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Common Tree Root and Home Foundation Issues

Slab Repairs and Plumbing Problems Can Result from Poorly-Located Landscaping

© 2013 by Sarah Harris; all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without written permission.

A concrete slab; photo © KSmith Media, LLC

Owning a home is rarely a simple thing, and when you’ve got a house to take care of, you’ve usually got a family that needs to be taken care of along with it.

A lot of times, it can seem like there’s simply no end to the long list of responsibilities that comes with owning your own home. Maintenance is a pretty constant thing; there’s always going to be something that needs your attention, and always another way you can fix or improve something else.

Many homeowners, however, absolutely love this kind of thing. For some of us, taking care of the house can become a sort of passion, and might even be something to which we look forward every weekend.

Whether you like it or not, though, your home is going to require some maintenance of you, and probably on a relatively regular basis.

There are a lot of things you’re going to have to make sure you take care of when you’re a homeowner, and issues with roots might very well be one of them.

The Pros and Cons of Trees

We don’t all live on properties that are shared with a great many trees, but for those of us who do, root issues are a very common occurrence. A common problem is planting a tree too close to the house.

Of course, trees can shade our homes in the summer and let the sunshine in during the winter which can potentially save hundreds of dollars a year. If you plant fruit trees rather than ornamentals, you can shave hundreds of dollars off your grocery bills.

However, the root systems of trees don’t have a tendency to grow with very much regard for your home, so sometimes you will wind up having to take care of some pretty serious issues that might arise when your home’s foundation and the roots of nearby trees butt heads.

The Threat to Home Foundations

One of the most common issues that can face a homeowner is when tree roots disrupt what’s known as the slab foundation. The slab is almost exactly what it sounds like—a giant bed of concrete upon which your home sits.

Your home’s slab is the big piece of concrete that provides a completely flat surface upon which the foundation can rest, but it’s also got a bunch of pipes and wiring running through it.

Your home’s plumbing and electrical systems may be integrated into your slab, so if something goes wrong down there, you could be dealing with some serious repair costs.

Other common types are crawlspace and basement foundations. Where you live is the factor most likely to dictate which type you have. Regardless of which you have, roots can give you a headache.

Home Plumbing is also at Risk

Another very common issue that homeowners have with roots near their home has to do with plumbing. All that plumbing that sits underneath your house isn’t going to move out of the way if roots are growing nearby, and sometimes this can cause some serious homeowner heartache.

In fact, roots can cause you grief on other parts of your property. Your sewage line, into which your sinks, showers, and toilets flow, is buried and usually goes straight from your home across either your front or back yard.

Roots can actually infiltrate this pipe and both clog it up and cause leaks. In most municipalities, the city is responsible past your property line, but up until that point it is on your dime.

It’s smart to make sure you have your home inspected every so often so that you can make sure your plumbing system is free from any danger. You might consider yourself something of an arborist, but it’s still important to make sure that the trees near your home aren’t messing with its foundation.

Make sure you keep your eye out for some of these common issues that homeowners might deal with, so that you don’t have to break the bank paying for expensive home repairs.

Trees can definitely cause you some trouble when it comes to your home, but if you’re careful you can enjoy a ton of lovely greenery without threatening the foundation of your home.

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