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Can Trees Damage Your Foundation?

Trees that grow too close to your home or that have invasive root systems can compromise your foundation’s structural integrity.

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Tree roots do not attack your foundation with malicious intent. Instead, the trees and hedges around your home will continue to grow as they always have, no matter what kind of work you have done around your property. You’ll need to respond to those growth patterns if you want to keep your home safe from unwanted structural damage. 

As tree roots grow, they cause the soil around your property to shift. That shifting can open up hollows beneath your foundation. Gravity can cause your foundation to begin settling into those hollows. If you don’t act quickly, you can start to see signs of water damage throughout your basement or crawl space as a result of that foundation damage. You may even see your floors buckle or other structural supports fall out of place. 

This damage tends to prelude significant structural decay throughout your home. With help from professionals, you can prevent that damage from appearing and help the trees around your property continue to thrive. 

exterior foundation damage

Protecting Your Home from Invasive Tree Roots 

Protecting your home from invasive roots doesn’t have to be a complicated process. As long as you choose to work with the appropriate professionals, there are a few different ways you can keep tree roots from causing unwanted damage around your property. 

Not sure how to start protecting your home? When in doubt, you can: 

  • Plant Professionally – It can be fun to work out what kind of trees and hedges you want around your home ahead of time. If you’re not sure what kind of foliage may best suit your property, however, it may not be in your best interest to take on that kind of work alone. Consider reaching out to the professionals working at your area nursery instead. This way, you can determine what plants will help fulfill your preferred aesthetic design without compromising the structural integrity of your foundation. 
  • Invest in Early Tree Removal – If you move to a new property and find that there are already trees or hedges too close to the perimeter of your home, you’ll want to work with area professionals to remove the threat to your new home’s structural integrity. This can mean removing the trees and hedges from your property or relocating them around your yard. Either way, this is not the kind of work you want to try and take on without professional guidance. 
  • Depth-Test Your Foundation – Before you purchase a new property or plant new foliage around your yard, you’ll want to depth-test your foundation to determine what kind of root interaction it can put up with. Again, you can reach out to area contractors to begin this process. With this new information on hand, you can more readily create a foliage perimeter around your home. 
  • Waterproof Your Foundation – It’s never a bad idea to waterproof your foundation, even if you’re not actively seeing problems with its structural integrity. When you install waterproofing measures ahead of potential damage, you can prevent your foundation from weakening, should a tree’s roots start to disrupt the stability of the soil around your home. 

Trees to Avoid Planting Around Your Home 

There are also some plants and hedges you’ll want to keep away from your property if you want to keep your foundation stable. Certain species of trees have more invasive root systems than others. These trees require a significant amount of room to grow and will disrupt the stability of the soil around your home if planted too close to your home’s perimeter. 

While you’re shopping for trees and hedges to plant around your home, you’ll want to try and avoid the following: 

  • American elms 
  • Willow trees 
  • Hybrid poplars 
  • Silver maples  

You can retain these plants on your property if they’re already in place. You may want to have them relocated, though, if they’re too close to your home. Above all else, be aware of the damage they can cause and act if you think something is wrong. 

Get in Touch with an Area Contractor 

There’s nothing like working with area professionals through a tree-related foundation problem. The contractors serving Huntsville, AL, can walk through your home with you to help you better understand why your foundation is at risk. In turn, you can discuss the different means available to you that may help you prevent foundation damage in the future. 

If you’re looking for help patching up foundation leaks or stabilizing buckling floors, don’t wait. Reach out to the local professionals at AFS today for a free quote on potential services.


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