Three Reasons To Remove A Tree To Prevent Foundation Damage
Contrary to popular myth, tree roots aren't going to break apart a foundation that is in good repair, at least not in the way that most people think. Generally, trees in your yard will rarely affect the foundation of your home, except in the following uncommon but not unheard of situations.
1. Raised Foundation
If a large tree with a strong root system is growing too near the foundation, the roots may actually cause the concrete pad to lift. This typically won't affect a basement foundation, but only thinner slab foundations. Signs of foundation uplift from tree roots include stair-step cracks in the walls or drywall or doors and windows that are no longer level. If the tree is the cause, the damage will likely be more obvious on the side of the home that faces the tree. Keep in mind that other factors can cause foundation uplift, so you need to have the problem assessed by both a tree service and foundation expert.
2. Widening Cracks
Although tree roots rarely cause cracks in a foundation, they can widen and worsen existing cracks. This can be a problem on both slab and basement foundations. The roots will work into small, often inconsequential cracks, and force them apart until the cracks are now considered major foundation damage. In some cases, you can have the cracks repaired and a root barrier installed to prevent problems. If you have an aging foundation that you aren't ready to replace, though, then it is more cost-effective to remove the tree rather than constantly patch the worsening damage on your foundation.
3. Soil Shrinkage
Trees uptake a lot of water from the soil, which can be an issue if this water is being pulled out of the soil beneath your home. The dry soil will shrink, which can leave a void under the home that causes the foundation to sink and settle unevenly. This will lead to leveling issues with the home as well as the possibility of foundation cracks due to the settling. Soil shrinkage can also cause a house to shift to the side, depending on the quality of the soil and where the tree is located. Shrinkage is most common in areas with clay soil, although it can occur in any type of soil.
If you are concerned that a tree is causing damage to your foundation, contact someone that specializes in tree removal services to have it safely taken out of your yard.