Can Tree Roots Harm a Foundation?

You may associate foundation damage with highly visible events like earthquakes and floods, but it can also occur in slow, subtle ways. Shifting soil and the growth of tree roots could cause building materials to settle or crack. Roots have the potential to inflict damage by penetrating the foundation or affecting soil composition.

Can Tree Roots Harm a Foundation?


Some trees are more likely to create these problems. They grow swiftly and have a shallow root depth. These species include oaks, poplar, elms, Norway spruce, ash, sycamore, Crimean pine, aspen, cottonwood, boxelder and tuliptree. Silver and Norway maples represent two more examples.


If you plant a tree, it’s crucial not to place it too near to your house. Although these plants offer many benefits, they can harm almost every exterior surface of a building if positioned unwisely. Select a species carefully; most pines are less likely to damage foundations and sidewalks.

Avoid fertilizing or watering the soil adjacent to your house. Gutters and awnings can help keep the ground dry and deter growth. If you trim branches, roots will grow less quickly. Make an effort to swiftly cut and remove them if they approach your foundation.


Some people try to keep roots at bay by installing barriers in the ground. The effectiveness of these products remains uncertain, but it’s clear that they need to extend multiple feet beneath the surface. Otherwise, roots will just grow underneath them and keep expanding until they reach your foundation.

If you discover that trees have already harmed this part of your home, it’s crucial to quickly obtain help from an expert. Additional damage will occur and increase the cost of repair if you don’t take action. Our professional staff can fix this problem and take steps to reinforce your foundation materials. Please contact us for further details.

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