Baton Rouge and the surrounding area are home to some of the most picturesque landscapes one can find. We have foliage that is as beautiful as it is varied. And, it’s not just the grounds that are beautiful; our trees can be breathtaking as well. From the tall water oaks, to the sprawling live oaks, or the laid back serenity of a bald cypress, our trees can make the wind whistle and make time seem like it’s slowing down.
But, when you are a home owner, some of the most gorgeous trees around can be seen as a threat to your home. Every hurricane season we are reminded of the possibility of trees being toppled. Plus, there is the danger of a tree’s root system growing out to the point where it can damage a driveway from the bottom up, or worse, do the same to your home’s foundation. This naturally gets homeowners thinking about having a tree removed if they feel it poses a threat to their house. But will this solve the problem, or simply open up the possibility of new problems? In other words, can removing a tree affect my Baton Rouge Foundation?
Surprisingly enough, it actually can. But, by taking a few simple precautions, you can help minimize the possibility of that happening.
Replace the soil
This may seem like common sense, but after removing the tree and stump, you don’t want to leave a hole in your yard. Some people will just refill the whole with dirt or topsoil until it is level with the yard and then plant grass seed and think they’re done. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Because of the expansive root systems of most trees, there will be sinking that goes on for some time after the tree is removed because as what’s left of the roots decompose, there will be many smaller voids left behind. If the tree was close enough to your house and you weren’t protected with a root guard, this can cause further settling under your foundation. When you replace the soil, you want to refill the hole until there is a mound about a foot taller than the rest of the yard. As you refill the hole, you should pack the soil down, and even water it. This will help it settle where it needs to be faster.
When it comes to planting grass after the hole has been filled, you may want to consider waiting until the ground has settled a bit. Otherwise, you may end up having to continually refill the hole over the grass you have planted.
Making drainage improvements
While the void in the ground may cause some short term settling and sagging, the more likely way having a tree removed can affect your home is with future drainage. First of all, trees absorb a lot of water. Removing a tree means your yard will reach its saturation point sooner. This could mean standing water hangs around longer after a rain storm. It also means that the soil under your home will expand, contract, and generally shift more with inclement weather. The best way to avoid this is to improve the drainage in your yard to help avoid oversaturation.
While the trees in our yards provide shade, curb some of Louisiana’s heat, and are beautiful to look at; when it is time to have one removed, you want to make sure you aren’t creating new problems while eliminating old ones. If you have had a tree removed, and think that the hole that was left behind has affected your home’s foundation, please call our team at WCK Foundation Repair and we will be happy to come give it a look.