Foundation Damage Caused by Trees

Trees will literally make or break your property.

Your property’s curb appeal can be greatly enhanced by the presence of trees but roots from those trees can damage your house’s foundation if not monitored. Roots can spread up to three times more than branches, therefore most foundations are within reach which makes foundation damage by trees a leading cause of foundation damage.

Signs of Foundation Damage By Trees

Foundation Damage Close to a Tree

If you notice any foundation damage that is suspiciously close to a tree, chances are the damage was caused by a tree. Some trees, especially those in Los Angeles can draw as much as 190 gallons of water a day which is enough to cause loss of moisture in the soil around a foundation.

Your House Slants Towards a Tree

Houses slant towards trees because they settle due to moisture loss. The side of the house near the tree settles because the tree sucks up the moisture out of the soil causing it to shrink and detach from the foundation, therefore causing the foundation to collapse.

Foundation Damage on the side that receives the most sunlight

Leaking drainage pipes are one of the leading causes of foundation damage and roots often sometimes do damage drainage pipes and cause drainage leakages. Trees naturally require light to grow therefore the more sunlight an area receives, the more plants or trees grow from that area and the more roots they produce.

Related: How to asses when your house needs foundation repair

Preventing and Fixing Foundation Damage By Trees

Despite all the negative effects that trees can have on your foundation, they do add value to your property and certain measures can be taken to avoid foundation damage by trees.

Root Barricades

Root barricades are used when a tree can’t be removed. Root barricades are used to control the growth of roots near the foundation, so as to avoid foundation settlement which might be caused by the loss of moisture in the surrounding soil. Root barricades are typically overlapping sheets of plastic that are inserted 5 feet away from the foundation so that tree roots can grow away from the foundation.

Preventive Landscaping

Preventive landscaping is key to avoiding costly foundation repairs. There are certain measures that you can take to avoid foundation by trees such as:

  • Plant the right trees on your yard. Avoid planting trees that require a lot of water such as oak, silver maple and willow trees because they dry up most of the moisture in the soil. Trees with roots that grow horizontally can also be a problematic to your foundation.
  • Don’t plant Shrubs or trees near the foundation.
  • Trim the roots to prevent them from growing towards the foundation.

Tree removal

Removing the tree is usually the last resort because preventive methods weren’t implemented early enough. It’s advisable to have professionals do the tree removal because  it can be dangerous and might cause damage to your property.

Related: How are foundation cracks fixed

Contact Foundation California Works

To implement either preventative measures or foundation repairs, you need a professional contractor. Contact California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to get a free* foundation inspection.