The structural engineer who inspected my foundation Monday is recommending a root barrier be installed in a back corner of the yard to keep roots from a nearby live oak tree away from my concrete slab.
They are also called root walls and root caps. The idea is to cut any roots that are reaching under the foundation, then put something in the ground between the tree and the slab to keep the roots from returning.
The hope is that by keeping the tree from drawing moisture from under the slab, the clay soil will re-hydrate and give the foundation in the back of the house some lift. Not much, but some. The tree is 12 feet from the corner of the foundation. (more…)
You hear a lot about tree roots causing concrete foundation problems for houses that sit on expansive clay soils and may be wondering how that can be.
In my travels around the Internet I’ve learned the trouble is two-fold. Large trees can suck huge amounts of water from the soil. If thirsty roots get under your slab, they can reduce the moisture content of the soil and cause settling.
Tree roots under the foundation can also worm their way into the plumbing causing leaks and again changing the condition of the soil under the foundation. Heaving of the slab can occur. (more…)
These are photos of oak tree vs. sidewalks in my neighborhood.
In some cases, the tree roots are winning. In other stretches of the sidewalks you can see slumping as the soil underneath erodes or settles.
The question is can tree roots do damage like this to the concrete slab foundation of your house? There seems to be a debate. (more…)