A tree’s roots can grow to be as large as the canopy itself. If a tree is too close to your home, those roots can interact with your foundation in ways that may cause long-term damage. While roots won’t attack your foundation, they will cause the soil around your home to shift, leaving gaps behind that your foundation can gradually sink into.
You can take steps to detect foundation damage early and respond to it accordingly. You can even work with the professionals in your area to protect your home before tree roots and water damage start to put the structural integrity of your space at risk.
Signs of Foundation Damage to Look For
Before you can take action against the roots in your yard, you’ll need to determine whether or not you have an active leak on your hands. While you can take preventive measures against tree root-related damage, you’ll need to invest in any necessary home repairs before you do so.
Luckily, foundation damage tends to give itself away. You can conduct a home inspection with the help of one of the foundation, basement, and crawl space experts in your area. During this process, you’ll want to keep an eye out for:
- 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 symptoms can indicate damage to your basement and crawl space as well as your foundation. A professional can help you distinguish between the different types of damage you’re suffering and give you sound advice on how best to deal with it.
Removing A Tree’s Roots
More often than not, if the damage in your home can be traced to a tree’s roots, you’ll want to remove those roots from beneath your foundation. You can do so through a multitude of means, including:
- Physical root trimming – If the roots you’re dealing with haven’t made their way beneath your home yet, you can use tools including a shovel, pickaxe, and shears to dig down to them and physically remove them.
- Chemical root trimming – If you don’t want to invest time in digging out your roots, you can instead dilute a commercial chemical root killer and apply it to the roots that are causing your problems.
- Tree removal – If the damage to your foundation is substantial and you can’t access the roots responsible, you may have to commit to removing the tree that’s causing you problems from your property.
Preventing Foundation Root Damage
If you’re looking for ways to get ahead of potential foundation damage, you can:
- Choose your trees wisely – There are some types of trees that grow at a more rapid pace than others. You’ll want to work with the professionals at your local nursery to try and keep these trees out of your yard while you’re planning your landscaping. You should also try and keep trees of all growth rates and sizes at least 20 feet away from the perimeter of your home. This way, there’ll be less of a chance of those pesky roots growing into or towards your foundation.
- Install root barriers around your home – Root barriers can redirect roots away from your home through physical or chemical means. With these barriers in place, you can plant your trees where you please or respond to the growth of trees already in your yard. These barriers are the simplest to install when you’re building a new home, but you can also work with an area expert to excavate an existing foundation for installation.
- Waterproof your foundation – When tree roots start to impact the structural integrity of your foundation, they can allow rain runoff and groundwater into your home. When you waterproof your home before this damage sets in, you can save yourself time, stress, and money in the long run. Some of these solutions can also prevent roots from causing damage to an unharmed foundation too.
You don’t have to try and deal with the roots in your yard on your own. Instead, you can reach out to a professional foundation, basement, and crawl space repair professional in the Cleveland, OH, area for guidance. After a comprehensive home inspection from Ohio Basement Systems, you can look over a free quote detailing the repairs or waterproofing measures your home will benefit from most.