Tree Care & Your Homes Foundation

Let’s talk about foundations.  We mean the kind of foundation that your home is built on.  Often times the foundations of homes get overlooked simply because they are the base of the home and most people tend to look at the roofing, siding, exterior etc. The foundation however is perhaps one of if not the most significant part of your home.  Why? Without a strong and safe foundation your home can aquire not only a lot of damage but can also be very unsafe for its occupants! While some impurities such as a bit of shifting or cracks found in your homes foundation can be attributed to the normal settling of the house & natural shifts in the Earth, others can be caused by the trees surrounding your home!  While most homeowners don’t tend to think too much about the trees on their property other than for shade & landscaping sake, your trees can be the very cause of your homes damaged foundation!

Tempe Tree Care, a tree service based in Tempe, Arizona, gave us a little insight on the damage that trees can actually do to your home, the precautionary measures to take to help ensure your home does not incur any tree related foundation damage, and the importance of working with experienced, certified arborist. Ryan, one of Tempe Tree Cares, certified arborist explained to us how a tree can look beautiful & healthy to the normal eye but can in fact be spreading its roots underground at blinding speed causing a whole lot of destruction.  As trees mature they begin to need more water and nutrients. The roots of the tree in turn seek this water and nutrients by spreading throughout the soil in search of them. If there is a cement sidewalk in the way the tree does not care.  Its roots especially when bigger roots are in need of food and water will push through ANYTHING that is in their way if possible to obtain those nutrients. This includes your homes foundation. Once roots of a tree begin to spread and grow they become a powerhouse of strength.  In turn when more roots search out water and nutrients in the soil they move together and are powerful enough to damage foundation, cement and whatever might be in their way.

What are signs that your tree’s roots are starting to affect your homes foundation?

  • You may start to notice cracking in your home foundation’s flooring
  • Start to notice uneven doors or window frames
  • Vertical lines going up the walls of your homes foundation
  • Your foundation floor is starting to give out

What are some things you can do to protect your foundation from any further danage should you start to notice the above signs?

  • Cut The Roots- The roots that seem to be doing the damage can be cut to help prevent further damage to your foundation. This is a bit tricky however, because some trees can potentialy die from even having a tiny portion of their roots cut.  it is advised to work with a tree expert before the cuttingof any roots to prevent the tree from dying
  • Root Barriers- If you have yet to plant the tree you can first install root barriers which help to aid the roots of the tree to grow deeperinto the ground and away from your foundation and other important things like your plumbing and pipe systems.
  • Cutting The Tree Down- Although this is probably the last alternaive because no one really wants to cut an entire tree down. Not to mention the tree is most likely part of your landscaping design and will leave a void in your yard. However if the root and tree prove to be compromisng your homes foundation saftey becomes an issue. Should you have to cut the tree down you must also make sure you remove most to all of the root system to prevent more issues.  Again it is best to seek the help and knowledge of a arborist to ensure the job is done correctly as well as safely and with as little damage to teh surrounding landscape as possible.