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Question DetailsAsked on 7/22/2012

Have large sycamore tree near house. Appears roots have gotten under slab foundation and pushed up foundation. How prove this? Repair?

Cracks in walls kitchen, dining & living room. Floor in dining room and kitchen is raised on one side of room of each room. HOA doesn't want to remove tree nor agrees that the tree roots have damaged foundation.

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2 Answers


To convince the HOA and come up with a remediation plan, you should get a civil/structural engineer experienced with residential foundation problems to look at it and come up with a letter report (to satisfy the HOA) and a remediation plan and specs. He can also help locate suitable contractor for this, which will almost certainly be a general contractor.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD


Don't know why this question popped up as a new post - seems to be several years old. Anyway - in addition to my prior post, digging down a foot or so outside the edge of the slab near where it is lifting (having utility lines marked first, of course) would expose the roots and make it clear that they are centered on the cracks where the slab is lifting up, assuming you nhave significant lifting.

The normal solution would be putting in a root barrier - either chemical or solid physical root barrier. Previous question on that here FYI. Of course, cutting the tree down entirely and poisoning the root system to kill them completely is a more positive solution than leaving the tree in place and trying to block its root growth, expecially if in dryer climate (which is likely if you have sycamores) because the roots seek out the moisture ground under the slab, where the soil moisture does not wick to the surface and evaporate as well, making under-house areas ideal growing conditions. The existing roots would of course have to be cut back to stop their growth under the foundation in eitehr case - plus the foundation repaired as applicable, which might invovle cutting out and replacing some slab, or possibly mud-jacking too depending on extent and location of damage.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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