You wouldn’t immediately assume that a tree could compromise the structural integrity of your home. As it turns out, nature works in powerful ways. Trees can often grow root systems that are up to three times larger than their canopy. If you’ve planted a tree too close to your foundation, those roots can start to impact your home’s structural integrity.
But can a tree’s root system physically damage your foundation? Let’s explore a tree’s influence over your home and see how you can enjoy a beautiful yard while limiting your foundation repair costs.
Can Trees Damage Your Foundation?
Tree roots are surprisingly powerful. Even if you’ve planted a tree a reasonable distance away from your home, the roots can still spread to the point where they may compromise your foundation’s structural integrity.
That said, the roots themselves do not directly impact the concrete that makes up your foundation. Instead, they’ll change the structure of the soil around your home. As the soil around your home shifts, your foundation can start to settle in unusual ways. As such, your floor can end up uneven, and cracks can start to form in the more sensitive parts of your home.
So can trees damage your foundation? Indirectly, but their influence is undeniable. If you’ve found yourself dealing with consistent leaks, regardless of the weather, take a peek out at your yard. One of your trees may unintentionally be causing you woe.
How Can You Protect Your Home From Root Damage?
If you’ve already planted trees in your yard, or you’re purchasing a home that’s been around for a while, don’t worry. You can still protect your home from more aggressive root systems. Some of the best ways to fortify your home against Mother Nature include:
- Choose Your Landscaping Elements Wisely – When you move into a new place for the first time, it’s up to you to make it your own. This idea can extend to your landscaping. If you notice there are trees planted too close to your perimeter, talk to the professionals in the Colorado Springs, CO, area about removing or relocating them. While you should only cut trees down as a last resort, you may be able to protect your foundation from their root systems with the right help.
- Make Sure Your Foundation Is Set Deep – Does your home suffer from a shallow foundation? It isn’t always easy to tell how deeply your foundation is set, but a professional contractor will be able to tell you how secure the whole of your home is. If your foundation isn’t as deep into the ground as it should be, tree roots can have a much more immediate impact on its stability. You can work with the contractors in your area to support your foundation, preventing future damage as you do.
- Waterproof Your Foundation – There are a number of different ways you can waterproof your foundation. But what does waterproofing do to help you deal with expansive root systems? Remember: these roots aren’t physically disrupting the structure of your home. Instead, they’re changing the soil around your foundation. When you waterproof your home, you keep groundwater and rainwater from interacting with your foundation, even when the soil shifts. These preventative measures will, in turn, stabilize your foundation even as it’s exposed to hydrostatic pressure.
What Trees Have Aggressive Root Systems?
There are some trees that have more aggressive root systems than others. While you should always try to avoid planting large plants or trees next to your perimeter, the following are among the most likely to damage your foundation:
- American Elms
- Willow Trees
- Hybrid Poplars
- Silver Maples
These trees admittedly don’t share a family or many traits. However, their root systems are consistently invasive. Try to keep these trees a ways away from your home. If you don’t, you will have gorgeous trees on your hands, but you’ll risk foundation damage to get them.
Don’t let your landscaping compromise your foundation. If you suspect that you may be dealing with a leak or more significant damage, you’ll want to get in touch with one of the professional foundation repair contractors working in your area. These contractors will be able to look over your home and offer you a free quote on potential repairs or services.