How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes
What should I do about a tree with roots running under my house?
Saturday, July 21, 2018
The one thing you should not do is cut off multiple lateral roots on one side of the tree when trying to eliminate roots running under a house. Roots radiate outward from the trunk in all directions, which makes the tree stable in high winds in the same way that the broad base of a table lamp keeps it from being easily tipped over. When you remove half of the base, the lamp becomes unstable—and so does a tree in even a minor windstorm.
A tree growing just a few feet from the wall of a house, like the one in the photo at the top of the page, should be removed because of the potential for the trunk and branches to damage the fascia and roof. But, if you are concerned about possible foundation problems from roots that appear to be growing under the house from a tree further away, we suggest consulting a Certified Arborist. The arborist will know how aggressive the roots of the particular species of tree are, and can recommend a strategy for dealing with it. While large roots of some species can cause uplift, it is more common that the leeching of water from under the structure by a maze of thirsty roots will cause settlement over time.
Also, see our blog post How can trees damage a house?
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Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about a home’s SITE:
• Which trees are most likely to fall over on your house in a hurricane?
Visit our SITE page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.
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