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damage in a crawl space

As a homeowner, you’ve got a lot on your plate, trying to keep your home safe and dry. If you’re not careful, you may rapidly find the trees in your yard turning against you. If you have trees too close to the perimeter of your home, their root systems can grow to the point where they impact the structural integrity of your crawl space.

What can you do to keep your crawl space safe from invasive tree roots, and what can these roots do to your home?

Will Tree Roots Damage Your Crawl Space?

Whether you’re moving to a new home or building yours from the ground up, you’re taking several establishing factors into account. What you might not have noticed about your new property is the trees.

Trees and tree roots can have a significant impact on your home’s overall health. While the tree roots themselves won’t go after your foundation, those with more aggressive root systems can cause the soil around your home to shift. As the soil leaves gaps, your crawl space and foundation will start to settle.

If you don’t actively try to keep your home from settling, you may rapidly find yourself dealing with the side effects of hydrostatic pressure exposure. This could mean cracks in the walls of your crawl space, additional dampness, rising bills, and more.

Protecting Your Crawl Space

How do you go about protecting your crawl space from the impact of trees and tree roots? You have a number of options on the table. If you’re looking to keep tree roots from shifting the soil around your home, you’ll want to:

  • Pick and choose your trees – Some trees have more aggressive root systems than others. You’ll want to avoid planting these trees in your yard if you want your crawl space to remain structurally sound.
  • Move larger trees away from your home – If you have an invasive species of tree already in your yard, or you’re just concerned about a larger tree that’s too close to your home, never fear. You can talk to one of the professionals in your area about a transplant. Tree transplants are more humane than killing a tree outright. When you transplant a tree, you get to continue enjoying its beauty without putting the structural integrity of your home at risk.
  • Invest in crawl space inspections – When in doubt, invite a crawl space inspector out to look over the state of your crawl space. These inspectors can monitor the impact of tree roots on your crawl space and will let you know if a tree’s roots have gotten too close to your home.
  • Waterproof your crawl space – It’s never a bad idea to invest in crawl space waterproofing measures. If you’re looking to ward off tree roots, you’ll want to talk to a contractor about the combinations of solutions that will suit your home best.

What Trees Should You Avoid Planting Around Your Home?

As mentioned, you’ll want to landscape your lawn carefully if you want to avoid dealing with invasive root systems. The good news is that there are a number of trees known for their wide-spreading roots. As long as you know which species to avoid, you’ll be able to cultivate a beautiful and crawl space-friendly yard.

Which trees do you want to avoid? The ones with the most invasive root systems include:

  • American Elms
  • Willow Trees
  • Hybrid Poplars
  • Silver Maples

If you had your heart set on any of these species, never fear. You can still plant them in your yard or have them transplanted elsewhere. You’ll want them a minimum of 20 feet away from your home, if not more. Any closer, and you’ll rapidly start to experience root damage in your crawl space.

Don’t let tree roots disrupt the health of your home. You can always reach out to one of the professionals working in the Denver, CO, area. A professional crawl space repair contractor can inspect your crawl space for damage and let you know which areas may need to be fixed. They’ll also provide you with a free quote on any potential repair services you may need. With their help, you’ll be able to reclaim your crawl space from any roots that have caused your home to shift.