How Trees Can Move Your Foundation & What to Do About It

Trees are a beautiful addition to any landscape. They grace your yard with beauty, give you shade in the summer, encourage birds to nest near your home, and may even give you fruit or nuts during harvest time. But trees also have one major disadvantage: They can cost you thousands of dollars in damage to your foundation. Take a proactive approach by contacting a foundation services company near Murfreesboro, and ask how you can help your foundation last for years to come.

Misconceptions About Tree Roots and Foundations

Many homeowners are aware of the damage that tree roots can do to their sewer line. Tree roots are quite strong, and can penetrate through pipes and cause clogs. Because of this, homeowners often mistakenly think that tree roots damage foundations in the same way. But in fact, trees are less directly responsible for foundation problems. The underlying cause is the expansion and shrinkage of the soil.

Ways Roots Do Damage Foundations

A mature, thirsty tree can gulp up tens of gallons of water in one day. As the soil dries, it settles and shrinks. It’s the movement of the soil that ultimately leads to foundation damage, since the concrete will move as the soil moves. The concrete foundation may crack or it may shift. A shifting movement tends to cause more severe structural damage to the home. Severe shifting is more likely to affect older homes.

Steps You Can Take to Prevent Foundation Damage

If you think you might already have foundation damage, you should call in a team of concrete contractors right away. Delaying repairs can make the problem worse. However, even if your home was recently built and shows no signs of damage, taking proactive steps will help keep it in good condition. Ask your contractor about installing a root barrier. This is a polyethylene barrier that is buried in a trench around the perimeter of your home. The purpose of the barrier is to prevent thirsty tree roots from drinking the water near the foundation, which will preserve the integrity of the soil.

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