Trees: A Thin Line Between Love & Hate

What do you do when the tree you love is causing damage to your building?
On one of our recent projects, we visited an apartment building complex where one unit had visible damage caused by tree roots. The adjacent unit had no damage.

However, upon further examination we discovered damage to the sidewalks, and it became obvious that tree roots are growing underneath the foundations. We observed a 23-feet-section of the exterior wall that has been lifted several inches.

We are working with an arborist to see if our recommendations for repair to the building will work with his ideas on how to save the tree and it’s’ root structure.

We provided the following 2 options for repair:

Excavate a trench on the outside of the building (approximately 23-feet-long, 4-feet-deep, and 18-inches-wide).Remove approximately 300-square-feet of interior concrete floor slab and remove all tree roots within the upper 12-inches below the slab, and below the foundations. Undermine the soil beneath the footings and allow the foundations to drop down to approximately level and fill the trench with reinforced concrete that is structurally connected to the foundations. Replace the interior slab.

OPTION 2: BUILD NEW FOUNDATION TO SPAN ACROSS TREE ROOTS Temporarily support the roof so that the exterior wall footings can be removed. Remove approximately 300-square-feet of the interior slab and 23-lineal-feet of the foundations. Expose, cut, and remove the tree roots from about 12 inches inside the building, but leave the roots that are beneath the foundations. Construct a steel beam foundation system that spans across the tree roots to support the exterior wall of the building. Remove soil between the roots and the bottom of the steel beam to allow for continued future root growth.

Finding a team of experts to help you address your unique situation is very important.

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