Trees serve a multitude of purposes that extend far beyond aesthetics. Not only can they provide ample amounts of shade during periods of grueling heat, but they can also provide the homeowner with fresh produce, in addition to contributing to the overall oxygen supply. Although many of us appreciate a nice backyard landscape, we personally don’t do much to maintain ours besides regular watering. Despite common belief, trees require much more upkeep than this. They need to be pruned and monitored for disease as well as insect infestation.
Regardless of how well you may be taking care of the trees on your property, they may be secretly doing damage to your home if they are situated in a poor location. Inexperienced landscapers often make the mistake of situating trees near the house, where their roots can cause costly damage to the home’s foundation. Depending on how long ago the tree was planted, the damage can take years to manifest. But when it does, rest assured that you may be in for a costly roller coaster ride.
You can inspect your basement for common signs of root intrusion. If any of the walls are cracked or look like they have shifted, there very well may be a problem. Remember that a tree’s roots can grow to be many times taller than the tree itself, so although you may be tempted to rule out root intrusion as the reason for damage to certain areas, you may very well be making an incorrect assumption. Since roots are very absorbent, they can even cause damage without pushing against the foundation. By simply extracting the moisture from the soil that acts as the foundation’s base it can cause your home to shift. Signs of foundation damage will eventually manifest in your home’s floors and elsewhere.
If you have reason to believe that the tree in your yard is causing any of the aforementioned problems, have an expert come out to inspect the foundation. If he or she confirms that this is the issue, you will need to have an arborist perform a complete tree extraction unless the roots can be trimmed back without any adverse consequence to the health of the tree. The cost of tree removal can vary depending on the size of your tree and where you reside. However, root extraction is an elective service that can set you back an additional few hundred.
In some cases, it may be possible to contain the tree’s roots using what is known as a root barrier. This vinyl material is wrapped around the tree’s roots to hopefully keep them away from foundations and other obstructions. It is best used in conjunction with other methods that are known to prevent root growth in unwanted areas, such as soil poisoning. This is accomplished with copper sulfate which is a compound known to effectively ward off root growth. Soil poisoning will need to be conducted on a routine basis or else the problem may return. Furthermore, consider treating any areas that have underground piping as well.