Photo of tree roots breaking concrete to depict tree root foundation damage

Tree Root Foundation Damage & Exterior Waterproofing

If you’re concerned about the well-being of the foundation of your home, we are here to help. Today we will address a more sneaky culprit to consider when examining those cracks in your basement walls or fissures in the concrete floors. That culprit is as unsuspecting as the large tree in your front or back yard. Believe it or not, the strong materials and structures that are used to hold up the integrity of your home can be destroyed by tree roots! 

It doesn’t have to take a sudden change or shock to the foundation to cause damage. Take moisture intrusion, for example. Water entering your home’s foundation over a long period of time is what causes the damage. This process is similar to what happens when steadily growing tree roots have been making their way in. Once tree root foundation damage is identified, and if the damage has not gone too far, it can be rectified rather easily by simply removing the tree. 

To do this, your local waterproofing experts like here at Barrier Waterproofing Systems begin by digging a trench along the damaged wall. Any exterior landscaping is carefully removed so a trench can be dug. Some cracks and root intrusion have penetrated all the way down to the foundation’s footer. By removing the tree from above ground, and then digging down past its roots to the foundation walls to remove the rest, the wall can be safe from further tree root foundation damage. It is still left vulnerable to moisture intrusion, however.

After the tree and any deep root systems removed, the foundation wall will need to be protected using some exterior waterproofing techniques. A waterproofing membrane, drainage board, and the right drainage system are installed outside the foundation wall to keep moisture intrusion from finishing where the tree roots had left off. Cracks made in the wall from the protruding roots are open game for moisture to enter into and further the tree root foundation damage.

The dirt can then be backfilled onto the exterior waterproofing system in the trench that had been dug. Possible exterior landscaping pieces can be placed back where they once were, and the site will look good as new, minus the large tree that had been removed. If your home’s foundation is at risk for tree root foundation damage due to large encroaching tree roots, give us a call at Barrier Waterproofing Systems at (615) 257-1060 today.

This post was originally published on 2/10/2021 and updated on 3/8/2022 for accuracy and a larger scope of information.