How foundation repairs relate to residential landscape?
Over the years, homeowners have heard many conflicting stories about how landscaping can cause foundation problem and induce foundation repairs.
Of course the benefit of landscaping are many and easily outweigh the potential negatives, specially if the landscaping is done with a correct plan. When homeowners plan the landscape, they should keep in mind the visible part of the landscape above ground but also what's under the surface, primarily the root systems.
Trees are usually the most significant element in a landscape design. They can greatly affect the residence energy power consumption by providing shade and increase the property value. However, there have been studies where it has been proven that large trees' root system affect the moisture content of the subgrade and can cause foundation damage.
If the residence was build on land where the trees where already established and there was adequate watering after the foundation was put in place, there is a good chance to minimize impact by promoting root growth away from the foundation. When the homeowners water the tree, it should be done on the side of the tree away from the house so that the new roots will grow in that direction to satisfy the tree's watering requirements.
If the root system extend under the house foundations, it maybe necessary to install a root barrier. When installing a root barrier, homeowners should place it as far away as possible from the tree in order to reduce the damage to the tree. The barrier should at least 4 feet deep and be made of a material capable of blocking the roots, typically reinforced concrete or corrugated hard plastic.
Sufficient watering is essential to the tree and to prevent foundation repairs. Always water the tree one the side away from the house if possible to encourage root growth in that direction. A local reputable nursery should be able to help with estimating watering needs.
Of course this is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to having a healthy and balanced environment around the house to prevent large soil moisture levels and therefore damaging the residence's foundations. Homeowners should inspect the slope of the yard, the gutters and downspouts and they sprinkler system to make sure all the components are working properly.
In a very expansive soil substrate, In the end, it is all about moisture levels and keeping them as constant as possible.