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Notes from the Basement


Trees as They Effect Drain Tiles

May 26 2017

People are always asking me if trees are an issue with leaking foundations. The answer is of course trees are a problem. Majestic and beautiful above ground, tree roots are the reason the ground in the yard has a lot of movement. 

 Most trees such as elms and oaks have very deep rooting systems. Many go below the footing and often approach the foundation and weeping tile system. The roots tend to go where there is moisture, and near a house is a perfect spot. Roots can get into your weeping tile, drainage system. We at Brown and Sons we have found many weeping tiles with roots inside them, and in some cases roots have even moved tiles out of sequence. This makes the drainage system less efficient or useless. The big issue with huge trees is that they speed up the wet/dry cycle in your yard. You see when it is dry out your will have cracks in the soil and you will find a gap between the soil and the house. When it rains, the soil expands and applies force against the foundation. With trees close to the foundation this cycle increase in speed because the trees make the soil dry again faster than without trees. Constant pulsing pressure is very hard on a foundation, and if you have a hairline crack, well the movement will make it into a large crack.


I wouldn’t recommend putting trees or large bushes too close to house, unless what you are planting has a shallow root. I mean you can still enjoy your trees, but its best to keep them a safe distance from your foundation. If you have questions please email me. More than happy to answer.

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Selkirk, Manitoba

409 Young Ave. 
Corner of Main Street 
Selkirk, Manitoba, R1A 1J5

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Phone: 1-204-668-6764
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