Root Barriers/Moisture Barriers

Installing a root barrier between your trees and your foundation will keep the roots from pulling moisture from around and under your foundation. Installation is a bit more difficult than installing soaker hoses. Install root barriers by digging a trench, laying the barrier material in the trench, and refilling the trench. Root barriers should be at least 3 feet deep, going as least one foot deeper than the side of your foundation.

Root barriers can be solid objects, sheets of material, zones of chemically treated soil (typically, the chemicals come in the form of pellets that are attached to a fabric) or any other barrier that keeps roots from growing into areas where they are not wanted.
We install root barriers made of a three layer plastic membrane. The second and third layers give extra protection against penetration by root and make the membrane tougher. By using a tough plastic membrane that is water-proof, our root barriers have the added benefit of acting as moisture barriers.
Roots when they get under foundations can cause foundation damage by drying out the soil under your foundation causing it to settle. Roots also break into pipes causing extensive plumbing damage. In this case broken pipes lead to over wet soils with will cause foundations to heave. Stop the problem before it starts. Installing root barriers will be cheaper than foundation repairs. Just as brushing your teeth will not always prevent problems, root barriers will not prevent all problems but they will stop most of them.
Root barriers that are made of concrete, or plastic will last indefinitely. Chemical root barriers have lives that range from 5 years upwards. The life of a chemical barrier is strongly influenced by the amount of water that falls on or flows through the treated soil.

Root barriers are installed by:

  1. Digging a trench
  2. Laying the barrier material in the trench
  3. Refilling the trench.