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Patrick, Construction Project Manager
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 2429
Experience:  30 years commercial construction and 23 years house remodeling projects
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Hi can I pour a concrete floor over the roots from a 50 tree

Resolved Question:

Hi can I pour a concrete floor over the roots from a 50' tree if I have a 8 " layer of gravel in between
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  Patrick replied 7 years ago.
Placing a concrete slab close to a large tree and over the roots of that tree is trouble from the start. The tree pulls moisture from the ground and will modify the soil conditions creating movement in the slab as the ground moisture conditions change. In dry conditions the roots will seek the moisture under the slab and result in soil shrinkage. In a worse case scenario the roots will travel under the slab and can result in slab heaving. Installing a root dam or root barrier is helpful to some degree. This would involve cutting roots to install.Good luck. if this has proved helpful please remember to hit ACCEPT, otherwise I do not receive credit. Thank you.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for the answer ,my lot is fairly wet would not putting in some weeping tiles about 2to 3 feet below ground for drainage under the floor to control the moisture help.. who would be able to design this . I have a 30 foot wide drive way where I can put up the shop there is a double garage 20 x 20 14'away from the trees that has been there for 40 year and the floor is not damaged .I could build a 25 wide shop with would gave me more distance to the trees .the trees are on goverment land lets to me . so I cant cut them
Expert:  Patrick replied 7 years ago.
If your metal building is not supported by the slab or slab and beams then you basically are looking at the slab floating on its own. The real trick is to make sure you have adequate reinforcing steel bar in the slab, not just welded wire mesh. At a minimum you are looking at #3s at 14" OC each way in a 5 inch concrete slab. It would not hurt to go to 6" and use #5s depending upon what you are going to put on the slab. I am not sure about the drain pipes under the building but what you could do is install a french drain around the building perimeter to carry away excess water.

Edited by Patrick on 4/6/2010 at 10:48 PM EST
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