Will a Japanese Knotweed Root Barrier Help Protect my Property?

Andrew Barton

We explain how our Japanese knotweed root barrier protects structures and can keep your home safe from this highly invasive weed.

Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) is one of the most invasive and resilient plants that a homeowner is likely to come up against, growing freely through the inhospitable ground, even through compromised concrete or tarmac. The weed has no natural predators in the UK, allowing it to swiftly take over large areas of land. It can cause substantial damage to building foundations, walls, roads and other infrastructure. A multi-pronged attack incorporating root barrier protection can prevent a full-scale invasion of Japanese knotweed and prevent it from spreading to nearby properties.

What is a Japanese knotweed barrier?

A Japanese knotweed barrier is a protective root barrier that is placed horizontally, or vertically, over the knotweed rhizome to control its spread. Japanese knotweed can easily penetrate many commonly used protective weed barriers, therefore a specially designed solution is required to combat the plant’s aggressive root system.

Effective Japanese knotweed barrier installation

Much of the effectiveness of root barrier is dependent upon how it is installed, ensuring that it redirects the spreading roots and limits their extension before they can produce above ground shoots. This weakens the invading plant and diminishes its ability to spread. However, if the membrane is installed poorly, a small hole or tear can render the entire exercise pointless, the root could then capitalise on the opportunity and grow through. A seamless barrier is required to prevent any weaker spots from being compromised.

It’s important that the correct installation procedures are ensured by a specialist, accredited Japanese knotweed organisation (PCA or INNSA). It is possible to install a root membrane barrier by yourself, but this would be unlikely to satisfy the criteria of a TA6 form when selling your property.

Choosing the correct root barrier 

Root Barrier Systems supplies CuTex root barrier, the only permeable membrane proven scientifically to deter Japanese knotweed. The geocomposite structure of the CuTex root barrier employs a unique micro-perforated copper foil layer embedded firmly between two layers of geotextile (woven and non-woven). Growing roots are adverse to the inert chemical signals from the copper, discouraging root growth without disrupting the local ecosystem. Using a permeable barrier allows water and nutrients to continue flowing, maintaining the health of the soil and preventing hydrostatic pressure issues.

The lightweight, heavy-duty material allows easy fitting around services, foundations, trenches and ditches.

 

How long will my root barrier membrane last?

Approved Japanese knotweed barriers should comply with the lifespan of the plant. However, prolonged exposure to UV rays and poor installation practices can dramatically shorten the lifespan of the solution.


Root Barrier Systems is the specialist, online root barrier shop of PBA Solutions - PCA accredited specialists in Japanese knotweed identification, treatment and removal. If you suspect that you have Japanese knotweed growing on your property, use PBA’s free ID My Weed service to confirm the problem.