Root Barriers / Moisture Barriers

Foundation Barriers

Learn about root barriers / moisture barriers and see how they can be used for foundations.

What is a moisture barrier?

Moisture barriers are vertical layers of plastic that are buried in the ground.  As water flows up against a moisture barrier, it is stopped and prevented from getting under a home.  Click here for foundation drainage solutions information >>

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 Advanced use?

Advanced installs root barriers made of a three layer plastic membrane.  The second and third layers give extra protection against penetration by roots and make the membrane tougher.  By using a tough plastic membrane that is water proof, Advanced’s root barriers have the added benefit of acting as moisture barriers.

Why use a root barrier to protect your foundation?

When roots get under your foundations, they can cause foundation damage by drying out the soil under your foundation and causing your foundation to settle.  Roots also break into pipes causing extensive plumbing damage. In this case broken pipes lead to over wet soils which 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 is cheaper than paying for fillings, root barriers will not prevent all problems but they will stop most of them.

How long do root barriers last?

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.

How are they installed?

Root barriers are installed by:

  • digging a trench
  • laying the barrier material in the trench, and
  • 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 be higher or lower, depending on the types of trees that are present 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 $3,000.  The average residential foundation repair costs about $7,500.  Root barriers are cheaper and less disruptive to install than foundation repairs.

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