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24/7 in the Ottawa area

24/7 in the Ottawa area

How to Manage Encroaching Tree Roots

Aug 22, 2020

Why You Need to Take Action if Tree Roots Are Creeping Closer to Your Home

When you notice tree roots creeping up to your home, it can be worrisome. They can cause significant damage to your plumbing, your foundation, your driveway and sidewalks. It is a problem you need to take care of quickly to avoid seriously costly damages.

In this article, we will explore the signs of root damage on properties and go over some tips on how to prevent the issue from getting worse.

Read More: 7 Reasons You Need Emergency Tree Removal Services

How Tree Roots are Threatening Your Home’s Foundation

Your home’s foundation depends on the surrounding soil for support to keep it from bowing outward. Ideally, the soil should have been dense to begin with and then compacted when the foundation was laid, but many have not been. Some soils contain more sand, which means they need moisture to maintain their solidity.

When they’re deprived of that moisture, they can start leaving your foundation with less support. Tree roots suck the moisture out of the surrounding soil. The reality is that roots will typically turn away from barriers naturally.

It’s the moisture that becomes the issue, loosening soil along the way and causing an imbalance between the soil and the tree roots cracking the concrete foundation of a house.

Cracks in Foundation Floor

Tree roots are one of the main factors for foundation problems and can cause cracking, tilts or shifts. When a foundation has movement, it may cause damage and other problems to the structure.

Tree roots do have enough power to cause cracks in driveways, walkways and sidewalks as they do not have nearly the weight that a home’s foundation has. When roots get larger under a walkway or driveway, they put too much pressure on the material without rebar or wire mesh reinforcement.

Vertical Cracks in Foundation Wall

Settlement cracks are often vertical and should not be confused with cracks that occur when a wall is subjected to shifts from soil pressure.

Cracked or Shattered Windows

Trees can pose damage to both windowpanes and window frames. You must remain vigilant with trees that look like they may cause trouble. Long limbs, dead or decaying limbs, mold and insect infestation can provide all of the right ingredients for damage.

Uneven door and/or Window Frames

Because trees can cause foundation to shift, this means it can cause uneven doors and window frames—just another example of the importance of resolving issues with roots before they start to cause additional problems.

Floor buckling

Once again, this can be caused by foundation issues. Floors can buckle due to foundation shifts, causing significant problems.

Signs Tree Roots are Burrowing Under Your Driveway or Sidewalk

When you start to notice your driveway or walkway shifting, it’s time to get an arborist in to assess the situation. It’s not a situation that will get better. It will get worse. Best to take care of it before it does.

Cracks Running Along Concrete

Changes in moisture can cause cracks to run along your concrete. Tree roots deplete soil of moisture and can cause cracking. Once this issue gets worse, it’s far more difficult to correct.

Bumps or Earth Leading to the Cracks

Shifts in the soil will inevitably cause bumps and cracks. If you have a tree that is continuing to grow towards your home and causing such issues, you will want to get expert advice on the best steps to take for repair and avoiding the issue from becoming a far worse problem in the future.

Concrete Buckling

Buckling concrete can be caused by changes in soil and the roots themselves, infiltrating a material that is less dense than your foundation. Buckling in your driveway or walkways can also cause injury. It’s important to ensure this is looked at by a professional.

Signs Tree Roots are Cracking Your Plumbing

If you’ve experienced plumbing issues due to invading tree roots, you know what a nightmare it can be. This is a very costly and rigorous issue that, if not taken care of, can cost a whole lot of money. It’s also one that you will want to get on top of right away.

How to Prevent Further Damage to Your Property

There are steps you can take to prevent further damage to your property. An arborist is your best bet to determine what those steps are as they are dependent on your personal circumstances.

There is no blanket fix for tree root issues. It must be assessed on an individual basis, but in general, here are some ideas on steps that can be taken in most cases.

Root Barriers

Root barriers are guides that redirect tree roots down and away from landscapes. They can help prevent costly root damage while preserving the health and beauty of mature trees.

Cut Problem Roots

It’s important to note that when you’re cutting tree roots, the best way to do it is to cut far away from the trunk if possible. You should never cut more than 25% of the tree’s root zone as this can cause damage that is significant enough to result in tree death. You should also wait a couple of years before pruning a tree after you have cut the problem roots.

Tree Removal

Tree removal services are not a DIY job. It can cause serious injury. In many cases, there are other structures around the tree and live wires that need to be avoided. Do not attempt to cut down a tree unless you are a certified arborist or professional.

Read More: The Best Time of Year to Cut Down Trees

Deal with Problems Quickly to Avoid Bigger Issues

The best way to prevent significant damage to your home in the event that tree roots are beginning to cause issues is to look into the problem right away and take preventative steps to ensure the problem either gets resolved or is prevented from getting worse.

Your local arborist can help determine the best course of action based on your individual circumstances.

We take pride in offering our professional Tree Care services in Ottawa. Feel free to reach out to Green Thumb Tree Specialist for any of the following Tree Services: