Tree roots and shrubs can be the source of home foundation problems. Trees and shrubs withdraw large amounts of water from the surrounding soil and in areas of expansive soils that could be problematic.
The southern California area is home to large areas of expansive soils, which expand in volume when wet and shrink in volume when dry. This process of expansion and shrinkage is repeated many times and is called horizontal movement, vertical movement, uplift, upheaval and/or soil movement. Unfortunately for home foundations this soil movement is strong enough to crack and damage them. Usually the moisture content of the soil under the center part of the foundation remains stable. Usually it is the soil around the perimeter of the foundation that is alternately exposed to large volumes of water (rain) and long periods of drought. The repeated swelling and shrinkage of the soil will cause portions of the foundation to rise and to fall.
Related: Foundation damage caused by trees
What happens when a large tree or dense shrubbery removes a disproportionate amount of water from the soil on one side of a home? Since the loss of water is not uniform around the entire perimeter of the home foundation, the soil near the tree or shrubbery will shrink to a disproportionate degree. The soil will then lose contact with the foundation and there is nothing but air between the foundation and the soil. The foundation will then “sag,” “sink,” or settle on that side of the home, and both the foundation and the home will suffer damage.
Related: Structural Tips When Buying a Home
If the seller is concerned about foundation problem, then the next buyer is going to have a BIG question about this also.
Is it easy to sell a house with BIG questions? Think about it.
We recommend that you hire your own foundation company that employs qualified structural Engineers and get your own inspection. Then you can show the next buyer your findings and have more confidence for your own peace of mind.
California Foundation Works is a specialty foundation repair contractor that has the right solutions for your foundation problems. They offer a Free* inspection with no obligation to you, We are here to help you make sure, that your property foundation is seismically safe and there is no hidden danger that might jeopardize you or your loved ones. They can be contacted by phone at (323) 418-2239, or via their website, www.CaliforniaFoundationWorks.com.