Most people want trees in their yard. It provides shade, style, and protection from the elements. However, where there is a yin, there is a yang. From the branches, to the roots below, most aspects of a tree pose threats to the safety, and integrity of your structures. While normally not a problem, if left unattended, the power of nature may unleash its wrath on your building, causing expensive, lasting damage.
Tree Root Dangers:
Let's start underground with the roots. While they won’t normally penetrate the foundation of a house, they do have foundational implications. For instance, if you have a large crack in your foundation, a root can take hold in there, and naturally erode the surrounding building material by expanding, and fracturing the material as it grows.
If you live by particularly large trees, with deep roots, they can sometimes get underneath the building and cause what’s known as “foundational uplift.” Additionally, roots can suck moisture away from the surrounding dirt, creating uneven shifts in the foundation as the ground saturates, and desaturates over time.
Tree roots can also puncture through sewage and water systems, creating a whole set of problems, not short of flooding basements and contaminating the ground around it from sewage leakage. Also, with water, and sewage, comes tree growth. Wherever it leaks, the roots will follow, which can lead to the roots impacting the foundation.
If you see the roots ripping out of the ground, and the tree angling, this is a huge red flag, and should be dealt with as soon as possible.
If you have a bunch of large trees around your property, it’s best to contact a tree service so they can inspect it, and inform you if it poses any threats to your structural integrity.
Tree Branch Dangers:
Some trees are notorious for holding water in their branches. Over time, these branches can swell beyond their capability, and fracture, raining its full weight down upon your building. These falling branches can rip down power infrastructure, shatter windows, damage roofs, and cave in ceilings. This may be exacerbated during the winter by snow, and ice stretching the branches beyond their capabilities, especially on older trees, which are often larger by nature.
Branches also act as access points for rodents, and insects to enter your building by providing bridges between it and the structure.
Therefore, if you have any branches that cover close to the house, it may be wise to hire a tree service to trim them back.
Since many tree branches are high up, beyond the capabilities of some people’s eyesight, a pair of binoculars is a great way to take a closer look.
Tree Trunk Dangers
If you have an old tree, with a hollowing trunk that is in danger of damaging your property, or public infrastructure, it has to come down. This is a ticking time bomb that when it goes off, will send a heavy, dangerous object flying in whatever direction it decides to sway. If it’s a danger to public infrastructure, sometimes this can be taken care of by the municipality, but not in all cases.
Dangers From Leaves
Yes, leaves. The most innocuous part of the tree. However, they shouldn’t be taken lightly, as excess build up of leaves falling on your structure can cause erosion to wherever they land, strip your paint, and clog your gutters. Clogged gutters lead to poor drainage, which can cause leaks and floods that can cause infrastructure damage and health concerns from mold.
If you have trees around your property, while they are an amazing addition to the land, they can cause hazards. Therefore, pay attention to where branches and trees are located, and if there is any way that the roots can enter the foundation of the house. Also, observe if any of the branches are hollow, cracking, or impeding something else.
If you notice any of the aforementioned signs of tree danger, make sure to contact a tree service professional as soon as possible. The integrity of your life, and property could be at stake.