Trees and Their Link to Foundation Damage

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Having trees too near your home is bad for a number of reasons. First, they provide a bridge for certain animals to make their way onto your roof, attic, chimney, etc. Second, they shed leaves into your gutter. Third, they can help fires spread more quickly to your home. However, one problem that trees too near the home can cause that most people don’t realize is that their roots can damage a home’s foundation. This article explains how trees can negatively affect the foundation of your home. 

How Trees Can Hurt Your Home’s Foundation:

Trees have extensive root systems that spread out much farther than the above-ground branches do. Often, roots will eat into the concrete walls in their endless effort to expand themselves. When this goes unchecked, this growth can begin to negatively impact the structural integrity of your home and weaken the foundation over time. At its most serious, tree root expansion can even cause your home to shift on its foundation. Sometimes this shift is even visible to outsiders and to a home’s occupants. If you suspect that trees are damaging your home’s foundation, you should have this verified by our foundation repair and waterproofing experts.

Trees that are Bad for Your Home’s Foundation:

Certain fast-growing tree species with shallow root systems can invade foundations, causing cracking, settling and other costly problems. Below are few of those species.

  • Poplar
  • Ash
  • Norway Spruce
  • Silver Maple
  • Evergreen
  • Sycamore
  • Crimean Pine

Ways to Prevent Root Damage:

If you’re concerned about the potential for roots to damage your foundation, you can take a number of steps to protect yourself. Here are a few:

  • Build a root barrier: 

  • In order to do this, you may have to dig all the way down to the base of your home’s foundation. You will then need to cut away roots that are approaching your foundation while you’re putting in the barrier.
  • Plant trees that have slower growing root systems: 

  • Some tree species have relatively slow growing root systems. Opt for planting these around you as opposed to the ones listed earlier in this article. 
  • Plant trees farther away from your home: 

  • Trees do benefit homeowners in some ways. They can help with water drainage and soil stabilization not to mention the shade they provide. However, you may wish to put some distance between your home and the trees you plant. 

From time to time, you should conduct periodic inspections on the health of your home’s foundation. We can do this for you and waterproof your basement to further stop foundation damage. For basement foundation repair in Maryland contact us today. 

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