A common problem with foundations comes from tree roots underground that put pressure on the walls of your foundation. Tree roots are very powerful and they are constantly on the move through the soils in the ground, continuing to grow and search for more water.
The different soils in the ground can also impact the pressure from the roots:
- Clay soils: These soils are much more dense and become compacted as the tree roots push through them, putting pressure on structures around the soil.
- Loose soils: These primarily consist of loose dirt, backfill, and rocks, which allow the roots to move through more easily and are less likely to cause much damage.
Tree roots themselves are typically not the only culprit for foundation damage, as different types of soil also play a key role in putting pressure on your foundation.
Trees can also affect the soil beneath them in certain weather conditions. During drought, clay soils can become dry and cause the roots to shrink. When it rains, the roots will absorb water and expand. The soils then become weak and less supportive from this shrinkage and expansion of the roots.
How to Avoid Root Damage
Most roots typically grow parallel with the ground and not too far below the soil’s surface. If a root comes in contact with the wall of a foundation, it can point the root to start growing down deeper into the soils. If you dig down near your foundation by a foot or two, you may be able to spot these roots and cut them off so that they stop growing and pushing toward your foundation.
Worst case scenario, you may need to have experts come excavate and get to the base of the foundation to perform any necessary repairs that have become necessary due to root damage. You may also need to completely cut down some trees to prevent the roots from growing any further and causing more damage.