Protecting your home means preparing for the worst out of your landscaping, even as you aspire to let it grow to compliment your space. Unfortunately, should you plant trees too close to your home, or should you invest in trees that have aggressive root systems, their growth can disrupt a happy home by causing foundation damage with their spreading roots.
That said, note that tree roots do not attack your home as though they intend to tear it down. Instead, roots grow as they want to, searching for moisture and nutrients to allow their tree to grow more effectively. In the midst of that search, a tree’s roots can cause the soil beneath your home to shift. That shifting, in turn, can cause your foundation to settle or otherwise bow in unexpected and sometimes dangerous ways.
One of the best ways to prevent this kind of damage is to remove a tree’s roots from your property. However, the methods through which you can remove a tree’s roots are not always as effective as some homeowners would like. As such, you may find yourself contending with additional damage to your foundation even after you’ve removed an entire tree from your property.
The good news is that foundation damage gives itself away. You can keep an eye out for signs of continued damage in your home and, should it appear, react accordingly with new waterproofing measures, foundation repairs, or a greater restorative effort throughout the rest of your home.
Signs of Foundation Damage to Watch For
To determine whether or not a tree root removal went wrong, you’ll want to make a pass through your home and keep an eye out for signs of damage. Some of the most common related to root damage 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 home
- Unusual amounts of foundation settling
- An uneven floor
- Sticking windows or doors
Note that these forms of damage can appear when something else is amiss with your foundation. If you’re not certain why your foundation or another part of your home may be taking on moisture, you can reach out to the professional foundation contractors serving your area and schedule a home inspection. During this inspection, it will become easier to determine whether the roots from the tree you have removed from your property are still growing or if there is another force damaging your foundation.
Removing Roots from Beneath or Around Your Home
If you’ve already tried to remove a tree’s roots once and you’re still seeing damage throughout your home that a professional can trace to continued root behavior, you have a few options available to you. These often require you to revisit the site you attended to when attempting your first removal, as it’s possible that you failed to address the tree’s problem roots.
Some of the best ways to deal with roots that are especially stubborn include:
- Chemical root trimming
You can choose to dilute some weed killer normally used in your yard and apply it to a tree’s exposed roots. It’s best to do this farther out from the trunk of the tree, as applying chemical killers too close to that source of nutrients can put the health of your entire tree at risk.
- Physical root trimming
You may also need to break out your tools and cut off a tree’s more invasive roots on your own time. If you don’t have the tools to do so readily available to you, you can instead reach out to the landscaping or tree removal professionals in your area for assistance.
- Tree removal
Finally, if you didn’t remove the offending tree in your first attempt to cull its roots, you may want to consider doing so on your second time around. You can also consider transplanting a tree if you want to preserve its growth.
Preventing Root-based Foundation Damage
If you’re looking to get ahead of the kind of root damage that can cause long-term problems for your home, there are a few preventative steps you can take. These can include:
- Choosing your trees responsibly
- Waterproofing your foundation
- Installing a root barrier around the perimeter of your home
If you’re having trouble with some of the tree roots in your yard, or you want to meet with a professional to discuss home waterproofing or foundation repair measures, the contractors serving the Charlotte, NC, can help you find the best place to start. After a thorough home inspection from a Mount Valley Foundation Services expert, they can provide you with a free quote on the services you most need to retain your home’s value.