shade causing wood rot?

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I have a neighbor that is insisting the shade from one of my trees is causing the wood to rot on his older windows (these appear to be original from the 50's). He claims that side of his house never gets direct sun because my tree (over 30 feet away) blocks it, so after it rains the sills don't dry. In the two years I've been there he has filled in the damage with putty and repainted each spring, an improper patch in my mind. Can lack of direct sun really cause this much damage? The area isn't in complete shade all day, it just doesn't get hit directly.
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Tell the guy to see the chaplain as he seems to have a personal problem. Or, if you want, sell him your house so he can cut your tree down if he wants. Does he want you to pay his bills if he comes up a little short some month? What a baby!
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I really don't know what he is getting at with the complaints. Not sure if he's trying to say we'll have to fix it or what. He has had it looked at and was told his "patches" were only that, temporary patches, and that the windows would need to be replaced. Before he starts blaming my tree I just wanted to make sure this was not common.
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When I bought this house, the inspectors poked a very skinny awl under the edge of the siding which covers my sills, and found that two were rotted. They're both in shade. They showed me how to remove the siding, told me to chisel out the old wood and replace with treated wood. I cannot find the words to tell you how traumatized I was after calculating the immense cost involved. Something like $8.00, perhaps as much as $14.73.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

Lack of sun can certainly increase maintenance requirements, but if his sills are rotting, IMHO it's because of lack of maintenance appropriate to their shady location. Sealing them up after they're rotten can slow further damage, but isn't a substitute for having kept them properly painted all along.
--
snipped-for-privacy@phred.org is Joshua Putnam
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grodenhiATgmailDOTcom wrote:

Less or no sun can cause some problems, but then sun itself also can cause problems. While I would guess it is possible, I have never seen a situation that I would say that a tree 30 feet away was even equal to the lack of proper maintenance as being the cause.
Now that that is settled, you still have to deal with the neighbor. In most areas your tree is yours and your neighbor's only control over that tree is his legal right to trim any part of the tree that hangs over into his property. Check your local legal professionals before assuming that applies to your situation.
You also need to consider your relationship with the neighbor. That only you can judge.
What is the neighbor suggesting you do? If he wants the tree removed, then ask yourself it you want it removed and if not what might entice you to change you mind (what is it worth to you) In either case I would suggest that your neighbor should foot the bill.
--
Joseph Meehan

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And he should consider how much shade the tree produces near his own house. I've seen all kinds of estimates as to what trees are worth in terms of air conditioning BTUs. The numbers don't matter. I know just by being observant that the benefit is amazing.
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Lack of maintenace causes wood rot, letting wood go bare or bad caulk alowing it to stay wet. Its not your fault nor your trees fault. Im sure the windows are old and for a period were neglected, but his years of neglect caused it. Houses are built in shade, people dont cut their trees for that reason. He is a Blamer, he Blames everyone but himself, but he is to blame for letting the paint and caulk go bad and rot his windows not your tree or you. Remember Rot takes years to ruin wood. Dont let the blamer ruin your day or tree.
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m Ransley wrote:

Great advice! Negative people can really eat away at others, and when they cannot they get more frustrated. Seem to want others to share their misery :o)
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m Ransley wrote:

Good advise but I've seen wood rot in months, not years. Regardless of time, the rot is not the OP's problem and he has no responsibility for it.
--

dadiOH
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He hasn't outright demanded that I fix his windows or cut down the tree, just HEAVILY hinted at it. He has stated on numerous occations that he hates that tree and would be happy to see it go because it causes his windows to rot and the seed pods (Maple tree) get in his gutters. The tree is not hanging over any part of his property. Each time I see him he seems more and more agitated by the tree. and I think he's getting close to trying some kind of action. I'm not that worried about keeping him happy (he's not the one paying my mortgage), but I also don't feel like getting into any kind of pissing match with him either. I just state that we like the tree and will do our part to minimize his nuisance to him (ie we stay on top of cleaning leaves and seeds).
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My neighbor's maple tree is 300 feet away, and the seeds still make their way into my gutters when the wind's right. Oh well.
Does the tree actually hang over the property line at all? If so, and you think he's going to make a move, like have it trimmed, be damned sure he intends to use a professional tree service, and that you have a say in choosing it.
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If you want to try and be a good neighbor you might share a few tips for the proper repair of his sills. Other than that I would not be too concerned about it.
If he will scrape them to the bare wood, petrify any soft spots with an epoxy system and then fill voids with bondo he should then be ready to paint with an oil based primer. Thereafter he may topcoat with whatever he likes.
Halfway patches with improper materials and latex primers or no primers will result in an annual failure.
Colbyt
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I'm not sure how he fills in the rot, he states, "just last spring I had to fill in the wood and repair it, now it's rotted out again, the tree blocks too much sun and never allows the sills to dry". I've kept an eye on that side of his house for a day, it is in no means shady all day, it just doesn't get hit directly. I try to stay as uninvolved as possible in his repair work. He complains about everyone on the block, like those with woodstoves that make smoke that inevitably drifts to his yard (seriously, he complained that smoke drifts through his yard).
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Ya know....there are plenty of boats with wood trim, and owners somehow manage to find a way to keep them from rotting for many years. Too bad it's a closely held secret.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

In the hundred-plus years my house has been standing in the damp climate of Puget Sound, the sun has never once shone directly on the north side of the house. Simply doesn't happen this far north. Yet the original fir window sills, shaded for a century, hadn't rotted out when we replaced them. It's a question of maintenance, not shade.
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snipped-for-privacy@phred.org is Joshua Putnam
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Joshua Putnam wrote:

The repsonses you have gotten are right on target........it's maint & repair issue
Actually if repair is done correctly the shade will help the paint last longer.
I did epoxy repair to r/w sills about 20 years ago. The south & east sills need to be revisited, the north sills look as good as the day they were done!
cheers Bob
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Filling in wood to fix rot is temporary, Bondo is the only thing that has a chance. I think you should plant alot more trees.
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I should have said IF instead of if.
Sounds like a lost cause to me. As Mark Twain said, "Most people are about as happy as they want to be."
Sounds like this person likes not being happy.
Colbyt
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grodenhiATgmailDOTcom wrote:

It sounds like you have a good plan, at least until he starts mumbling around and takes to wearing camouflage gear. :-)
--
Joseph Meehan

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