How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask walkereng Your Own Question

walkereng
walkereng, Consultant
Category: Structural Engineering
Satisfied Customers: 2592
Experience:  Over 30 years of Structural Engineering experience.
61772417
Type Your Structural Engineering Question Here...
walkereng is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I live in Briarwood Crossing in Rosenberg Texas and believe

Customer Question

I live in Briarwood Crossing in Rosenberg Texas and believe I have a floating Foundation. The reason why I'm asking is I have a tree that may be planted too close to the foundation( six and a half feet) and wanted to know if a floating Foundation is beneficial to the root system growth of the tree. In this type of foundation help prevent root damage to the foundation or is it the same as a standard poured slab. It was planted in that location to provide shade for the rear patio and also privacy. Thank you for your help
JA: OK. Is there anything else the Structural Engineer should be aware of?
Customer: I think the structure may have a floating Foundation but I am not certain of that
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Structural Engineering
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
The type of tree I am speaking of is a water Oak and I am uncertain of any damages that it might cost to the foundation. I'm thinking a root barrier might be a good idea but I did not want to go to all that trouble unless it is absolutely necessary, which I do not think it is. Obviously I did not think of this when the tree was planted or I would not have planted it to start with
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  walkereng replied 2 months ago.

I can help

Floating slabs are usually only used on garages and out buildings.

It really does not matter if your concrete slab is considered a floating slab or not. If shallow root grow underneath your concrete foundation, they can expand/grow and can lift your foundation.

Expert:  walkereng replied 2 months ago.

Most oak tree roots spread out at an approximate 18" depth, so they can affect your house foundation.

Expert:  walkereng replied 2 months ago.

If your tree is only 6.5' away from your foundation, installing a root barrier could possibly kill your tree due to the fact that you will be cutting many of the roots on one side of the tree.

Expert:  walkereng replied 2 months ago.

If you feel you have received a satisfactory answer to your question, click the Rating button that is appropriate. Experts are credited for each adequately Rated answer they provide. If you have additional questions, please let me know. Thanks

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I have done extensive research on this question and your response did not give me any additional information other than what I had already researched. The floating Foundation is not the main issue but this is what I was told by the Builder concerning this house so I thought I would mention it. I knew that the root depth was 18 inches to a maximum of 24 inches But according to my research the root barrier would redirect the roots down and away from the landscape and prevent and preserve the tree from root damage. At this time the roots from this tree has not reached the foundation so the concern of cutting the roots is not an even an issue at this time but only something for future considerations . In addition I have learned that roots are often to blame for foundation problems when the reality is that the roots are rarely the cause but rather the depletion of moisture under the foundation. I thought you would be able to provide specific information as far as how far the tree needed to be planted in relation to the foundation after I provided you with the details and then be able to give me a definite answer. In addition the tree is young and the roots have not reached the foundation so the root barrier is only for future considerations . Please contact me concerning this matter because I do not believe your response was helpful in answering my question Thank you, ***** ***** - 453 - 1703
Expert:  walkereng replied 2 months ago.

Let me know if you have any more questions

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I may have sent my response to the wrong location so I am resending it. I am wanting to know if the lateral Roots extending out from the tree and under the foundation would cause damage to the foundation. I know all the specifics concerning his tree with the exception of this one thing and am now thinking that since I have done all this research and wasn't able to find an answer then possibly you are not able to either. Contrary to what you stated about the lateral Roots extending out as far as the branches, they actually extend to the three times as far. I did not want to go to the time and trouble of installing a root barrier if the roots are not going to create a problem with the foundation. If it is necessary I will have to install a root barrier but I want to know far enough in advance so I can make plans to have it installed. I am not going to proceed with this until I have a definite and factually yes or no answer. Thank you, Dale
Expert:  walkereng replied 2 months ago.

I was not aware that the roots had not reached the foundation area yet. I would say that it is cheap insurance to provide the root barrier now to eliminate the roots from growing under your slab.

Being a City Engineer, I have dealt with many linear projects that relate to roadway and sidewalk widening that effect trees. I have worked with many Arborists and they always have the concern of cutting away too much of the root system of an existing tree and possibly killing the entire tree. Just sharing this to give you some background.

The depletion of moisture issue is correct, but that is mainly for expandable and collapsible clay soils. If you have free draining soils that should not be a problem.

As far as the distance the tree should be planted away from the house, you need to determine the maximum crown spread of the tree and then plant it ½ the crown spread away from the house (i.e. ½ of spread is equal to distance from trunk to edge of foliage or dripline). The significant root system does not extend out past the edge of the dripline.

I hope this extra information helps.

Expert:  walkereng replied 2 months ago.

If you feel you have received a satisfactory answer to your question, click the Rating button that is appropriate. Experts are credited for each adequately Rated answer they provide. If you have additional questions, please let me know. Thanks

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I have done additional research on this topic and I'm satisfied with my conclusion I do not see any purpose for continued discussions. If you were able to answer my question at this time you would have already done so. You spend your time researching numerous subjects while I have done extensive research on only this particular one. As I have already told you I noticed that you had gave me incorrect information as to what the root growth was in comparison to the drip line. I am confident in my research and see no need for further communications and I am requesting that you do not charge any additional fees for your services. Thank you for attempting to answer my question - Dale
Expert:  walkereng replied 2 months ago.

I am sorry you are not satisfied. I was not giving you Google Research data like you are using. I was giving you real life professional knowledge about your subject. You should not have been charged anything since you did not accept any answer from me. I will let the JustAnswer moderators of your request.

Related Structural Engineering Questions