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bong8313
Styrofoam in Landscraping
bong8313

Hi!
We started to take out the mulch around our house to put in rock, when we started to rake away the mulch we noticed a lot of roots at the surface, we could not figure out why. It was not under we took out a bush that we discovered that there was a layer of Styrofoam surrounding the house. The house is built on a slab and when they built it looks like they added another layer of Styrofoam around the round going out about 3 feet for frost protection. So the plants only had about 4 inches of soil before they hit the Styrofoam. So now what do we do? we don't want to remove the Styrofoam as it looks like it is part of the structure and a frost barrier, but I want to be able to plant bushes and have them grow. What our options are?

Thank you!!!

ordjen
Re: Styrofoam in Landscraping
ordjen

I have n idea what they were thinking of when the foam was laid down, but it is virtually useless as far as insulating the house foundation. Foam panels can be used up against the exposed concrete, or under the concrete slab itself, or as a thermal break between the footing and the flooring slab in the house, but I have never heard of trying to moderate the temps of the earth bordering the foundation.

Perhaps they thought they were moderating the frost stress on the plants themselves, much like a rose cone is put over roses in really cold climates or mulch piled up at the base? But the layer of foam would have to be cut away to let the roots of the bushes expand downward.

Clarence
Re: Styrofoam in Landscraping
Clarence

I would recommend you consult you termite bonding company.
Ask if EPS board at perimeter of house is allowed under your contract.
EPS board is a prime target for termites and other bugs to gain access to the structure.
EPS as a siding product or under siding must be 6 to 8 inches above grade.

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