Yes, they most certainly do. Tree roots cause foundation damage and compromise the structural integrity of a home. They are well known for affecting slab foundations in North Texas, where clay soils (which have expansive properties) can be greatly impacted by water.
EXACTLY HOW DO TREE ROOTS CAUSE FOUNDATION DAMAGE?
As property owners in the Dallas, Fort Worth metroplex know, the invasive roots associated with some trees can harm foundations by sucking the moisture out of the clay soil located beneath their homes. When this happens, it causes the soil under the foundation to contract. As a result, the house will experience foundation movement and damage. This can put concrete slab foundations at great risk and even lead to cracking.
It’s important to keep in mind that trees are like people: They need water to survive. If they aren’t watered enough, their roots seek moisture wherever they can find it. In some cases, invasive roots will creep beneath foundations and deplete the soil of the moisture it needs to keep a foundation stable.
Certain trees, such as elms and willows, have highly invasive roots. It’s not uncommon for various species of trees to develop roots that are 30 times the diameter of their tree trunks. In other cases roots can grow to be 2X (or even 3X) the height of a tree. While roots generally grow in a horizontal direction, at some point the fingerlings can start growing downward. When this happens, they can not only damage a foundation, but also block plumbing pipes. They can even create conditions that lead to cracked concrete slabs. It’s wise to find out about the causes of foundation damage.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR FOUNDATION FROM TREE ROOTS:
To avoid deterioration, don’t plant new trees too close to your house. When purchasing a tree, find out how large the root system will become. If you’ve already planted a tree and suspect that it may be a problem, one possibility is to have the tree roots trimmed. Another option is to install a root barrier.
Most roots are formed near the surface of the soil and rest no more than 24” below the ground. To prevent the tree from searching for water, take time to water the roots on a regular basis. Make sure you don’t keep them exceedingly wet, just maintain a constant level of moisture. An abundance of water can harm your tree, so you don’t want to overdo it.
ABOUT SLAB FOUNDATIONS CRACKS CAUSED BY ROOTS:
The root systems of some trees are incredibly strong. For that reason, they can exert a whole lot of pressure on a foundation. Concrete slab foundations can actually be pushed upward due to the sheer force of roots. While that’s not a common problem, it can and does occur. That’s why you should take precautions. It’s always best to prevent these types of concerns by being proactive.
If you have cause to believe that your foundation has been damaged by tree roots, contact HD Foundations for foundation repair service. We’ll be happy to stop by and thoroughly evaluate your foundation free of charge.