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Can Trees Damage Your Foundation?

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The trees around your home are an essential part of your local ecosystem. If you’re not careful, though, those trees can cause more harm than good. Trees have expansive root systems, and many are aggressive. If left unchecked or planted without careful forethought, those roots can damage your foundation.

Luckily, some trees are advertised as invasive. It’s also possible to protect your home from fast-growing roots before you’ve even started planting. What are your waterproofing options, and will the trees already in your yard begin to cause you grief?

Can Trees Damage Your Foundation?

Many homeowners will ignore the tree root systems under their yards unless those roots begin to cause problems. One such problem does include foundation damage – though probably not in the way you’d think.

Tree root systems can grow to be as large as a tree’s overarching canopy. With that in mind, a tree planted too close to the perimeter of your home may develop a root system that contests with your foundation. These root systems won’t physically dig away at your foundation; instead, they’ll cause the soil beneath your home to shift.

When the dirt beneath your home starts to give and take, your home will begin to settle more than it already does. A settling home is a home that’s more likely to experience foundation damage like wall cracks courtesy of increasingly present hydrostatic pressure.

As such, root systems can damage your foundation, but they do so less directly than many homeowners might think.

How Can You Keep Tree Roots from Damaging Your Foundation?

The good news is that there are several steps you can take to keep tree roots from uprooting your home. These include:

  • Landscaping carefully – When in doubt, try and keep all trees and larger hedges at least 20 feet away from the perimeter of your home. When you give these plants the room they need to grow, they’ll flourish – and your home won’t fall victim to unanticipated damage.
  • Checking your foundation’s depth – A shallow foundation is more likely to fall prone to root damage than a foundation that’s been appropriately set. You’ll want to discuss your foundation’s depth with a professional. This way, you can determine whether your foundation’s been appropriately set or if local contractors need to regrade your home. That regrading can often spare your home the stress of working alongside invasive root systems.
  • Waterproofing your foundation – It’s always a good idea to waterproof your foundation and basement. It doesn’t matter if you’re moving to a new home or building a house from the ground up. When you waterproof your home, you create a hydrophobic barrier between your structural supports and Mother Nature. In doing so, you ensure those supports last a long time and keep the rest of your belongings safe. With that in mind, talk to one of the contractors working out of the Cincinnati area. You’ll be able to shop a number of waterproofing measures that’ll suit your home.

You don’t have to protect your home on your own. Reach out to professionals, and you’ll find it infinitely easier both to consider your waterproofing options and discuss potential fixes for invasive tree root systems.

Which Trees Should You Avoid Planting Near Your Home?

What’s more fun than imagining how your home’s yard might look? When you’re shopping for landscaping options, it’s easy to get lost in all the options you have at your disposal. If you want to protect your foundation, however, you’ll want to try and avoid plants and trees with aggressive root systems.

There are some trees with more active roots than others. Some of the ones that you may want to avoid include:

  • American Elms
  • Willow Trees
  • Hybrid Poplars
  • Silver Maples

These trees are not biologically similar. On one hand, this makes it a little more difficult to understand why their root systems are so aggressive. On the other hand, you can also swap these species out in exchange for some of their cousins without worrying about the state of your foundation.

Don’t let Mother Nature damage your home’s structural integrity. You can get in touch with the professional foundation and basement repair contractors working in Cincinnati, OH, today. When you invite an inspector out to your home, you’ll benefit from a comprehensive inspection and a free quote on any services your foundation or basement may need.

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