Tree roots don’t actively attack your home, but that doesn’t mean they can’t damage your property. If you’ve planted a tree too close to the perimeter of your home, for example, its roots can disrupt the stability of the soil beneath your foundation and cause your foundation to settle, crack, or otherwise suffer damage.
Signs of Foundation Damage to Look For
You can’t always keep an eye on your foundation, but then again, you don’t need to. Your foundation will give away damage that’s been done to it courtesy of signs around your home. These signs can 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
Do note that these signs can also indicate damage in your basement or crawl space. If you’re not sure where the damage is coming from, you’ll want to work with a professional foundation, basement, and crawl space repair expert in your area to inspect your home.
Removing A Tree’s Roots
If a tree’s roots have already started to grow toward or into the ground near your foundation, you’ll need to work quickly to remove them. The best methods through which you can do so include:
- Physical root trimming – The most straightforward way to keep tree roots away from your home is to remove them physically. You’ll need the appropriate tools to do this, including a shovel, pickaxe, and shears, if available. The best way to find the roots you want to remove is to follow those you can see and trace their growth pattern towards your foundation.
- Chemical root trimming – If you’re looking for a root-ridding method that involves a little less physical labor, you can alternatively invest in a chemical root killer. You’ll want to dilute these chemical killers with water before using them so they don’t kill the entire tree. Once diluted, you can place your root killer along a tree’s visible roots and let it go to work.
- Tree removal – If a tree’s roots prove to be especially stubborn or widespread, the previous two methods may not be good enough. Instead, you may have to have the entire offending tree removed from your property. You can work with tree removal professionals in your area to do just that, as their help will enable you to remove not only the tree but the stump, which can continue to generate root movement if it isn’t taken care of.
Preventing Foundation Root Damage
It’s best, if you have the opportunity, to try and prevent root damage before it can occur in the first place.
The best ways to do so include:
- Choosing your trees wisely – There are some tree species that are more invasive than others. These species can spread their root systems at a rapid pace. You’ll want to work with the professionals at your local nursery when choosing your landscaping to determine which trees in your available inventory may cause the most damage to your home and which could serve as aesthetically pleasing alternatives.
- Installing root barriers around your home – Root barriers can physically and chemically repel roots from your homes. You can install these barriers around your foundation when first constructing your home or afterward, as long as a professional helps you with the home excavation process.
- Waterproofing your foundation – When you invest in home waterproofing solutions before damage can occur around your home, you can save yourself money and stress in the long run. These waterproofing solutions can help stabilize your foundation even if a tree’s roots grow in your direction, meaning you may not have to invest in tree removal even if the ground beneath your home starts to shift.
If you’re not sure whether tree roots are to blame for the damage done to your home, or if you want to get ahead of potential damage, you can work with the foundation, basement, and crawl space experts in Columbia, SC. An inspector from Mount Valley Foundation Services can walk through your home and provide you with a free quote on any damage repairs or waterproofing installations you may want to invest in.