When a home is built on a concrete slab foundation, you may feel like your foundation is indestructible. However, you may be surprised as to what can destroy a concrete slab foundation. Certain elements such as moisture, drought conditions and trees can cause major damages to your foundation. DuraTech Texas would like to share how trees can ruin a concrete slab foundation, and why homeowners need to be very careful when planting tree in their property.
How Tree Roots Can Damage a Concrete House Foundation?
Trees will have a vast root system that spreads and sometimes bigger than the entire tree. Roots spread out to get as much moisture as they can. Both smaller and large root systems can have a major effect on a concrete slab foundation when the roots reach underneath the foundation. A tree’s root system can weaken the foundation’s integrity over time. The longer a root system is underneath your foundation, the weaker and weaker the foundation will get. This occurs because tree roots can cause issues such as uneven soil shifting, subsidence, and soil erosion. Tree roots dig into the soil and at the same time, the roots will want to absorb all of the moisture in the soil. Roots can lead to faster water absorption than drought conditions. When the soil doesn’t have any moisture, the soil will contract or shrink. When soil shrinks it doesn’t provide the foundation with the proper support which often leads to the foundation shifting or sinking. If the tree roots allow water to enter underneath the foundation, the water can cause soil erosion. However, another concern about rapid fluctuations of moisture in the soil is the pressure it can put on the concrete foundation. When the soil is constantly changing moisture levels, it has its effects. High moisture levels can cause the soil to swell which puts pressure on the foundation. This is where most cracks come from. A tree’s root system can have a major effect on the soil that is underneath and supports a concrete foundation. Tree roots can lead to sinking or shifting in the home’s foundation. Roots can cause cracks to form and the soil to erode. It is important to prevent tree roots from ever occurring.
How Can We Prevent Foundation Damage from Trees?
The best prevention method is to avoid planting trees too close to the home. Where tree are often used to help shade a home, it is a common mistake if a tree is planted too close. Additionally, before planting any tree, it is recommended that the homeowner does their homework and investigates the different trees the can plant. Some root systems grow deep into the ground, while other tree roots grow outward. Most tree root systems will grow an average depth and width. Know the tree’s root system to determine if the tree is ideal for your property. If a tree’s roots have already done its damage, the foundation can be repaired. Often the tree will need to be removed and the surrounding soil stabilized. A drainage system will also be put in place. The damage to the foundation, such as cracks, sinking or shifting will then need to be repaired.