When it comes to protecting your home, you may find yourself combating all manner of unexpected challenges. One such challenge presents itself in the form of tree roots. Trees do not have their roots attack your home with malicious intent. Instead, a tree’s roots can damage your foundation in their search for nutrients. These roots, in their quest for groundwater, can displace the soil beneath your home and leave behind gaps for your foundation to sink into. If this kind of damage carries on for too long, your floor can buckle, your foundation can settle, your walls can crack, and your home can lose some of its value.
If you’ve already taken steps to try and limit the kind of structural damage roots can do to your home, you may find yourself wondering why the damage in your home remains. Tree roots are especially stubborn, and they may survive your first attempt to trim them or otherwise remove them from beneath or around your home. Luckily, you can retry the removal process or remove a tree entirely from your property to preserve the structural integrity of your home.
Signs of Foundation Damage to Watch For
If you think something may be amiss in your home, you’ll want to keep a wary eye out for signs of continued damage after your initial tree removal. Some of the most common types of damage in a home suffering from root growth include:
- A slanting or otherwise uneven foundation
- Foundation damage on the same side of your house as the tree
- Standing water in your home after a storm
- Excessive moisture in your home
- Unusual amounts of foundation settling
- An uneven basement floor
- Sticking windows or doors
Note that all these types of damage can also appear in your home if something else happens to your foundation or basement. If you’re not sure what the source of damage in your home is, you can reach out to the professional foundation repair contractors serving the Winston-Salem, NC, area. Together, you can walk through your home and determine what the cause of the excess moisture in your space may be. A contractor can even provide you with a free quote on repairs or waterproofing installations, should you need those kinds of services.
Removing Roots from Beneath or Around Your Home
If you want to take a second shot at removing the roots from around your home, you have a few different solutions available to you. These can include:
- Chemical root trimming
If you have exposed roots available to you in your yard, you can dilute root or weedkiller with water and apply it to those roots. You will want to try and apply that chemical killer farther away from the trunk of your tree, however, as applying it too closely can cause a significant percentage of your tree to die off.
- Physical root trimming
If you want to take a more direct approach to root control around your home, you can use a shovel and a pickaxe to cut away the roots that may be causing you problems. If you don’t want to take on this task alone, you can reach out to the landscaping or tree removal professionals in your area and have them do it for you.
- Tree removal
If the roots shifting the soil beneath your home are particularly stubborn, you may have to remove a tree from your property entirely. You do have the option of relocating the problem tree, but removals can allow you to use either of the aforementioned root removal methods on the remaining stump to kill off the roots that are causing you problems.
Preventing Root-based Foundation Damage
You can also try and get ahead of the kind of root damage that can make your life more difficult. If you want to take steps to minimize the interactions between your tree roots and your foundation, you can:
- Select and plant other types of trees that have non-invasive or slow-growing roots
- Waterproof your foundation
- Install a root barrier
If you’re having trouble keeping the moisture levels low in your home and you think some of the roots in your yard may be to blame, you can reach out to your local basement and foundation contractors for guidance. Together, you can work with these experts at Tar Heel Basement Systems to fix what damage may have already arisen in your home and prevent that damage from reoccurring.