Concrete damage harms curb appeal and therefore, property value. It has many causes, and one of them is tree roots pushing up from underneath. If you’re noticing heaving, sinking, cracking or crumbling of your concrete driveway, patio or walkway, underlying problematic tree roots could be to blame.
Can Trees and Concrete Structures Coexist?
The function of tree roots is to absorb water to feed the structure. Since concrete absorbs water, roots are attracted to it.
Tree roots can devastate a concrete surface, though it won’t happen overnight. It’s possible to have both trees and concrete coexist, but it takes some careful planning.
When Planning Landscaping or Building
When you first consider planting trees on your property, do yourself and your concrete a favor: Plant the tree at least 50 feet away from all structures. This ensures the roots have enough room to spread without interfering with any existing walkways, driveways, foundations, etc. Any tree or shrub that poses a threat should have a wide distance between it and unmovable structures. While roots can still make their way to it over time, it’s your best preventive measure from a landscaping planning perspective.
When pouring the material at the time of installation, you can put measures into place to prevent root damage. Install a root barrier before pouring to direct roots downward. It will take some extra digging, but installing either a plastic or fabric root guard will help defend the surface against water-seeking root systems.
On the Concrete Side of Things
When you make repairs to concrete damage caused by tree roots, you shouldn’t make any cuts to the roots until you talk to a certified arborist. It’s possible to remove some parts of a tree’s root system, but it’s essential that you consult an expert before you do so. You don’t want to threaten the tree’s stability or its nutrient feeding system.
Once you get the go-ahead to clear a space for repair, always consider concrete lifting as an option before you consider replacement. It’s more cost-effective, since you don’t have to rip out the entire structure.
Give Us a Call
When your trees won’t stop causing concrete damage, it’s tough, but it’s not a problem we can’t help solve. Make Lift-Up Concrete your first call when you’re worried about concrete damage. We offer free consultations and quotes — call us today.