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Steps You Need to Take to Prevent Cottonwood Damage to Your Home

Snow in June?

Even for Minnesota, that would be a bit of a surprise. Certain backyards in town look like they are covered in white, fluffy cotton right now.  But, what you’re really seeing on the ground is actually the fruiting capsules from a cottonwood tree, one of the most common types of trees in the Midwest area.  According to the Colorado State Forest Service, “…cottonwoods can grow to more than 80 feet in height, flourishing in wetter soils near rivers, lakes, irrigation ditches and other lowland areas.” That makes Minnesota an absolutely perfect location for this type of tree to flourish. And although the trees are beautiful, they can also lead to some extra (sometimes unplanned) home maintenance.

Cottonwood fruiting capsules typically shed off the tree in late-spring to early-summer. And while they can make for a pretty view, they can also be a disturbance to your home. The seeds often land right into exterior maintenance channels, including roof vents and A/C units. Once inside the vents, they can work their way into the furnace, range, and rest of the air duct system. This can be particularly bad for people who suffer from seasonal allergies.

What to check for:

When our Kura Home technicians are working through a routine maintenance plan, they have a checklist of outdoor structures to check. If you’re looking to get an idea of what may need a check-up in your own home, skim the list below for what you may find outside.

Looking at the coils on your A/C unit.

Cottonwood capsules and other natural debris can also get sucked onto the outdoor coils, which slow down the system. It is important to check these areas as summer ramps up and your A/C unit becomes a valuable, daily used appliance. Having a clean AC unit reduces your utility bill and can prolong the life of your AC.

Go outside and look up at your gutters.

This is a popular location for birds to take up residence. Even though we don’t clean gutters, we frequently see leaves, debris, and cottonwood clogging gutters. Keeping your gutters cleaned and downspouts attached gets water away from your home’s foundation, which is a key step to prevent water intrusion.

Consider looking at your soffit vents.

These vents allow air to flow in and out of your attic which is crucial; attics without proper airflow can have moisture issues from humidity. This can eventually lead to water dripping into your home from the attic.

Look for outdoor vents where cottonwood seeds would be to clog combustion air intakes and air exchangers.

Both items allow fresh air to come into your home. The air exchanger will have to work significantly harder if the exterior vent is clogged with debris.

If you find yourself looking for help cleaning out any of the above areas, we’d love the opportunity to show you the Kura Home difference. Call us today at 612.503.4050 to get the seasonal debris out of your home!

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