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Does Your Sugar Land Home Need a Root Barrier?

September 21, 2021

Sugar Land TX Foundation Repair

Besides improving our homes’ curb appeal and cooling our living spaces in the summer, trees and shrubs play a vital role in reducing pollution by purifying the air we breathe. Given these benefits, it’s no wonder that many homeowners who live in Sugar Land, TX, choose to plant different species of trees and shrubs around their properties.

But even though trees and shrubs are some excellent additions to any Texas home, their roots can be destructive to foundations, paved surfaces, and underground pipes. The easiest way to prevent invasive roots from damaging your property is to install root barriers around them.

When Are Root Barrier Systems Necessary?

Root barriers are impermeable, strong structures installed underground to prevent the spreading of tree and shrub roots along with the potential damage to nearby structures. Currently, root barrier systems come in different chemical and physical forms. While the former works by destroying the roots altogether, sometimes taking the tree’s or shrub’s life as well, the latter prevents damage by redirecting roots away from structures, without harming the trees or shrubs. For that reason, our specialists recommend and use only the less destructive option; namely, the physical root barrier

Ideally, root barrier systems should be installed before planting trees and shrubs in close proximity to buildings, driveways, walkways, paved areas, fences, and other structures. However, root barriers can also be installed around existing trees and shrubs. Because deciding whether you should opt for root barriers or not is important in order to prevent potential damage to your property, here are a few situations in which installing root barrier systems is highly recommended.

You Live in an Area with Expansive Clay Soils

Similar to other cities in the Greater Houston area, Sugar Land has expansive clay soil. When it rains for an extended period of time, this type of soil absorbs a lot of rainwater, which will cause it to expand. During a prolonged drought, the soil will lose moisture and contract. However, some moisture may remain trapped underneath your foundation. If there are any trees or shrubs planted nearby, they may send their roots under your home in search of water. This could lead to serious foundation problems. In this case, having root barriers installed around the trees and shrubs located close to your home represents the best possible solution for preventing foundation damage. 

Trees and Shrubs Are Located Too Close to Your Sugar Land Home

Specific tree and shrub species can soak up a lot of water and moisture from the soil. During dry spells, this may cause clay soils to dry more quickly and shrink considerably. If the trees and shrubs are growing too close to your home, this shrinkage might lead to differential settlement. Additionally, offensive root systems can grow and even break into underground pipes, potentially resulting in extensive plumbing damage. Consistently wet areas around your home may also cause your foundation to settle unevenly. Because differential settlement could lead to major structural damage throughout your home, the cost of correcting the issue can be quite high. A relatively simple way to stop this problem even before it starts is to install root barrier systems around the trees and shrubs planted near your home. As well as, installing root barriers is less expensive than repairing foundation damage.

Roots Have Already Caused Damage to Different Structures

Tree and shrub roots growing under paved surfaces or driveways could cause pavement or concrete to lift and crack. Besides creating a potential trip hazard on your property, water may also seep through cracks and accumulate underneath these structures. This could lead to extensive damage over time. Opting for root barrier systems can help you prevent costly damage to different structures, including foundations, patios, stairs, driveways, walkways, and swimming pools. If specific structures on your Sugar Land property have already been affected by invasive roots, installing root barriers will stop the other roots from getting too close to your structures and damaging them.

Trees and Shrubs Are Growing Too Close to Your Garden

Large tree species can soak up between 50 and 60 gallons of water per day during the growing season. When a tree that soaks up so much water is planted close to a garden, it may deprive plants from the water and nutrients they need in order to grow and thrive. So, if some of your plants aren’t thriving but a tree nearby has never looked healthier, you may want to consider installing a root barrier system that will redirect its roots away from your garden.

To ensure that a root barrier provides the protection expected, care must be taken during installation and landscape maintenance. As an example, failing to install a root barrier deep enough or breaking the top edge of the barrier during landscape maintenance may allow roots to grow under or over it. For the best results to be achieved, consider hiring our team of professionals to install your root barrier systems. Besides being able to install these systems correctly, our professionals will do their best to come up with a mutually beneficial solution for both your home and the vegetation around it!  

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Mark Jacobs

Written by Mark Jacobs

Customer Service Manager Mark developed a passion for foundation repair in his formative years. Growing up in the family business has shaped the way he looks at homes and his ability to solve problems - from the ground up! He loves to read and keep up with the new technology that is constantly developing in the foundation repair industry. Outside of work, he loves adventuring with his family, spending time by the water, and has a passion for cooking.

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