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The Tree Root Foundation Damage

Although trees add beauty and value to your home, they can also cause depreciation and significant loss. 

With time, a tree planted too close to the house walls will invade the house’s foundation and structure and damage your roof, windows, gutter systems, fascia boards, and house veneer panels. No-well-maintained trees overgrow and incur cleanup and debris removal costs. So, you better be prepared for a mess. When appraisers value a house, tree root foundation damage is the most reported incident. Tree root foundation damage also is one of the most costly repairs. The only action of removing a tree may go from $1000 to $10,000.

There are some trees that can cause foundation damage.

If you want to sell your house, home buyers aren’t attracted to homes hidden behind trees. If the front of your house is not visible, potential buyers may desist from making an offer. 

If a beautiful house garden that includes trees increase your home value by 3 to 12%, issues related to trees may decrease your house price between 15 to 30%. 

However, there are some inconveniences of having trees too close to your house because they can:

Trees add value to your house. According to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers, mature trees can appraise between $1,000 and $10,000.According to Natural Path Forestry, species such as swamp white oak have been evaluated for up to $75,000.  It takes years for trees to reach adult size, so plant now and enjoy the trees’ benefits.

Shades from trees help reduce electricity bills in the summer by keeping the house at a comfortable temperature. During winter and windy seasons, the trees act as an umbrella that protects the house’s structure.

Negative Impact

When there are large trees near a house for sale, buyers immediately imagine tree roots problems like broken sewer lines, pest infestation, creatures eventually entering the home, driveway and foundation issues, and a higher insurance policy; as a result, many buyers panic and run away or submit a significantly low offer. Realtor report that when buyers see trees close to the home structure, they imagine tree root foundation damage. And many desist from making an offer.

Leaves And Debris Clog Your Gutters

This gutters problem is not often in the summer, but this can change dramatically once fall and winter come. Deciduous trees lose their leaves each fall, and evergreen trees can drop their needles throughout the year. A few falling leaves may add color to your roof, but debris is terrible if you let it build up. Those fallen leaves and needles can end up clogging gutters, which spells trouble for the roof.

When the gutter system becomes clogged, water will not flow off the roof and overflows, damaging your roof. 

Preventing and Maintenance

Cleaning gutters isn’t a pleasant job, but it’s necessary before the winter season arrives. If you’re cleaning your gutter system yourself, please do it safely. Swinging off a tall ladder while trying to get leaves out of a gutter is not the safest way to clean gutters. Several gutter cleaning tools allow homeowners to clean debris while remaining safely on the ground. Or, contact local gutter cleaners and ask for a quote if you prefer. 

Supervising and cleaning gutters every two months will prevent clogging and damage to the roof and home structure. 

Branches May Damage Your Roof Shingles

Falling branches can cause significant damage to your roof. These can leave scratches or rub against the roof in a way that peels off the shingle’s outer protective layer. While the leaves may seem harmless, they can cause damage to your home if you ignore them.

Although they do not impact your shingles, their damage is more stacked. As the number of leaves on your roof increases, they trap moisture from snow and rain and damage your roof’s integrity. 

Trees are great for shading the house and adding more texture to the curb appeal, whether you have tall aspens, huge maples, or beautiful oaks, but one big downside is that trees can damage your home. Thus, observing and maintaining the trees around your house is crucial.

Falling trees are an obvious hazard that most homeowners are probably aware of. Most homeowners have large trees in their backyards, but even a small one can cause significant damage to your home if it falls on it. That’s why inspecting the trees around your home should be part of your routine. If you see a tree that could be risky, cut it down as soon as possible. It is way cheaper to remove a tree from your property than to repair the damage caused if the tree falls on your house.

The best way to solve this problem is to ensure your roof is clear of leaves and to trim your trees regularly, especially before the fall season.

To prevent tree root foundation damage, plant ornamental or fruit trees at least 15 feet from your house for small and 20 for large trees.

Colorful And Most CommonTrees

Trees enhance our backyards and neighborhoods but sometimes cause conflict among neighbors. Branches and fallen leaves may build up, retain water, and cause accidents. The most common trees in the United States are Red maple, loblolly pine, sweetgum, douglas fir, and quaking aspen. However, tree root foundation damage is likely caused by one of these varieties.

In the West, prevail Hickories are a fast-growing tree. Hickory is one of the fastest-growing trees, reaching 50 feet and spreading widely. It’s edible for animals and humans. A Hickory will look beautiful in your garden.

Oak Tree Ok is a fine wood in wide varieties: White, English, Northern, and Bur. They grow fast, are low maintenance, and display beautiful shades of orange, red, and brown during the fall. Sculptors and crave artisans love to work with Oak.

Maple trees grow incredibly fast, have large branches and leaves, and can be planted almost anywhere in your yard. They provide beautiful colors in spring, summer, and fall. Expect unique flower blooms in the spring, beautiful shades of green in the summer, and vibrant colors of orange, red, yellow, and orange in the fall. Maple wood is highly appreciated in the floor, cabinets, and wooden goods industry.

The crabapple tree is one of the trees that remain healthy for almost all its life. However, it is best to cut it down when it gets old as it may attract harmful insects and pests to other trees. Harvest Gold, Snowdrift, Golden Hornet, and Sugar Tyme are the most popular varieties. Crabapple trees multiply and have beautiful shades of white, pink, and red blooms. They will also have the most prolonged flowers all spring and sometimes even fall.

Fir Pine will protect your garden from noise pollution and garden pests. Fir is incredibly low maintenance. Unlike non-coniferous trees, this type of tree is highly resistant to cold and hot weather and requires very little water. As maple wood, fir pine is used in different industries, such as during the Christmas season.

Troublesome Signs of Tree Roots

Growing tree roots doesn’t actively damage your home, but that doesn’t mean they can’t damage your property in specific ways. If you have trees around the perimeter of your home, you could be in danger of their roots disrupting the stability of the ground below your home foundation; this can cause the base to settle, crack, or suffer other damage.

If you notice that your foundations are being disrupted by inflicting tree roots. You may see some signs around your home. These can include:

  • Tree root foundation damage on the same side of the tree 
  • Pooling water in or around your house after a heavy rain
  • Humidity and weeds
  • Sinking or settling floors
  • Cracking or uneven concrete slabs 
  • Sticking windows or doors 

These signs can also be noticed inside your basement. If you are unsure where the damage is coming from, investigate, hire an expert and repair these problems as soon as possible before further damage occurs. 

As tree roots mature, they can spread and disturb the landscape around your home. The most notorious aesthetic problems are visible in the concrete that forms the driveway or stairs leading up to the entrance.

How To Prevent Damages To Your House Foundation

If you want to plant new trees in your yard, the best way to avoid potential root damage to your home’s foundation is by selecting a slow-growing tree species with less aggressive rooting tendencies. Stay away from willows, silver maples, and elms that spread deep insidious roots, and look for oaks or sugar maples that grow more slowly.

It’s a common belief that a tree will develop roots as broad as the tree is tall, but this is a misconception that underestimates the facts. A tree can grow roots that are two to three times its height.

Building a root barrier is one way to prevent tree root foundation damage. To do so, you may have to dig down to the base of your home’s foundation. Cutaway roots are approaching your foundation while digging for the barrier. 

A manufactured deflector is an inexpensive and effective check on extensive root systems. It consists of a thick, sturdy polypropylene sheet that acts as an impenetrable barrier, preventing the expansion of root growth. This barrier also prevents excessive dampness and moisture from the surrounding soil. 

A root trap or screen is a barrier made from metal screens, welded fiber sheets, or woven fabrics. The web should have holes large enough to let the root tip grow through but strong enough to prevent the root from growing further.

A fabric with herbicide is also a common root barrier. This textile is covered with a chemical root growth inhibitor, often cupric carbonate or trifluralin, an herbicide that inhibits root tip expansion. Both are effective, but the barrier will lose its effectiveness over time, depending on the soil temperature and moisture conditions.

Don’t start cutting down trees immediately if you’re worried about invasive roots; this is often unnecessary and can be avoided using such strategies as a root barrier.

Analyzing your soil type and foundation status can also demonstrate that roots are not a significant threat to your home. Cutting down trees should be the final solution to a potential root problem. 

Trees are vital for life. They provide oxygen, maintain slope stability, and help to filter stormwater, among other benefits. Before cutting down trees, consult your city or county.  

There are norms and regulations to protect them. It does not matter if the tree you want to remove is planted inside your property. Still, you must check with your local authorities to follow the guidelines. For example, Portland, Oregon, has the “Title 11 Trees, ” an extensive code to manage trees inside the city. Multnomah County, Oregon, and the federal government have three rules. Thus, if you detect any root damage around your property, contact your local authorities to know how to address the problem.

How To Remove Trees Correctly

After an inspection around your house is determined that trees are causing or potentially will cause significant damage to the home. And that you will have no legal problems removing the tree from your property. Investigate the safe and less expensive ways to cut down your problematic tree.

You could remove the tree by yourself or contact a tree removal specialist in your area.

The cost of removing a tree is related to its size, proximity to the house structure, inground roots, and potential hazard to close properties in the neighborhood.

Size is the primary determining cost of removing a tree. The tree’s condition and the difficulty of removal will further influence the cost. The average price for removing a tree is $1,200—trees up to 100 feet high cost $4,000 or more. Smaller trees cost $400 or less to remove.

Factors That Affect Tree Removal Cost

The first things to consider to generate a tree removal estimate are the Height, Volume, and Tree Species. Maple and pine trees grow very tall—up to 100 feet—and can cost $3,000 or more. Oaks tend to top out about 20 feet lower than maples and pines, so they will cost between $1,200 and $1,900 to be removed.

Less labored removing are the Italian Cypress trees, they can reach up to 50 feet high, but their thin trunks, low volume, and shallow root systems make them easy to remove. In some cases, they can safely be tipped over and pulled out. The average price for removing a palm tree is between $400 and $900. The removal cost is at the lower end of the scale, around $800.

Possible Obstacles To Remove a Tree

Sometimes the most accessible tree removal can turn difficult. Many predictable or unpredictable obstacles might drive up the cost of tree removal:

  • The actual condition of the tree: leaning, dead, etc.
  • Proximity  to the house walls
  • Limited access to vehicles
  • Inclined property
  • Rocky or muddy soil
  • Other trees nearby that hamper work


Emergency tree removal will come at a premium price. On average, urgent tree removal will cost about $2,900. As a rule of thumb, emergency tree removal will cost about two to three times more than ordinary tree removal.

Crane Rental

If a crane must be used, the tree removal cost rises sharply. Crane-assisted tree removal will add another $450 to $800 per day to the price.

Traffic Control

If a street needs to be closed down entirely or partially, the cost of traffic control, cones, and flaggers will add to the tree removal cost. A two-person flagging crew can cost between $175 and $225 per hour.

Another cost that may occur is hiring an Arborist. This action is needed if the authorities are concerned about the area’s tree specie, insects, and other factors. 

Stump grinding. A unique stump-grinding tool with spinning blades is used to shred the stump until it is about six inches below the soil’s surface. These costs also could increase by $600.

Hiring a Professional Tree Cutter

You can get the best reference for hiring a professional tree remover by visiting your city’s website. Cities, Counties, and States daily dial with lawn maintenance and planting and removing trees.

The Internet is also a good source of information when you search for tree cutters and removers. Many homeowners find it way expensive to remove a tree that could cause severe damage, but it is more costly to face the repairs around the house.

Tree removal specialists are always willing to give you an estimate, so you can shop around to come out with the most convenient solution.

A substantial foundation, structural, and lawn damage might cost thousands of dollars. Removing a tree may cost $3,000, but not removing it could represent $100,000.

The Solution

Some homeowners find it overwhelming to deal with city authorities, homeowners associations, environmentalists, and neighbors to remove a tree that may damage their homes. Removing a tree and repairing the damage already caused is even more out of reach for others. Thus, many property owners opt to sell their houses as it is.

However, selling a house that has a potential hazard is difficult in the extreme. Real estate agents prefer to reject complicated properties, and just a few dare to work with desperate homeowners.

Many homeowners find that selling their homes to real estate investors is the best approach. Typically, Investors purchase properties As-Is and they pay for everything. The flexibility and desire to work with homeowners without discrimination make investors the perfect solution.

Investors buy houses as-is. To sell your property to an investor, you don’t need to remove your hazard trees. You don’t do repairs, cleaning, curve appeal, or anything related to make your home attractive to buyers.

As a seller, you don’t pay for sales commissions, closing costs, and unexpected expenses. In addition, you will receive the money for your home in about seven days. Thus, if you have on your property a tree that is causing problems, you also have different options to tackle the situation. 

However, you can take risks and hire a professional tree cutter. Repair the damages caused to drainage and sewage, structure, gutter system, roof, and foundation damage. Or you can sell your property as-is, some real estate agents will help you, but it would be necessary to comply with a long list of requirements. Or shoot for a better manageable option. Sell your house to a real estate investor.

An investor will buy your property and put money in your pocket within seven days. 

Review your situation and determine the best option for your particular case. We hope this post has shed light and helped you with the necessary information


Hi, I'm Scott Dalinger a real estate investor in Portland, Oregon. I focus on helping homeowners and rental property owners out of negative situations by offering cash for their property. I research and write about real estate on my business website.

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