Denver, CO, is renowned for its natural beauty. Whether you’re building a home in the area or moving onto built land, you’re going to want to do what you can to help the area retain its appeal.
Unfortunately, there are times when a tree’s root systems can compromise the structural integrity of your home. The roots themselves won’t go after your foundation physically but will instead cause the soil beneath your home to shift. Your foundation, in turn, will settle into the open pockets the roots leave behind.
Luckily, there are several ways for you to identify root damage and deal with it without losing the beauty your yard’s trees have to offer.
Foundation Damage: What to Look For
Distinguishing between root-caused foundation damage and foundation damaged caused by hydrostatic pressure isn’t always easy. If you’re not sure what’s caused a crack or leak in your home, you’ll want to reach out to one of the contractors in your area for guidance. These professionals can inspect your home and offer you a free quote on any services they deem necessary.
That said, you don’t have to wait for a professional to determine whether or not something’s wrong with your home. There are some combinations of leak symptoms that give away root damage. These 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
The Ins and Outs of Root Removal
It’s often easiest, when dealing with root damage, to try and find a way to remove the offending roots from their place near your home. There are ways you can do so including:
- Chemical root trimming – Many herbicides are strong enough to kill off the roots that may have grown too close to your home. You can apply these herbicides to your soil or dig down and find the roots themselves. It’s worth it to dilute your herbicide. When you do, you can kill off a concentrated patch of roots instead of accidentally taking out an entire tree.
- Physical root trimming – Alternatively, you can physically remove the roots that may be plaguing your home. It’s best to do this with professional help so you don’t accidentally damage your foundation. However, you can readily take a shovel and a pickaxe to the root systems near your home and remove them, if you so desire.
- Tree removal – In some cases, a tree’s root system may be too vast to spot-check. In these cases, you’ll want to talk to your local landscaping experts about a tree transplant. When you transplant a tree from one part of your yard to another, you allow that tree to continue flourishing, even as the old root system dies off.
How to Prevent Root-Based Foundation Damage
You don’t have to wait for tree roots to challenge your home’s structural integrity. Instead, you can take preventative steps before signs of damage even appear. Some of the best ways to keep tree roots from damaging your home include:
- Landscaping with care – When you’re first deciding how you want to landscape your yard, take care to plant your larger trees and hedges at least 20 feet away from your perimeter. This way, the tree roots will have the adequate room they need to grow without disturbing your foundation. Similarly, you’ll want to make a point of avoiding trees with notably invasive root systems. These include American elms, willow trees, hybrid poplars, and silver maples.
- Investing in waterproofing measures – Consider meeting with one of the foundation and basement repair professionals working in your area to discuss the waterproofing options that may best suit your home. When you waterproof your home before tree roots start to grow toward your home, you’ll have everything you need in place to keep water damage at bay.
- Installing root barriers around your foundation – If you already have large trees in your yard, consider installing a root barrier around your foundation. These barriers can be chemical or physical, but they should ward off roots that might otherwise cause the soil beneath your foundation to shift. You can easily pair these barriers with other waterproofing measures to better secure your home.
When it comes to the safety of your home and the beauty of your yard, you don’t have to compromise. Instead, talk with the contractors in your area to determine what waterproofing and landscaping options will keep your foundation safe from root damage.