Trees provide shade, wind protection, and water filtration. They can be wonderful but also can cause serious damage due to their roots, and that will mean thousands of dollars in repairs to foundations, buildings, pavement, backyards and plumbing systems. They can destroy your house over time if they are too close to the foundation or planted in the wrong place. Most of the damage they cause can lead to leaks. If you are experiencing leaks due to tree roots and want to contact a professional plumber to fix the problem, click here to know the available options for you.
Here are the different types of structural damage that tree roots might cause
Damage to foundations and buildings
As they move to the ground in their eternal quest for nutrients and water, they displace the soil around them. While the roots are not capable of causing direct damage to buildings and foundations, soil displacement can compromise the integrity of the soil that the building sits on, as well as its supporting structure. Sometimes, older building materials that have deteriorated over time can settle as the soil displaced by extensive tree roots system moves, and the structure might develop cracks that small tree roots will be able to penetrate.
The drainage system is a powerful attractant to tree roots, particularly in areas that see little annual rainfall. Several species of trees such as maples, aspens, and willows, are typically invasive, as their roots can develop as far as they need to when searching for water. Roots are easily capable of growing into these holes and is some other cases, can completely block pipes to the point of no longer functioning.
While trees are an addition to a landscape, their roots can take over areas intended for other plants, and ruin expensive plantings. As trees age, roots become visible through the surface of the soil; a process helped along by erosion and the wind. Trees that grow together are sometimes forced to compete for limited nutrients and water, and gardening will be limited to the spaces between and around them due to intertwined roots growing beneath the surface of the soil.
Prevention is the key to avoiding costly tree root damage. It includes the selection of those types of trees and shrubs that pose the least threat to structural systems of any type. Sadly, there is no way to find out if a tree won´t someday make their way to a foundation, so the most reliable option is to plant trees at least 50 feet away from all drainage systems and structures. Sometimes, the only solution will be cut the tree down and remove as much as tree roots as possible before making any repairs to damaged structures. It is also possible to avoid this problem by placing a barrier between the tree and any buried pipes if you don´t fell like cutting the tree down. This video shows you how to kill tree roots in a plumbing system.