If you are worried about your foundation being damaged by roots, there are a number of steps you can take to protect yourself. In most cases, the concern will come after the foundation has been laid and the trees nearby have been in place for a long time. A GPR survey can be used to identify the extent of the problem.
One of the ways you can protect your foundations is to build a root barrier. To create the barrier, you need to dig down to the base of the foundations. Any roots that you come across as you approach the foundation can be cut away as this will ensure a good barrier. While this barrier process can be a hassle, it is better than trusting that your home’s foundation will be undamaged by root growth and weather cycles.
If you want to plant a new tree in your card, there is another method you can use. This method is to plant a slow-growing tree species that does not have aggressive root systems. You should avoid silver maples, elm trees or willows as they spread deep roots that can cause damage. It is better to choose sugar maple or oak trees that grow slowly and do not have the same aggressive roots.
Another way you can prevent root damage is to consider your plans for planting around your home. One of the issues you have to consider is how large your yard is. It is a common belief that trees develop roots that are as broad as the tree is tall. However, this is not true and underestimates the root system of trees. They can develop roots two to three times its height.
If you are unable to provide the space required for a full root system, you need to think about getting a tree that is smaller. You may also want to consider a different landscaping option.
If you are building a new structure, there are some steps you can take to prevent damage from roots in the future. The most common cause of root damage is to have an insufficiently deep foundation. This is why houses that have a full basement will be less vulnerable to damage from roots and concrete settling than those that do not. Shallow foundations will be more vulnerable to dry soil conditions and shifts while basements offer structural protection.
You should not start cutting down trees if you are worried about root damage. This is generally unnecessary and can be avoided with a good root barrier. Soil type analysis and foundation status will also determine if there is a major threat to your home. You should only cut down trees as a last resort.