Microclimate and Your Home

Have you wondered why one section of the gutters is filled with more debris than any other? Noticed that the tomato plants never do as well as your neighbour’s, even though both vegetable patches are in the southwest corner of your backyards? Or one area of the roof is covered in moss but it doesn’t grow anywhere else? If you answered yes to any of the above, then you’re probably experiencing the effects of microclimate.

Microclimate is a climate condition created by factors unique to your home and backyard. Simply put, if it rains and everyone’s garden on your street gets wet, that’s climate. However, if rainwater doesn’t fall directly on the east end of your yard due to a stand of trees forming a canopy, that’s microclimate. Understanding microclimate can help you better maintain your home exterior and get the most out of your backyard.

The following scenarios are some common ways in which microclimate can impact your home exterior.

  1. Gutters fill-up with debris faster than anyone else’s because you have more trees on your property.
  2. Gutter system on the left side of your house gets more clogs because the neighbour’s trees are shedding onto your roof.
  3. Northwest corner of the roof experiences moss growth since moss favours shade.
  4. One section of siding is blistered due to too much direct sunlight.

While you can’t re-angle the house so moss won’t grow in that particular spot, knowing the effects of microclimate can help you create a more effective roof cleaning/maintenance plan. Or inspire you to invest in a leaf protection system.

To make microclimate work for rather than against you in your backyard, reassess your property and make changes to your landscaping accordingly. Maybe the tomatoes don’t do as well in your yard because the garage roof casts a shadow. You have two downspouts, but one constantly has pooled water beneath: upon further examination, there’s non-porous material in the soil. Even the slightest dips and slope variations can encourage cooler air to collect, affecting plant growth from one area of your garden to another. Moving a shrub to another place in the backyard can help it flourish or rerouting water from a downspout will prevent water from pooling.