How Trees Can Damage a Concrete Foundation

Trees and their roots are frequently a major source of trouble for the foundation of a home. Because trees require a large amount of water—more than 150 gallons a day for some trees—they can cause the soil near a house to become excessively dry. If trees are very close to the house or their roots are near a foundation, they will siphon off water from the soil, causing the soil to contract, which can cause the foundation to shift and eventually crack in that area.

In addition to water being extracted from the soil by a tree’s root system, the roots themselves can sometimes grow directly under a foundation, causing enough movement to produce settling and foundation damage within the home. Though less frequent than issues caused by shrinkage of the soil, this problem is another reason to avoid planting trees too close to the home.

One of the ways to fix such problems is to remove trees that are close to the home, but many homeowners enjoy the shade and beauty of their trees and do not want them removed. Another fix involves the creation of a root barrier or barricade. Such a barrier can be installed in the soil around a home to prevent the roots from drawing water from it. The barricade also prevents any roots from growing directly under the foundation and causing structural damage.

If there are already cracks in the foundation, the only real solution is to fix it. If you suspect that trees have caused foundation damage to your home, contact your foundation repair company today. Most will give you a free inspection to let you know what, if anything, they need to do to fix your foundation and the best way to approach those repairs.

Since 1933, homeowners have relied on Olshan Foundation Solutions and Home Services to fix foundation problems with uncompromising quality and superior customer service. More than a foundation repair company, Olshan also offers waterproofing, plumbing, landscaping and installation of tankless water heaters to reduce energy usage. Contact Olshan at 1.877.465.7426 for a free estimate, or visit us online at


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