How Tree Roots Can Harm Your Foundation

How Tree Roots Can Harm Your Foundation

There are many different causes of foundation damage. They can range from improper drainage all the way down to low-quality soil around your home. Tree roots can also be a major cause of foundation trouble.

Trees may seem like a great addition to your landscaping. You are absolutely right on that. Trees can offer many benefits. They provide a nice shade during the hot summer months and they can also reduce the energy consumption of your house. They also are very nice to look at. Unfortunately, with all the good trees have to offer, they also have some bad.

Types of Trees that Cause Foundation Problems

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Not all trees pose a threat to your foundation. Pine trees have roots that extend straight down into the soil. Because of this, pine trees have almost no impact on your foundation.

Risky Roots

The most concerning trees are hardwoods such as oaks and elms. These types of trees have shallow roots which poses a problem to your foundation. They are very popular because they tend to grow quickly. The reason for this quick growth is because they drain a lot of water from the soil. This can cause the soil to shift around your foundation.

How to Protect Your Foundation from Roots

If you have hardwood trees around your house, that doesn’t mean you need to start panicking.  If the trees were already mature when your home was built, the chances are that they have had plenty of time to drain the soil and won’t be a risk to damaging your foundation. However, if these types of trees were planted after the construction of your home there is a chance they could cause damage.

There are some steps that you can take to protect your foundation.

Keep the leaf count down

The more leaves a tree has, the more water it needs. Lowering the amount of leaves will decrease the amount of water the tree needs. Trim up your trees and maintain them regularly.

Plant new trees far away

If you are planning on adding a new tree to your foundation be sure and keep them half of their anticipated height away from your home. While the depth and size of tree roots varies between species of tree and soil conditions, some have been shown to grow as wide as 40 times the diameter of their trunk. For a moderately sized tree with a trunk that measures 1 foot in diameter, that means the roots may spread as far as 40 feet away.  Keep that in mind when planning your landscape.

Inspect your roots with subterranean imaging

Using modern technology, it’s actually possible to map the roots of trees with subterranean imaging and determine whether or not roots are likely to damage your foundation. If you’re worried about it, contact a professional, and figure it out before it’s too late.

Remove roots and stumps before the damage

The key is prevention. If you suspect that roots are penetrating, affecting, or damaging your foundation, act quickly!

To remove a root from your foundation, do the following:

  • Start by digging into the ground down to the level of the roots near your home’s foundation.
  • Cut the roots where they enter the foundation, and pull any projections from the concrete.
  • Seal any cracks or openings in the foundation with a liquid concrete or acrylic barrier
  • Refill the hole with the dirt.

If you notice that your foundation is already damaged, make sure to call the professionals at Ram Jack for a top-level repair before it gets worse.

Don’t Hesitate to Repair Your Foundation

If you’re worried about foundation damage due to tree roots or any other cause, act quickly. The longer you wait, the more likely you will have to deal with costly damage and a more involved repair. Call Ram Jack Texas - Houston today! We’re happy to perform a free inspection and repair any damage before it gets worse. We have the best repair methods and offer our services at an affordable price.

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