roots breaking up concrete driveway

Key Takeaways

A refuge of lush trees in your yard is one of the few things that improves curb appeal. Despite being lovely, trees can harm your foundation if their roots are close to your house. But don’t fear, with the right information, you may be prepared to identify and take care of any root-related concerns before they worsen. Continue reading to learn more about tree roots and what you can do to prevent them from harming the foundation of your home.

How Do Tree Roots Damage Property?

overgrown tree roots damaging property

Tree roots deserve praise since they are constantly searching for water and opportunities for expansion. Normally, roots spread out horizontally, just a few inches below the soil’s surface. Roots begin to descend as they come into contact with foundations, pipes, sidewalks, curbs, and other solid surfaces. However, tree roots will encroach on those voids in quest of water and nutrition if there is a gap nearby (think faulty plumbing lines). Additionally, they have the potential to move the dirt close by, which would put a lot of strain on the foundation of your house.

What Sort of Damage to Structure Can Tree Roots Do?

The water absorption by tree roots causes structural issues. If roots are always searching for moisture and nourishment, they might grow ruthless, even if they are the smallest. Here are some examples of the precise structural harm that tree roots may cause:

Soil Movement

Because the stability of the foundation depends on the surrounding soil, as roots spread out or the soil’s moisture content drops, the foundation begins to settle and becomes unstable.

Weather Variations

The foundational damage may also be influenced by the weather. If clay soil dries out during droughts, roots may contract, and during times of intense rain, they may expand by soaking up water. Due to the gaps they cause below the surface, these variations might harm the structure of the land.

Cement Buckling

Support beams, walls, and ceilings all become uneven when the soil moves. Even though concrete settling isn’t necessarily dangerous, it can nonetheless harm an older house’s basic structural integrity.

Pipe Breakage

If there are any leaks, roots may target your home’s sewer connection in their quest for water. In order to gain access to the flow of water and nutrients, roots may penetrate your plumbing if they discover hair-thin fractures in the plumbing line.

Tree Root Damage to Your Foundation: Warning Signs

There are a few obvious indicators that your foundation is in danger from tree roots. Observe the following things:

Damage to the Foundation Near a Tree

Your foundation floor and walls will be covered in cracks, especially on the side that gets the most sunlight.

According to Tschudi, the improper tree can damage foundations, patios, and even asphalt surface. Find out how each tree and shrub on your property affects the nearby environment and buildings by identifying them.

As a result of the tree sucking moisture from the earth, which creates room for the foundation to shift or collapse, you can also notice that your house leans towards a tree.

Concrete Surface with Buckling

The roots will find their way to allow sections of the pavement to stick up and buckle when concrete pavers or sidewalks crack, which could result in a tripping hazard.

Plumbing Problems

You can notice fluctuations in water pressure or clogged drains that are resistant to the use of a plunger, drain cleaner, or other methods of cleaning.

How to Prevent Tree Damage to Foundation

There are a few things you can do to stop tree roots from destroying your foundation if you want to maintain the advantages of trees without sacrificing the basis of your home.

Place Trees Safe Distances Apart

As a general guideline, stay away from planting any trees less than 10 feet from a home’s foundation. If you really must plant invasive trees, keep them at least 25 to 50 feet away from your foundation.

Put up a foundation wall

Install foundation barriers that can direct roots farther into the earth and away from foundations, paving, and plumbing before you plant trees. They typically comprise of layers of plastic that overlap, helping to direct roots away from the foundation.

Select the Best Trees for Planting

You should choose slowly growing trees without invasive root systems to place near your house.

Silver maples, willows, and elms should not be planted unless you have a sizable yard. Choose manageable-sized trees like olive trees, English holly, or Australian willow that will provide shade without weakening your foundation.

Maintain an Equal Moisture Content

There is little possibility that nearby trees will cause issues if you properly water them.

While it’s crucial for water to drain away from your foundation, it’s just as crucial to keep the soil moist to continually fend off soil shrinkage. Using a drip hose to regularly water trees within 20 to 30 feet of your home can provide moisture gradually and guarantee even hydration.

Repairing Root Damage

Fortunately, if tree roots have damaged your home’s foundation, there are solutions to fix it. What you should do is:

Root and tree pruning

In many circumstances, if your tree grows onto your foundation or sewer system, you don’t have to cut it down. Call a tree-trimming specialist instead to check the affected area of the tree and possibly remove it.

Hire a Professional to Fix Your Foundation

Let’s say you’ve seen damage or fractures in your foundation or are concerned about tree roots growing near your house. In that situation, you might want to hire a professional foundation repair company to inspect your home’s foundation and look for any potential damage.

Fix Plumbing Leaks

Tree roots may receive moisture from the soil as a result of a plumbing drain leak. Drains with weak joints or seals are vulnerable to invasion by roots.

Call a plumber to fix the pipe and install root barriers if a tree root has already damaged your plumbing system. This will stop further damage.

Get rid of the problematic tree

Looking for tree services in the LA area? We provide comprehensive tree care services in the following areas:

Even if it’s sometimes the best option, it can be difficult to part with a lovely tree. The last line of defense to safeguard your foundation would be to cut down the tree and its root system.

For this task, it is preferable to contact a local tree removal specialist because tree removal can be risky and may result in property damage.

Check out our other blog posts for more useful tree care tips and information.