Simply stated, roots don’t cause actual harm to the walls strength unless it was misplanted right at building within a few feet. If a tree or shrub is so close that it is heaving the dirt at the base of the plant, then it could cause harm. Plantings that are say 10’ or more feet from a structure won’t generally create issues with walls.
Trees and shrubs seek water and ample space. They aren’t trying to grow into the inorganic masonry.
It is possible that tree and shrub roots could affect old gutter discharge lines from the roof that lead out into the yard. That becomes more of an issue of crushed or rotted pipes than it is an issue of the root system. If those lines have failed, they have already been compromised to the point that they can’t displace the water from the roof and the result is often a leaky or wet basement.
You can test your downspout performance if you can actually see where the water goes after it has left the structure. Home inspections often include dye tests to verify that the water is making it to the street or displacement area. If the water can be seen, and it’s not coming through properly, the likely culprit is a clogged or broken discharge line. We regularly replace downspout lines when we do our interior waterproofing lines to the outside.
Planting usually help more than they hurt by using the water that they accumulate. Our representatives will be happy to access your unique issues at your property. Request an inspection online or by calling us! We can help you access any damage caused by tree roots or plants in your Pennsylvania area home and yard.