Have Trees Next To Your Home? It May Be Causing Damage To Your Home's Foundation

Monday, April 19th, 2021 by Kelsey Bullerdick


Have Trees Next To Your Home? It May Be Causing Damage To Your Home\'s Foundation - Image 1

Your home. It’s one of your largest investments. But even more, it’s where your life happens. It’s where you grow your family, welcome friends, and create cherished memories. Now that we’re officially in Spring and heading into warmer weather, your yard may play a critical part in creating an oasis for you to relax and enjoy with the right combination of flowers, shrubs, plants, and trees. What is supposed to be a beautiful, relaxing environment, can turn into a headache for your home’s basement or foundation if you have trees planted in the wrong place!

Tree’s give us shade in the Summer, possibly a treehouse for the kids, and of course their beautiful leaves in the Fall. However, these towering timbers can also be the culprit of cracked foundation and basement walls if they’re planted too close to your home.

 

Here’s the problem.

A tree’s root system is complex. In general, trees will grow between one to three times the width of their canopy, and in some cases, trees can develop roots that are twice as wide as the tree is high! This means if a tree is close to your home, the root system can bury itself under your home’s foundation. Trees also need moisture to survive, and their way of doing this is by having their roots constantly searching for water and nutrients. If water is not available, the roots will extend themselves until water is found. If you’ve had your home waterproofed on the outside, their roots will grow towards drainage systems and plumbing lines in search of water.

When their roots grow and expand, they displace the surrounding soil adding pressure on your basement walls. Once the pressure becomes too much, it can cause cracks and settling in your home’s foundation.

So now what?

We are not suggesting that you turn your yard into a desert. In fact, tearing up trees and shrubs can cause more damage. Here are some tips to consider before planting this Spring:

  • Try to plant trees that do not have an aggressive root system.
  • Do some research on the type of tree you’re planting and the size it’ll grow to in a couple of years and many years later.

Creating a landscaping plan will not only help the appearance of your home but will also protect you from any unwanted basement and foundation issues in the future.

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