Plants Could Spell Trouble For Your Sidewalk

April 19, 2024 Baird Foundation Repair

Protect Your Property From Plants Growing Through Concrete

While the sight of a delicate flower sprouting through your sidewalk may capture the essence of nature’s resilience, it’s a vivid reminder of a less charming reality — plants growing through concrete can spell significant trouble for your home’s exterior.

This seemingly innocent growth can lead to cracks in sidewalk surfaces and, more alarmingly, develop into a safety hazard. In this post, our team at Baird Foundation Repair will explore the hidden dangers posed by the roots of larger plants and trees and provide advice on how to safeguard your property.

How Sidewalk Cracks Form: The Hidden Threat Of Plant Roots

As roots from larger plants and trees seek moisture and nutrients, they often encounter sidewalks in their path. This encounter doesn’t end well for concrete, as the relentless growth of roots can exert immense pressure, leading to cracks in sidewalk slabs, uplifts and uneven surfaces.

To prevent these problems from taking place, you first need to understand what factors contribute to their presence. Below we’ve explained two common factors that contribute to a cracked sidewalk.

Existing Cracks

Plants and weeds don’t have enough strength to push through and crack concrete sidewalks themselves. They look for exposure and grow through the existing cracks. Sidewalks can crack due to constant foot traffic, and tree roots can exploit this.

As roots push through these cracks, the damage will get worse. This can make the concrete sidewalk uneven, unpleasant to look at and unsafe to walk on due to tripping hazards.

Root Expansion

Roots grow with a single purpose — to support the life of the plant or tree. When there’s a tree near your sidewalk, there’s a high chance that its roots are underneath the surface. Tree roots need to expand, so they’ll continue to grow underneath the concrete, causing sidewalk cracks to get worse.

This isn’t just a problem for your sidewalk though! Your foundation is also at risk when tree roots meet it. Concrete cracks can cause the soil to shift, which leads to worse cracking and uneven surfaces. This is why quick intervention is necessary to repair tree root and foundation issues!

Preventative Measures To Protect Your Property

Understanding preventative measures is crucial in safeguarding your property against potential damage, ensuring its longevity and maintaining its value. Below are some of the methods we recommend to keep your property protected:

  • Root barriers — Installing physical barriers can direct root growth deeper into the ground and away from sidewalks and foundations.
  • Regular inspections — Keep an eye on the areas around your sidewalks and foundation. Early signs of cracks in sidewalk surfaces can indicate the beginning of root intrusion.
  • Concrete sealant — Applying a concrete sealant can prevent water from seeping into sidewalk cracks, reducing soil erosion.
  • Smart landscaping — Homeowners should carefully consider what plants they add to their yard and be aware of potential consequences.

By proactively addressing risks, you can avoid costly repairs and preserve the structural integrity of your homes for years to come. And if your concrete is already suffering at the hands of plant growth, our team at Baird Foundation Repair can provide the repairs you need!

Mitigate The Risk With Smart Landscaping

The key to preventing root-related damage lies in thoughtful landscaping choices. Opt for plants known for their less aggressive root systems — especially in areas close to sidewalks and foundations.

You should also be sure to consider the mature size of trees before planting them. Large trees should be planted away from concrete structures to minimize the risk of root invasion.

The Importance Of Early Detection And Intervention

Catching the problem early can save time, money and hassle. At the first sign of plants growing through concrete or cracks in sidewalk surfaces, it’s crucial to take action. Simple steps, such as removing the plant and filling in the cracks, can prevent further damage. However, for more severe cases, professional intervention may be necessary.

Our team has an in-depth understanding of home foundations and the way roots impact them, and we’re qualified to perform foundation and sidewalk repairs for your property! You can feel confident that we’ll be able to provide the help your home needs.

Seek Professional Help For Your Home

When your sidewalk starts to suffer, you don’t have to tackle this problem alone! At Baird Foundation Repair, our team can provide tailored solutions to protect your property from further damage.

Don’t let the beauty of nature turn into a costly repair. Instead, contact us today for a detailed evaluation and find out how we can help you!