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How Foundation Problems Can Cause Roof Damage


Your home foundation supports your entire home. If there are structural issues, these can create a lot of trouble that will involve all parts of your house, including the roof.

When the structural integrity starts to fail, there’s a great chance you’ll encounter roof damage as well. In this article, Granite, a professional foundation repair company in Dallas, takes a closer look at all potential problems relating to the interplay between foundation issues and roof damage.

What are the typical foundation problems that damage the roof?

Many foundation issues can be damaging to the roof. The usual suspects include tree roots, water damage, and soil settling or the upheaval processes.

Note that sometimes the problems aren’t entirely isolated. For example, both water and intruding tree roots might create roof issues at the same time. Read on to learn more about the causes of roof damage.

#1 Tree roots

While growing and maturing, trees are constantly looking for moisture and vital nutrients. Expansive tree roots easily drain water from the soil.

This results in soil shrinkage that affects your home’s foundation as it starts to move or drop down. You might notice that the roof is humpy, saggy, or wavy when the tree roots attack the soil underneath the foundation.

Are there any trees that are more aggressively expanding in comparison to others? There are. You should keep clear of elm, honey locust, maple, and willow trees. These are known to be some of the thirstiest trees.

Experts recommend having a perimeter of at least 35 feet around your house to lower the risk of foundation damage. When you already have these or any other aggressively growing trees, then you need to get a root barrier installed in the soil surrounding your house.

#2 Water damage

A very common issue, water drainage problems typically accompany expansive clay soils. These soils expand and shrink according to water levels. You can only imagine how the constant process of expansion and contraction starts to affect the foundation’s health.

The same dynamic applies when water starts to wash away the soil that’s vital for holding the foundation in its place. Usually, one part of the foundation weakens significantly enough to start breaking the roof that it’s supporting.

#3 Soil upheaval

Wavy roof? This might be caused by soil upheaval as both the foundation and roof are affected. Soil upheaval affects many homes in the U.S. Your foundation starts to move upwards because the soil underneath starts to take up more space than ever.

There are quite a few potential causes for this. Most of the time, a heaving foundation is caused by excessive moisture accumulation in the soil. Expansive clay soils may cause the upheaval as well.

#4 Soil settling

When your home is built on shifting soils, settling is an entirely natural process. That doesn’t mean there’s no potential for trouble. Unequal settling might become a bigger problem.

Sometimes poor drainage or even poor building quality may result in soil settling. Whatever the reason, you will notice uneven floors and problems with latching the doors and windows. When the issue isn’t addressed in time, roof damage occurs as the ridgeline turns clearly wavy.


Is the damage always linked to the foundation?

Not all visible roof damage has something to do with foundation issues. For example, you could note similar damage when the rafters and trusses develop cracks.

There are times when the causes of roof damage trace back to poor design and engineering. If you aren’t sure whether the damage has anything to do with the foundation, try to look out for other damage inside the house.

In most cases, roof damage caused by foundation issues is accompanied by numerous other issues that are easily noted when walking around the home.

How do foundation problems cause roof damage?

Remember a simple rule. The foundation and the roof move together. When you notice that you are having problems with the foundation, there’s a great chance that your roof will be affected by this as well.

The most common foundation problems involving roof damage are aggressive tree roots, water damage, soil upheaval, and settling. Regardless of the particular cause, you need to pay attention and get professional help to sort out the problems. Otherwise, the foundation problems alongside the roof damage might only get more serious.

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