What to Do When Your Tree Has Caused Foundation Damage to Your Home


Some of the common types of damage trees can inflict on a property are rather more obvious than others. Many homeowners are aware of the hazards that falling branches—let alone toppling trees—pose to buildings, vehicles, and naturally a human being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Other kinds of damage are more subtle—and insidious. A clear-cut example is the harm a tree can cause to your home’s foundation if you aren’t careful. And given how costly foundation work can be—and how (ahem) foundational that substructure is to your home’s integrity—this is not something you want to ignore.

mature-trees-growing-close-to-homesHow Tree Roots Damage Foundations

It can be amazing how far tree roots may grow from the base of the trunk, seeking as they do both moisture and nutrients. Planting trees too close to a home is risky not only because of the possibility of damage to the building in the event of falling branches or the entire tree itself, but also because of root impacts on the foundation. But even a tree situated too far from the home to threaten it by falling or dropping branches could affect the foundation underground.

It’s true that tree roots can sometimes harm foundations by growing against, under, or even—via cracks in the concrete, mortar, or wood—within them. But many common foundation effects stemming from trees don’t necessarily have to do with direct contact, but rather soil responses to root growth and activity.

Tree roots may compact or loosen soil, or cause drying-out and contraction by reducing soil moisture in a localized area. These processes can produce strain or pressure upon the foundation, or result in settling due to soil subsidence.

Avoid / Remedy Foundation Damage From Trees

Bearing in mind where you’re planting trees and how you’re watering them can help you avoid putting your foundation at risk from root action. It’s also important to stay watchful for symptoms of foundation damage so that you can address any problem as swiftly as possible, thereby avoiding more significant impacts.

Such symptoms may include cracks in your foundation, uneven floors, cabinets pulling away from walls, doors or windows sticking, and sagging rooflines.

Addressing existing tree impacts on your foundation can be complicated. It’s often possible to remove offending roots and install root barriers to prevent further issues. In worst-case scenarios, a tree may unfortunately need to be taken down.

Turn to Excel Tree Care for Tree Removal Services & More

If you’re concerned about potential structural damage to your foundation from a tree on your property, get in touch with the team at Excel Tree Care. We offer assessments, tree maintenance, and tree-removal services—all with a Leave No Trace ethic aimed at minimizing damage to your property—for homeowners throughout the North Metro Atlanta area. Contact us at (404) 964-6508 or fill out our online message form here at the Excel Tree Care website.

Don’t wait to mitigate foundation damage from tree roots. This is an issue you definitely want to nip in the bud!