February 10, 2017
Invasive tree roots can do some damage
As the trees that shade your yard grow higher and start spreading out, you might have noticed cracks appearing in your driveway. Some of the sidewalk near the house buckles, and then another area breaks off. You get water backing up from a basement drain, and the plumber discovers you have tree roots in your sewer line and they need to be chopped out.
And then you ask: Are tree roots causing damage to my house’s foundation, too?
Although tree roots can penetrate and grow through sewer lines, they usually can’t penetrate concrete foundations. “Though small roots may penetrate existing cracks in foundations, they are incapable of causing mechanical damage through their growth,” according to the Morton Foundation, named after J. Sterling Morton, the founder of Arbor Day.
Tree roots can, however, displace the soil they’re growing through and exert lots of pressure on the things surrounding them. According to Edens Structural Solutions. “The changes in the condition of the soil are what actually cause most of the damage to home foundations. To be fair, tree roots themselves are not the direct cause of foundation damage, though many homeowners believe they are.”
Rachel Lovejoy explains on sfgate.com.: “If soil moves, whatever is sitting on it moves, too. Older building materials that have deteriorated over time can rise or settle as the soil displaced by extensive tree root systems moves, and the structures may develop cracks that smaller tree roots may be able to penetrate.”
AmeriSpec Omaha and Lincoln can inspect your property to help you determine what’s causing cracks in your foundation and sidewalks. Call us at 402-393-3696 in Omaha or 402-483-2010 in Lincoln to set up your appointment. Or you can set up your appointment online.