Trees offer shade from the sun’s heat, produce oxygen, and provide habitats for other living things. They add a beautiful natural element to the landscape and are vital for the health of our environment. Unfortunately, many homeowners are unaware of how trees can negatively impact their house’s foundation and, by extension, the integrity of the entire structure.
The foundation is the part of your home that supports and maintains its structural integrity. It can be made from various materials, such as concrete, steel, masonry blocks, or wood. In areas where trees are prevalent, the foundation is often exposed to roots, which can pose some issues.
How Trees Can Negatively Impact Your Foundation
Roots growing in the area beneath a home’s foundation are likely to expand, contract, and shift as they work to access resources in the soil. When they move, they put pressure on the surrounding soil and can cause cracks in the foundation.
These cracks may look like small hairline fractures at first, but over time, they grow larger as roots continue to shift and expand. Over time, these cracks can compromise the stability of your house’s foundation, leading to structural problems.
How to Tell if Trees Are Damaging Your Home’s Foundation
Inspect the exterior of your home for cracks near the base of your foundation. Root damage is often limited to minor cracks in the areas directly beneath the branches or roots of the tree. You may notice these with the naked eye or use a small flashlight to illuminate them.
Other signs may include a bulging foundation, leaning chimney, bowing walls, or doors and windows that are difficult to open and close. An expert assessment is the best way to determine whether there are any underlying problems related to the local flora.
If you’re concerned about trees impacting your foundation, contact a local tree service for help. They’ll identify the source of the problem and recommend the best course of action. Tree removal is a complex affair that requires heavy machinery and special equipment. A reputable tree service will have all this equipment and trained technicians to do the work for you. You may choose to trim, cut down, or completely remove the trees that are causing problems. Any of these options can be effective as long as they’re done correctly.
Tips to Prevent Foundation Damage Caused by Trees
The key to preventing damage to your home’s foundation is preparation, planning, and attention to detail. Plant large trees further away from the house. Avoid letting branches grow too close to your residence by trimming them at least 3 feet away. Also, maintain your home’s foundation by repairing cracks as they appear. A small crack in the foundation may seem harmless initially, but it can lead to more severe problems if you ignore it.
If you notice small cracks in your foundation that worsen over time, or if your home appears to be leaning, the problem could be the trees around it. Seeking an expert assessment is the best way to determine whether you have a tree-related problem. Contact Charleston Stump Stompers for all of your tree removal needs in Charleston, SC. We offer the best landscaping services throughout Mobile and the surrounding areas.