The trees in your yard have more of a say in your home’s health than you might think. Tree roots, for example, can cause the soil around your foundation to shift, making it more prone to foundation damage.
Luckily, there are steps you can take to mitigate that damage while still allowing your trees to flourish.
Can Tree Roots Damage Your Foundation?
Tree roots that grow too close to your foundation do not physically grow into your home. These roots can, however, cause unexpected foundation damage. As a tree’s roots grow, they’ll cause the soil around your home to gap and shift. Your foundation can sink into the gaps the soil leaves behind. With that settling comes a higher risk for foundation cracks and other types of damage.
Protecting Your Home from Tree Roots
If you’re looking to protect your home from root-based damage, you have several preventative steps you can take. These include but are not limited to:
- Choosing your trees wisely – Not only do you need to choose the trees and hedges you want to plant with care, but you’ll need to put some thought into where you plant them in your yard. You want to keep all trees at least 20 feet away from the perimeter of your home. In doing so, you’ll give their roots the room they need to grow without having to worry about the stability of your foundation.
- Transplanting larger trees – If you move to a plot where trees are already in place, then you will have to consider what removal and transplant options you have available to you. Ideally, you should try to remove a tree from your property and replant it. This way, you can preserve the tree’s beauty while also protecting your home. However, if this isn’t possible, you will need to have your tree removed. You should also make a point of killing off the stump and remaining root systems so they won’t continue impacting the stability of the soil around your home.
- Testing the depth of your foundation – Older homes tend to have shallower foundations than newer homes. The shallower your foundation is, the more likely you are to have to deal with root-related damage. You can reach out to a contractor in your area for a home inspection, during which you’ll be able to determine just how deep into the ground your foundation’s been laid. With this information in hand, you can start discussing the ways you can better protect your foundation from both tree roots and other forces that might damage it.
- Waterproofing your foundation – It is never a bad idea to waterproof your home. Home waterproofing measures, from exterior drainage to waterproof insulation and crawl space encapsulation, will all help you deal with the side effects of shifting soil.
Trees to Avoid Planting Near Your Yard
No two types of trees are the same in terms of their needs and their growth rates. There are some trees, however, that are known to have more aggressive roots than others. You’ll want to try to avoid planting these trees in your yard if you’re concerned about the state of your foundation.
These types of trees include:
- American elms
- Willow trees
- Hybrid poplars
- Silver maples
If you already have some of these trees in your yard, don’t fret. You can work with the tree removal professionals in your area to either have them removed or transplanted. Alternatively, you can reach out to your local foundation and crawl space repair professionals at Alpha Foundations to discuss which waterproofing measures and foundation repair options will best help you stabilize the ground around your foundation.
Do note that if you want to plant these sorts of trees in your yard, you still can. To do so without compromising the safety of your foundation, you’ll want to keep them at least 20 feet away from the perimeter of your home or further. Alternatively, you can reach out to your local nursery and try to find a similar type of tree to take home, as the invasive nature of these trees’ roots can’t be traced by genus.
Ready to protect your home from invasive root systems? Get in touch with a foundation and crawl space repair professional today for a home inspection and a free quote on any repairs or installations you may need.