A large, old tree can be an appealing attribute in a new home, appreciated for its shade and simply for being beautiful. That positive impression can distract from the dangers a tree can present to a home by multiple avenues. Although there are residential and commercial services to assist with trees that become a hazard, the first step is knowing the risks. For home and business owners with trees on their property, it is important to be understand what to observe and be prepared to manage, so below are seven potential ways a tree can cause damage.
- Foundation Damage: Contrary to popular belief, trees cannot puncture the foundation of your home on their own. However, they can sometimes worsen existing cracks to the building by growing into them. This is what led to the mistaken group consensus and the necessary repair of so many homes. If you suspect there is foundation damage to a building, contact a contractor that performs residential or commercial services immediately, before the problem has a chance to get any worse.
- Foundation Uplift: Startling as it might be for some homeowners to learn, a large root system that grows beneath the foundation of your home can actually lift the entire foundation. Dispel the image of tree roots deliberately pressing up on your home. This phenomenon is generally caused by soil displacement as the tree root grows, and it is a slow process, not a house-rattling one-time event.
- Water Absorption: One of the primary purpose for a tree’s roots is to absorb the water the tree needs to live. In some circumstances, surrounding trees will leech so much water from the soil surrounding a house that it will cause the house to settle unevenly into the ground.
- Fire Damage: Trees that are too close to your home can be fire hazards, either by a home catching fire from a tree that has ignited as a result of a lightning strike, or a tree catching fire from the house and worsening the existing blaze.
- Gutter Blockage: Branches and leaves from surrounding trees are well knows to clog gutters. If the homeowner does not clean the debris, there is a potential for water penetration of the home.
- Impact Damage: Old, damaged or sick trees have the potential to fall and injure anyone in the vicinity as well as causing property damage. This can also occur with individual large branches, and it is important to be aware of the health and condition of any trees on your property as a result.
- Pipe and Sewer Damage: Unlike the foundation of a home or business, tree roots are perfectly capable of penetrating pipes in the ground. If the pipe was already leaking or if a root causes a drain, the problem will get worse as more roots grow toward the source of moisture. The roots will eventually cause a total failure of the pipe. This used to mean the entire area had to be dug up, but with trenchless repair, it is a less damaging prospect, but still a major event.
In the event that you see any sign that a tree on the property of your home or business might cause one of the above problems, it would be wise to look up local arborist that performs residential or commercial services. These tree specialists can give you the best next steps, from observation to safe removal.