If you have a lot of tall trees around your home that have been growing and thriving for years, eventually it’s going to happen. You will find that it’s necessary for you to protect your concrete slab foundation from the extending and expanding roots with a root barrier. The reason for the use of this type of barrier is to prevent the roots from working their way under the concrete slab, sucking up the water, and ultimately making the foundation settle.
If you are considering putting a barrier in to keep tree roots from damaging the concrete foundation of a house, then you should consult an arborist. He will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed. Then step by step you will have the confidence of knowing that you are doing the right thing and correcting the problem as it should be corrected.
Barriers for tree roots are most beneficial when they are installed in the appropriate place and at the appropriate time. If the barriers are not installed properly, they can keep a healthy root system from evolving for the tree or fail to supply sufficient protection from vigorously growing roots. The correct preparation of the soil surrounding your tree at the time it is planted can serve to make your root barrier more effective plus help the tree grow a strong and healthy root system that is located away from foundations, and another consideration, buried utilities.
Types of Root Barriers
Root barriers are available in a wide selection of materials and types with clear pluses and minuses to each. Let’s start with discussing solid barriers. Solid barriers consist of panels created from corrosion-resistant metal, or perhaps fiberglass, or even plastic which make an impermeable wall that the roots just cannot pass through. This kind of barrier actually works quite well, but can stop water in the ground from draining correctly, and if the barrier is not big enough then the roots can and will grow around it.
A permeable barrier has a mesh screen that is meant to let water and also small roots get through. This kind of barrier keeps large roots from causing damage to certain structures. The best type of barrier combines a permeable barrier together with a long-lasting chemical in order to prevent roots from growing.
The effectiveness of your barrier depends a great deal on how it is installed, as incorrect installation can negatively impact its ability to redirect the offending roots. The ideal way to protect a buried structure, such as your concrete slab, is to put in a continuous root barrier which is the exact same length as the diameter of the tree once it has reached maturity, plus an additional two feet along the entire length of the structure on the side nearest the tree. Any arborist will tell you that these barriers must reach a depth of 2 feet or more to have any meaningful impact on reducing large, damaging roots. Ideally, the barrier should be installed at planting time, to prevent harming the root system of the tree.