The Effects of Roots on Your Foundation in Pittsburgh, PA | Matthews

Do Trees and Shrubs Cause Foundation Issues?

By on December 29th, 2014
Tags: Basement Waterproofing, Foundation Repair, Q&A, Residential Blog, Water drainage

Can Roots Cause Foundation Problems in Pennsylvania?

A common question is what effect trees and bushes in the yard have on the integrity of the basement.

tree roots

Simply stated, roots don’t cause actual harm to the walls strength unless the tree or bush was planted within a few feet of the building. 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 10 feet or more from a structure won’t generally create issues with walls.

Give Landscaping Some Room

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 impact gutter discharge lines from the roof that lead out into the yard. That becomes more of an issue with crushed or rotted pipes than it is with 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.

Plants usually help more than they hurt by using the water that they accumulate. Our representatives will be happy to address 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.

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