Tree Roots Lifting Concrete Slabs: How Concrete Leveling Can Help

Sarah Etler

Sarah Etler joined A-1 Concrete Leveling after receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Northern Kentucky University. As A-1's Content Marketing Manager, she works closely with industry experts to produce content that will best answer questions related to concrete repair and maintenance practices. Sarah loves living a life full of discovery and is excited every day to see what new things she can learn and share with those around her.

IN THIS ARTICLE
If your concrete is being lifted out of place by tree roots, professional concrete leveling services may be able to help even out the area.

Whether it’s a big, towering tree that’s been on your property for generations, or a young new sapling recently added to your landscaping, if placed next to your concrete, the tree roots could lift the concrete slabs and cause trip hazards to form.

If this has happened to you, you may be wondering about your options – Do I have to replace the concrete? Will I be able to save the tree?

While replacement is the first thing most people think of when faced with lifted or damaged concrete, there’s actually an easier way to eliminate trip hazards and make the concrete look better. 

Concrete Leveling for Tree Roots

This process, called concrete leveling, works by lifting the surrounding slabs to become level with the raised portion. It can usually resolve tree root issues, depending on how severely they have lifted the concrete out of place

Over the last 30+ years here at A-1 Concrete Leveling, we’ve seen countless examples of how this process has restored the safety and functionality of concrete slabs lifted by tree roots, both in residential areas and commercial settings.

In this article, we’ll give you a general overview of concrete leveling and tree roots so that you can walk away with a good understanding of whether or not it may be the right option for your situation. 

How Concrete Leveling Works Around Tree Roots

Concrete Leveling Basics

Concrete leveling in general works by drilling strategic holes in the sunken or settled concrete slabs. A leveling compound is injected through those holes where it spreads out below the surface of the concrete.

The leveling compound applies enough pressure to the bottom of the slab to raise it up from below. Once the settled slabs are back in the correct position, the drill holes are patched and the area is cleaned off, leaving you with stable and even concrete.

Concrete Leveling + Tree Roots

Because tree roots typically raise concrete instead of making it sink or settle, we lift the adjoining concrete slabs to align with the slab pushed out of place by the tree roots, instead of lowering the sections that were lifted by the tree.

The goal of concrete leveling with tree roots is to get the slope around the lifted slab as even as possible while keeping in mind there will likely be a hump where the slab is raised by the tree roots.

Sidewalk Lifted by Tree Roots vs. Other Concrete Areas

Sidewalks

Concrete leveling for concrete lifted by tree roots is typically most successful with sidewalk panels because as long as the trip hazard is solved and the area looks better aesthetically, the slope does not have to be perfect for water runoff.

The use case for sidewalks is simply walking, and there’s typically not enough space on the sidewalk for water to puddle, so lifting the surrounding slabs to meet the lifted area with a hump or more dramatic slope is okay. 

Driveways, Patios, and Other Areas

Areas like driveways or patios have different use cases, however. For example, you likely wouldn’t want a hump on your patio, but instead, a flat surface where you can put your furniture. 

Driveways, patios, porches, and other concrete areas need to have an even slope based on their use cases, which means they are less likely to be a good fit for concrete leveling for tree roots.

When Is Concrete Too Far Lifted by Tree Roots for Concrete Leveling?

Good Fit

Tree roots lifting concrete sidewalk slabs
Tree roots lifting concrete sidewalk slabs out of place with spray painted trip hazards

Above are examples of when concrete lifted by tree roots can be resolved with concrete leveling services.

Bad Fit

Concrete sidewalk slab lifted far out of place
Sidewalk slab lifted too far out of place by overgrown tree root

Above are examples of when the tree roots have lifted the concrete too far out of place to be fixed with concrete leveling.

Sending Pictures

Sending us photos is the best thing you can do to determine whether or not your concrete is a good fit for concrete leveling when dealing with tree roots. 

You can attach photos to our online estimate request form, and if we see that your concrete is a good fit via those photos, we’ll get you on the schedule for an estimate.

Replace or Level Concrete Lifted by Tree Roots?

When deciding what to do about concrete lifted by tree roots, replacing it may cross your mind as an option. 

In some cases, concrete leveling can’t recover severely lifted concrete, so concrete replacement is the only option.

However, if concrete leveling is a viable option, it’s usually a better alternative. Concrete replacement is generally a long, messy, and rough process that could hurt the tree and surrounding landscaping or property.

It’s also important to keep in mind that the new concrete could resettle where the tree root has been removed as the newly loosened soil has not had adequate time to compact.

At the end of the day, you have to weigh both the cost and risk associated with replacing concrete lifted by tree roots, as well as consider all available options to see which method will work best for your property.

Related Resource: Potential Risks When Replacing Concrete

Additional Thoughts on Leveling Concrete Lifted by Tree Roots

Will the Roots Keep Growing?

It’s possible that the tree roots may keep growing and pushing the concrete up if you don’t take care of them first. You can help prevent them from continuing to cause problems by installing tree root barriers or cutting back the roots. 

However, even if the tree roots do keep growing, the area can likely still be leveled for a fraction of the cost of replacement. 

How Is the Area Being Used?

At the end of the day, you have to keep in mind the use case of the area in need of leveling. If it’s important that the concrete is completely flat, like a patio with patio furniture on top, leveling concrete lifted by tree roots may not be a good fit.

Every situation with tree roots and concrete leveling is unique, so we highly recommend sending in photos to get an idea of whether or not your concrete would be a good fit for leveling.

Your Next Steps

Concrete leveling is a versatile concrete repair method that can resolve lots of problems, including in cases where concrete is being lifted out of place by tree roots. 

The best way to see if your concrete issue involving tree roots can be repaired with concrete leveling is to request a free concrete inspection and cost estimate with an A-1 expert. 

When requesting the estimate, be sure to include photos of the affected area so we can let you know whether or not we think concrete leveling could be a good fit for your unique situation.

Ready to see what concrete leveling can do for your property? Click the link below to request your estimate!

Want to know more about concrete repair and maintenance? Our online resource library, Concrete Academy, can answer your questions about concrete leveling and more! Check out some of these related topics:

Sarah Etler

Sarah Etler joined A-1 Concrete Leveling after receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Northern Kentucky University. As A-1's Content Marketing Manager, she works closely with industry experts to produce content that will best answer questions related to concrete repair and maintenance practices. Sarah loves living a life full of discovery and is excited every day to see what new things she can learn and share with those around her.