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The 3 Big Problems With Tree Roots In Your Crawl Space

By Chuck Henrichsen on March 18, 2015

At first glance, it may seem somewhat laughable to discover that the roots of the trees surrounding your home have wriggled their way into your crawl space, but in reality, it is no laughing matter. Over our years of servicing local homes and businesses, we have found that having trees roots that extend into your crawl space, while a rare occurrence in the Seattle area, will have many serious consequences.

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1. Tree Roots Weaken the Foundation

Roots that have wormed their way through the cement base of your home have now left gaping holes in the rock foundation. Growing tree roots put an incredible amount of pressure on whatever they are growing near or through. As their roots extend, they force dirt and soil out of their way. Roots that have broken through the foundation of your crawlspace have displaced a large chunk of your foundation, weakening the structure of your home.

2. Tree Roots Allow Water In

Tree roots that push their way through the wall of your foundation can leave large cracks in their wake. These large cracks allow water easy access to your crawl space. Water puddles can form on the floor, drops can settle on your walls, and moisture can fill the air. Water in your crawlspace is a very serious matter. As water and moisture encourage mold and deterioration, the walls, wood, and insulation in your crawl space can begin to disintegrate and weaken, threatening the integrity of your home.

Additionally, as mold proliferates, it releases spores into the air. These can travel up through the roof of your crawl space and into your home. Surprisingly, a large percentage of the air within your home comes directly from your crawl space, so there are health risks involved in a wet crawl space. Many families have endured symptoms such as headaches and fevers, simply because of a moldy and rotting crawl space. Crawl space cleaning, in such a situation, is a necessity. Check out our eBook on how to care for your crawl space by clicking here.

3. Tree Roots Invite Pests

Through the same cracks that allow water in, pests can also gain access to your crawl space and start to make a home. Termites and other bugs can live in the root and then spread to other wood and materials in your crawl space. Squirrels and mice can find their way through these cracks to enjoy the shelter of your crawl space.

To keep any or all of these events from happening, it is important that you regularly check your crawl spaces to ensure that no roots are finding their way inside. If you should discover a small or large root working its way through your crawl space, here are a few things you can do.

Remove the Root

The first step would be to remove the tree root from your crawl space. To ensure another does not simply grow back in its place, it may be necessary to relocate the tree. There are many professional tree care companies throughout the Greater Seattle area to help you eliminate the roots beneath your house and relocate your tree to a more appropriate location on your property.

Repair the Foundation

One the tree root has been eliminated from your crawl space, it is critical that you can any holes or cracks sealed quickly. There are exceptional foundation repair businesses that specialize in ensuring that every part of your homes foundation is reliable and healthy. Inviting these experts to inspect your Seattle crawl space can help you to know what repairs need to be done, and you can get their assistance and advice.

Cleanup and Restoration

Once the root has been removed and the foundation restored, it is time to inspect the condition of the rest of your crawl space. Any water or pests that may have gotten in while the root was growing or being removed may have damaged the insulation and prompted mold growth. Repair teams moving in and out of the crawl space may have also damaged the vapor barrier on the floor or the insulation on the walls.

At Clean Crawls, we specialize in removing all junk and damaged materials from your crawl space and installing fresh insulation and new vapor barriers. We can repair any small cracks or holes to ensure that water and pests cannot find their way into your crawl space so that it stays tidy and dry. As a family-run business, our goal is to provide services and information you can rely on.

To learn more about crawl spaces, or for more information regarding our services throughout the Puget Sound area, give us a call, or fill out our contact form.

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Chuck Henrichsen
President and CEO of Clean Crawls, Treasurer of E3 World Wide, proud husband and father.

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