Root Barrier System
WHAT IS A ROOT BARRIER?
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.
WHAT TYPE OF ROOT BARRIER DOES FCS USE?
FCS installs 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, Foundation and Concrete
Services root barriers have the added benefit of acting as moisture barriers.
WHY USE A ROOT BARRIER TO PROTECT YOUR FOUNDATION?
When roots get under foundations they can cause damage by drying out soil and causing foundations to settle. Roots also break into pipes causing extensive plumbing damage. In this case broken pipes lead to saturated soils which will cause foundations to heave.
Stop the problem before it starts! Installing root barriers will be less expensive than foundation repairs. Just as brushing your teeth will not always prevent decay, root barriers will not prevent root problem, but they are an excellent measure of prevention.
HOW LONG DO ROOT BARRIERS LAST?
Root barriers made of concrete or plastic will last indefinitely. Chemical root
barriers have lives that range upwards of five years plus. The life of a chemical barrier is
strongly influenced by the amount of water that falls on and/or flows through the treated soil.
HOW ARE THEY INSTALLED?
Root barriers are installed by:
1. digging a trench,
2. laying the barrier material in the trench, and
3. refilling the trench.
For concrete barriers, the concrete is simply poured into the trench.
WHAT DO THEY COST?
Root barriers should be at least 3 feet deep. If they do not go at least one foot deeper than
the side of your foundation, they will do no good. For a standard 3 foot root barrier, the cost
is typically around $65.00 per foot with a $1,000 minimum. The cost may fluctuate, depending on the types of trees and how close the trees are to the barrier.
IS THERE A COST ADVANTAGE COMPARED TO FOUNDATION REPAIR?
Absolutely! The minimum price for foundation repairs is $2500. The average residential
foundation repair costs about $5,500. Root barriers are significant less expensive and less disruptive to install than typical foundation repairs.