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Can Trees Damage Your Foundation?

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

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An unprotected foundation is sensitive on its own. A foundation that has to contend with wayward tree roots, however, is one that’s especially vulnerable to upheaval and damage. 

Trees, however, do not actively try to disrupt the structural integrity of your home. Instead, their roots grow in an attempt to find water and nutrients. Sometimes, that brings those roots in close proximity to your home’s sensitive supports. The roots, as they grow, will disrupt the stability of the soil. In turn, hollows will start to appear beneath your home. Gravity will take matters from there, forcing your foundation to settle into those hollows and cracking the supports that are meant to keep your property stable. 

Luckily, there’s no need to address this kind of threat to your home alone. Instead, you can work with contractors serving Grand Rapids, MI, to determine what kind of repairs or protective means you may need to keep your foundation safe. 

damage in your foundation

Protecting Your Home from Invasive Tree Roots 

When it comes to protecting your home from the work of tree roots, there are a few different paths you can take. Some of the best courses of action when faced with root-oriented challenges include: 

  • Planting Professionally – Landscaping your new home is always exciting. As you’re getting started, however, you’ll want to make sure the plants you’re introducing to your property aren’t going to harm your foundation. Work with experts at your local nursery to determine what trees and hedges you can safely plant around your home without their roots growing toward your foundation. 
  • Investing in Early Tree Removal – If you’re purchasing a new stretch of property, you won’t necessarily be able to control where the trees and other types of foliage are throughout the lawn. In these cases, you may have to invest in early tree or hedge removal. By getting potentially dangerous trees and hedges off your property early on, you can protect your foundation from future water or structural damage. Note that upon working with area professionals, you may be able to relocate trees and hedges instead of removing them from your property entirely. If you want to discuss your available options, you can reach out to the experts in your area for guidance. 
  • Depth-Testing Your Foundation – Depth-testing the foundation of a property you haven’t owned before can let you know how much workable space you have between the perimeter of your home and your sensitive structural supports. You can work with area contractors to depth-test your foundation and determine what kind of home waterproofing measures you might need to keep the tree roots around your home from causing damage to your supports. Alternatively, if it appears that your supports are well protected, you may be able to trace signs of existing damage to another cause besides errant tree roots. 
  • Waterproofing Your Foundation – Foundation waterproofing measures like waterproof insulation all help drive unwanted moisture out of your home. You can reach out to a professional contractor before damage starts to appear in your home to discuss which of these available solutions and others might best help you protect your space. 

Trees to Avoid Planting Around Your Home 

There are some steps you can take on your own if you want to avoid tree damage throughout your foundation. Certain species of trees require more space to grow than others. These include: 

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

Again, these trees will not cause damage to your home deliberately. Instead, when given enough room to grow and when planted a reasonable distance away from the perimeter of your home, these trees can provide your lawn with beauty without causing damage to your foundation’s structural integrity. 

Most of the time, you can also trust cousins of these trees a little bit closer to your home. If you’re not sure where to start looking for the right replacements for these trees and other more adventurous hedges, don’t feel as though you have to do your research alone. Instead, you can reach out to a representative at your local nursery to discuss your landscaping plans. 

Get in Touch with an Area Contractor 

Recovering from foundation damage takes time and patience. There’s no need, however, to try and undertake that work alone. Instead, you can reach out to the professional contractors working in your area. These parties can walk through your home and help you identify what has caused your foundation to start heaving or leaking. In turn, they can recommend solutions that suit your budget and your desires. 

If you’re having a problem with the trees around your property, don’t wait for the damage to your foundation to worsen. Instead, reach out to the experts at FSM for a free inspection and quote on potential services as soon as you can.

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