To ensure that your foundation remains dry, undamaged, and identical to how it was when poured, tree root barriers are an ideal solution to an underlying problem. They work to inhibit two exterior aspects that place your home’s foundation in danger: unwanted tree roots and moisture.
What is a root barrier?
Root barriers come in various forms. They can be solid objects, like concrete, large sheets of metal, chemically treated soils, geo-textile, or any other form that stops roots from growing into places where they can cause damage.
Further, there is an advanced technique that involves installing a three-layered membrane that also works as a moisture barrier. Each layer works with the other two to stop roots and prevent moisture at the same time, which is a win-win solution for homeowners.
Do you need a root barrier?
Roots that have been left to their own devices grow in an insidious nature, often burrowing deep into the soil that abuts your home’s foundation.
Here, deep in the ground, they absorb moisture and dry out the soil. This leads to less support under your foundation and causes your home to settle unnaturally, a term known as differential settlement
It is also common for roots to penetrate pipes and cause plumbing problems. When roots break into pipes, water leaks into the ground, often without the homeowner’s knowledge, and causes foundations to heave.
A tree root barrier is like preventative maintenance for your foundation. There’s a very good chance that you’ll need a root barrier in the near future.
How long do tree root barriers last?
Concrete and plastic root barriers can last as long as your home, if left undisturbed. Chemical barriers can last 5-7 years, a time frame that is dictated heavily by rainfall and underground moisture levels.
Does new construction need a root barrier?
If you are planning a new home on a blank plot of land, roots, soils types, and the “water table” should all be taken into consideration.
Further, many people often wait until they have a problem before installing a root barrier. But in the case of new construction, you are essentially stopping a problem before it even has a chance of starting.
Because, let’s be honest, the last thing you want after you work so hard on building a new home, is to find out that it is gradually sinking thanks to tree roots. We advise talking to a professional about installing a tree root barrier before you begin construction on your new home; make it a part of the construction process and you’ll have no regrets later.
How is a root barrier installed?
Root barriers are installed in a fairly simplistic manner, and generally involve a three step process:
1. Dig a hole between your home and any singular or set of trees.
2. Install the root barrier. This step varies slightly depending on the type of barrier that you have chosen.
3. Cover the trench with soil.
The depth in which the root barrier is installed can also vary slightly. This depends greatly on the type of soil that you have and the type of trees in the area that you are defending against. But the depth is never greater than 36″ (3 feet) — around a foot deeper than that of your foundation.
Root barriers are a viable and solid way to prevent unwanted damage to your foundation and plumbing. If you are unsure as to whether you need a root barrier, just remember: a root barrier today is a cheaper alternative to that of foundation repair in the future.
For more information on how we can help you, please contact us any time. We provide exceptional home foundation repair in Dallas, Fort Worth foundation repair, Houston foundation repair, and San Antonio foundation repair services.