Some 150,000 homes in the UK Southeast have suffered from subsidence between 1980 and 1995. Clay is approximately 1/3 water and can dry out by trees and shrubs drinking the clay dry, a problem which is intensified during long hot summers. Biggest culprits are Willows. Soils with high clay content are more likely to be affected as trees suck out moisture, shrinking the soil, and causing movement and cracking in walls. Post by manataka » Wed Dec 23, 2009 5:18 pm. Yes, potentially. This can cause the soil / clay in the area to absorb the water, swelling it and causing heave (the upwards movement of the ground and the opposite of subsidence). The tree roots will not normally damage the foundations of a house directly but they can increase the likelihood of subsidence when they are combined with a clay soil, which shrinks and swells as moisture content decreases and increases. Right, © 2020 All Rights reserved Assetsure is a trading name of Hildon Park Ltd which is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority No.592997, Our phone lines are reserved for our customers or potential customers who may also contact us using the, Comprehensive insurance for Electric bikes, Militaria / Military Collectable Insurance. Fig Tree Causing Subsidence? There are different varieties of oak trees, but most have shallow spreading roots that may cause damage to house foundations if grown near a house. They usually appear suddenly, especially after long periods of dry weather, and tend to be: Diagonal, and wider at the top than at the bottom. Subsidence is described as “ a movement involved in the site, normally downwards, so that damage occurs to the building standing upon it”. Woodworm, Dry Rot and Wet Rot. Problems can arise if mature A qualified arborist will advise you or your insurers as to the best method of handling a tree in your own situation. Trees, by their very nature can be very large, very heavy and can drink a lot of water from the soil surrounding them. Clay is approximately 1/3 water and can dry out by trees and shrubs drinking the clay dry, a problem which is intensified during long hot summers. Any large tree with vigorous growth has the potential to cause subsidence damage if it is close enough to a house. To cope with dry conditions, the roots are known to span large areas in the search for moisture. Over 60% of all subsidence claims are triggered by trees. Subsidence cracks are quite distinctive from other cracks. In these cases taking out the trees would possibly do more harm than good. What are the four worst trees for causing subsidence? Welcome to Bickers Insurance Services, specialists in Property Insurance, including unoccupied property insurance, UK holiday home insurance, property insurance for people working abroad, or in a care home or nursing home. The oak tree is responsible for the largest number of subsidence claims in the UK. A mature deciduous tree can drink around 50,000 litres of water a year. Recent newspaper reports have highlighted that 2017 could experience a serious drought caused by a hot dry summer and the driest winter in 20 years. POPULAR DOWNLOADS. But like the willow their roots are highly invasive and are known to spread up to 40 meters, again causing problems to any pipes or drains in their path. Bickers Insurance Services is run by two Brothers, Colin Bickers and Julian Bickers. If you suspect that trees or shrubs are causing damage to your property then you need to take action as soon as possible. In urban areas willow tree roots have been known to invade drains and pipework. The ash tree is another fast growing deciduous tree which prefers moist conditions and whose roots will spread wide distances to find water. We like to offer all our customers a first class service, which is backed up by our Trust pilot ratings. Fig Tree Causing Subsidence? When the ground dries out, it is increasingly prone to movement and shrinkage. Most of our policies you can now buy online and receive instant documentation. Subsidence frequently causes major problems in karst terrains, where dissolution of limestone by fluid flow in the subsurface creates voids (i.e., caves).If the roof of a void becomes too weak, it can collapse and the overlying rock and earth will fall into the space, causing subsidence at the surface. If the tree is not in your own garden then it is best to engage in a non-confrontational conversation with your neighbours to discuss the best outcome. We’ll need to look at the symptoms of the problem to find out what caused it. BEYOND HORTLINK 212: Dr Neil Hipps advances from Hortlink 212 with a further paper considering the evidence of the impact of pruning trees upon subsidence damage to nearby properties . Homeowners have been advised to take greater care over planting trees or risk potential subsidence problems. Most subsidence is caused by "thirsty" trees and dry weather. Poplar trees particularly the large columnar variety are very popular across Europe, they grow very fast and can look hugely impressive swaying in the wind. Old homes may have shallower foundations – although if they’re built of bricks and soft lime mortar, they might also be more flexible, and less likely to be badly damaged by any movement. Low rise buildings on shrinkable clay soils are vulnerable to movement and structural damage due to moisture abstraction by trees and other vegetation groups. " The bay tree has a shallow root system" Hmmm, plants/trees require as much root to take up water and nutrients as they have branches/stem to deliver to so, even if the root system is shallow the roots will therefore have spread some 16 or 17 feet from the trunk. This shrink–swell behaviour is the most damaging geohazard in Britain today, costing the economy £540 million following a drought in 1991. The next meeting of the group is to be confirmed. Tree Related Subsidence Damage Arboricultural Risk and Solutions, An Overview. It's not quite such a problem on other types of soil as far as I'm aware. While the tree is growing the surrounding soil is died out butr when the tree is removed the moisture content builds up, causing the ground to swell. Heave is normally caused by the removal of trees or large shrubs. When mature they can have a very large canopy and the tree requires vast amounts of moisture. Again these are best avoided near houses. Claims for damage resulting from tree roots are brought in nuisance rather than trespass, even though the tree roots will be encroaching on the neighbouring land. Trees and their roots can be very efficient at removing water from these types of soil and it is this simple relationship that causes a significant number of building subsidence cases to be tree related. Subsidence may also cause doors and windows to stick as the building’s structure becomes distorted. Claims for subsidence can be on the large side ( hence the reason for the standard policy excess being £1000) and even if the building is repaired by the insurance company, you may find that’s in the future, insurance is harder to source ( and possibly more expensive) and the market value of the property and it’s marketability may also diminish... Our Home Insurance can provide cover for your Buildings, Contents and Personal Effects. However not all trees cause subsidence and it is also practically impossible to predict which ones will or will not cause problems in the future. The Judge in this case agreed with the Defendant that the general risk of tree root subsidence is not sufficient to make all damage reasonably foreseeable, otherwise every claim due to subsidence would succeed. Preventing or Dealing with Subsidence and Structural Problems.Whilst subsidence is usually covered by a building insurance policy, it is definitely something that you do not want to happen at your property if at all possible. The first sign of subsidence is usually the appearance of cracks in your home’s walls, either in the internal plasterwork or external brickwork. The roots can stretch out in search of moisture and there are some types of tree that are more likely to cause subsidence damage than others, due to the size to which they can grow and the way in which the root system is structured. Where tree roots cause damage to a neighbouring property, the owner of the tree can be liable, under the law of nuisance, for such damage. You can find more information about how we look at subsidence cases below. Houses built since the 1950's generally have deeper foundations to avoid the problems due to drying out of the soil. Severing just one of a tree's major roots during careless excavation for construction or services can cause the loss of up to 20 per cent of the root system; this undermines the tree's ability to absorb water and also leaves it unstable in high winds. 27 posts 1; 2; Next; manataka Posts: 12 Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 4:30 pm Location: Sussex. More than one in 10 have planted trees close to their house, according to a survey by insurance firm Zurich. All our policies cover Home Emergency as standard up to £500. Heat waves in 2003 and 2006 led to peaks in subsidence claims. The subsidence risk isn't necessarily directly related to the height of tree, it is more likely to be to do with the "thirst" of the tree and the root spread. Over the last 10 years domestic subsidence claims number between 28,000 to 55,000 costing the insurance industry £140M - £400M annually. In many cases buildings and trees have happily co-existed for many years without any damage being caused. It isn’t really that simple. While it is a sapling it won't cause a problem, but some trees can grow very quickly. For most people, this involves having good quality door and window locks. Address The Pavilion, Hollyacre, Toddington Lane, Littlehampton, West Sussex, BN17 7PP, Welcome to Bickers Insurance Services, specialists in Property Insurance, including, Subsidence damage to your property caused by trees or shrubs, Insurance obligations when buying or selling a house, Insurance Between Exchange and Completion, Unoccupied Property Insurance for Care Home Residents, Insurance for Previously Underpinned Property, Insurance for Property Previously Affected by Flooding, Home insurance for people with criminal convictions, Register for Online Access to your Client's Documents, Unoccupied property insurance for homeowners in residential care, in a nursing home or for extended periods in hospital. Willow trees are best avoided in all but the largest gardens and then only planted well away from the house and any possible pipework. One of the most common causes of subsidence damage to property is from clay shrinkage. Should the trees or shrubs within the boundary of the neighbouring property cause direct or indirect damage to any building or property within your own boundary, you or your insurers can seek to hold your neighbour negligent and seek recovery for the cost of associated damage and repair. When we sold the house, we had to say it had had subsidence because we had claimed. Your email address will not be published. Willow trees like damp conditions and a large mature tree is thought to extract around 1000 liters of water a day from its surrounding soil. Telephone 01903 791340 . A mature deciduous tree can draw up to 50,000 litres of water a year from the surrounding soil. But if you are thinking of buying a house built pre 1950, and it is in an area of clay soils, you should assess any nearby tree for whether its roots may potentially reach the soil around your house foundations. One of the most costly maintenance problems for homeowners is woodworm, dry rot and wet rot. This causes a lack of support to a property’s foundations and can lead to subsidence. Trees and subsidence Risk assessment & management. Some species absorb a lot more water, making the soil much drier. Trees and large shrubs with expansive root networks can be a problem if they are too close to your property as they may suck too much water from the soil. Of course, you are more than welcome to call us and we can provide your cover over the phone, All Insurances They look great but the best place for them is at the bottom of the garden – at least 11m from … Trees in the Townscape, a new guide by the Trees and Design Action Group . If their tree is causing damage to your property then it is their obligation to rectify the situation. When actually it was a bit of ground movement caused by the trees and the weather. Subsidence . These should be studied most carefully as without the correct protection being in force, you may find your cover compromised in the event of a claim. 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