and buildings; this aspect greatly contributes to the depreciation of property investments around an area affected by the weed.
Additionally, there are many emerging cases of mortgage lenders being overly reluctant to offer financial support to purchasers intending to buy such properties under the Japanese knotweed attack.
The invasive nature of the Japanese knotweed makes it lethal once it is allowed to overstay in any location.
Before you buy a house with Japanese knotweed, it will be wise if you first worked out a plan on how to get rid of the weed plant with the seller of such a house before ownership is transferred to you.
This is an important obligation because once you settle in the house, it will be your sole responsibility to ensure that the weed plant does not spread and cause havoc that may render the property worthless.
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Knotweed Removal, UK
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- Degraded in the soil by micro organisms
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