Subsidence is a problem with the foundation on which a building rests. It occurs when the soil of a building begins to drop due to the force of gravity. Tree roots can often be seen affecting foundations, where water accumulates and has nowhere to go, eventually creating uneven floors. A slight drop in soil pressure, caused by weathering, expansion, and contraction due to heat or cold, can also cause slight subsidence of your basement floor or foundations. Most often the cause is the groundwater pressure that has built up under the home over the years.
The main culprit for basement seepage is the basement foundation footer drains. In older homes, these drain tiles are usually made of clay or stone, and the compaction of these soil layers can allow water to percolate through the cracks and crevices, which can increase the pressure on the floor and cause it to sink. When the soil pressure rises, so does the amount of water that will percolate into the basement. Eventually, this can result in subsidence of the floor. Before purchasing any property, ensure that checking for subsidence is part of any survey done. For a Building Survey Reading, contact Sam Conveyancing
What can you do to stop this from happening? One option is to have your drainage system re-landscaped, especially if the area around the house is now dry. This can make excavation unnecessary since excavating will just move the water away from the foundation. Another option is to have a sump pump installed to remove excess water from the basement, although this will only work during an extended drought, not when water logging is taking place due to tree roots.
Why do tree roots pose such a threat to the structural integrity of a basement? In addition to putting extra stress on the floor, a foundation built with wet, moist soil can also weaken the walls and ceilings by fostering the growth of both mold and mildew.
If you’re wondering if your foundations might be a likely site for tree roots, there are a few things that you can do to minimize their presence. One of them is to regularly clear away leaves and other debris. Another is to ensure that there is no flooding of the soil beneath the foundation. If neither of these tips helps, then it might be a good idea to consult a professional before you attempt to handle any drainage issues.
Why do tree roots cause subsidence? While many people don’t think of this as a major concern, everyone should be aware of it. The subsidence that they have caused may not be visible to the naked eye, but you will know that there is a problem when you start to notice cracks in the foundation or when you hear water dripping. A cracked foundation is a sure sign that the situation is going to get worse very soon.