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How Tree Roots Cause Problems In Your Home

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The Damaging Effects

Growing tree roots don’t actively harm your home, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t damage your property in certain ways. If you have trees surrounding your home’s perimeter, you might be in danger of its roots disrupting the stability of the soil beneath your foundation. This can lead to your foundation settling, cracking, or suffering from other damage.  

Trouble Signs of Tree Roots  

If you notice that your foundation is being disrupted by inflicting tree roots, you may see some of these telltale signs around your home. These can include but are not limited to: 

  • Foundation damage on the same side of house as the tree 
  • Pooling water in or around your home after a storm 
  • Sticking windows or doors 
  • Cracking or uneven concrete slabs 
  • Sinking or settling floors

These signs can also be noticed within your basement or crawl space as well. If you’re unsure of where the damage is coming from, it’s imperative to repair these problems as soon as possible before any more damage ensues. As trees and their roots mature, they can spread out and disrupt the landscape around your home, as well as cause aesthetic problems in the concrete making up your driveway or stairs to your entryway.  

How to Properly Remove Tree Roots  

If you’ve noticed a tree’s roots beginning to grow toward or into the ground near your foundation, you’ll need to work quickly to prevent problems. The best methods through which you can do so include:   

  • Root trimming – The most conducive way to keep tree roots away from your home is also the most straightforward, by removing them physically. Although this task requires some serious strength, you’re able to do it with the appropriate tools. These include a shovel, pickaxe, and shears, as well as gloves for protection. To locate which roots you want to remove, start by following those that are visible and see if you can trace their growth pattern towards your foundation.  
  • Chemical root trimming – If physically removing tree roots is too much to bear, there are chemical grade root killers available at your local hardware or landscaping store. With these, they’ll need to be diluted with water beforehand, so you don’t run the risk of killing your entire tree. Once diluted and safe for use, you can place your root killer along a tree’s visible roots and let it begin the process.  
  • Tree removal – If the previous two methods aren’t enough, due to the roots being too widespread or difficult to remove, the entire offending tree may need to be removed from your property. To do so, you need to contact tree removal specialists in your area 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 Future Foundation Root Damage 

If possible, it’s best to try and prevent root damage before it can occur in the first place. The best ways to do so include:   

  • Choosing non-invasive tree species – There are some tree species that are more invasive than others which spread their root systems at a rapid pace along your home. When designing the landscape, it’s best to consult professionals at your local nursery to determine which trees will cause the least amount of damage and prevent choosing trees that could be detrimental overtime.  
  • Installing root barriers around your home – By installing root barriers, they can physically and chemically repel roots from causing damage to your home. When first constructing your home or afterward, you can install these barriers around your foundation with the help from a professional during the home excavation process.  
  • Waterproofing your foundation – Before damage can occur around your home, it’s imperative to invest in waterproofing solutions. This will save you money and stress in the long run. As these waterproofing systems can help stabilize your foundation even if a tree’s roots grow in your direction. This meaning you may not have to invest in tree removal even if the ground beneath your home starts to shift.  

If you’re unsure if 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 Pittsburg, PA. A certified field inspector from Baker’s Waterproofing can walk through your home and provide you with a free quote and written estimate on any damage repairs or waterproofing installations you may want to invest in. 

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