Trees make excellent additions to your yard and landscaping. If you’re not careful with the types of trees you plant, however, you may find that some of their root systems disrupt the structural integrity of your foundation.
You can take steps, with the help of a foundation, crawl space, and basement repair experts to repair any damage done to your home by a tree’s errant roots or to prevent damage from occurring in the first place.
The Impact of Roots on Your Foundation
Tree roots never attack your home like Audrey II. Instead, they force the soil around your home to shift.
As that soil changes location, it can leave behind gaps that your foundation can sink into. This can cause general structural instability as well as floor upheaval and foundation cracks.
Signs of Foundation Damage to Look For
You don’t want to start removing trees or roots near your home until you’re certain you can trace your internal problems to said roots. As such, either you or a professional will need to inspect your home to determine what kind of problem you may have on your hands.
Signs of foundation damage you’ll want to keep an eye out for include:
- A slanting or otherwise uneven foundation
- Foundation damage on the same side of your house as the tree
- Standing water in your home after a storm
- Excessive moisture in your basement
- Unusual amounts of settling
- An uneven basement floor
- Sticking door frames
Note that all of these signs can also indicate basement or crawl space damage if you have either on your property. It’s best to work with an expert to determine where your damage is and how best you can react to it.
Removing A Tree’s Roots
If you can’t keep a tree’s roots from growing toward your foundation, you will have to commit to removing them. This way, they can stop shifting the soil around your home, and you can better protect the stability of your foundation.
The best ways to remove a tree’s roots when they’ve grown too close to your foundation include:
- Physical root trimming – If you have the proper tools on hand, you can attempt to remove tree roots on your own time. This is best done with a shovel, a pickaxe, and a pair of shears if you have them available. You’ll need to dig along the tracks you believe your roots follow, then cut the roots apart with whichever tools can break through them most effectively.
- Chemical root trimming – Alternatively, you can use chemical root killers to remove roots from your property. You’ll need to dilute these killers if you want to keep the whole of your tree alive. After combining a root killer with water, you can apply it directly to the places you believe the roots to be or to those roots already visible and let it go to work.
- Tree removal – Sometimes, a tree’s roots can be so pervasive throughout your yard that you have no choice but to remove it from your property entirely. You can work with local tree removal specialists to safely fell a tree and then remove the stump and any roots near your foundation.
Preventing Foundation Root Damage
All that said, you don’t have to wait for a tree’s roots to get too close to your foundation. You can take preventative measures to ward these roots away, including:
- Choosing your trees wisely – Some trees grow faster and with broader root structures than others. You’ll want to speak with representatives at your local nursery to determine which trees these may be and what other trees you can plant to avoid that kind of unwanted growth. It’s also a good idea to keep all trees at least 20 feet away from the perimeter of your home.
- Installing root barriers around your home – Commercial root barriers can use chemical and physical means to discourage roots from growing in the direction of your home. These barriers, in turn, can help keep the soil beneath your foundation sturdy.
- Waterproofing your foundation – It’s never a bad idea to invest in home waterproofing measures, even if you don’t think you need them. These measures can protect your home from substantial damage, should the trees around your property begin to grow toward your foundation.
Need help repairing your foundation or protecting it from damage? You can reach out to a foundation, crawl space, and basement repair expert in Columbus, OH, for assistance. The professionals at Ohio Basement Authority can provide you with a home inspection and a free quote on the services you need to restore your home’s value.