Trees are paramount to human life. They not only provide us with the oxygen that we need to breathe, absorb carbon dioxide and other gases but they also help to reduce flooding risks and can actually help to reduce the temperature. But, they can also become overgrown and their canopies and roots can damage buildings if they aren’t looked after properly.
Most trees cause no problems whatsoever with nearby buildings but there are cases where they can cause such problems such as subsidence, structural damage and even blocked drains that will then require the need for CCTV Drainage Surveys to be conducted to check the extent of the damage and prepare for repair works to take place. CCTV drainage surveys by Wilkinson Environmental will give you the reassurance of finding what issues have occurred within the pipes.
There are a number of different factors that can determine whether your trees could become an issue in the future and can inform you of the best ways to maintain your trees to help prevent this damage from occurring. It is also important to remember that just because a tree isn’t very tall above the ground, doesn’t mean its roots aren’t far reaching. In some species of tree the roots can be up to 3 times the height of the tree in their spread underneath ground.
Clay soil is one factor that can cause your buildings to suffer from cracks and subsidence. This is because the soil becomes waterlogged and then dries out and cracks which means that the soil actually shrinks over time. This needs to be taken into consideration if you are removing or moving any trees that are planted in clay soil as the removal can cause the foundations of a building to move and subsidence to occur, if they have been subjected to cracking as a result of soil shrinkage.
Tree roots are constantly seeking water to help keep the tree hydrated and growing. This means that drainage pipes are a common place for them to try and penetrate. Whilst most tree roots won’t be able to break through a drainage pipe they will be able to use any crack or broken joints to their advantage. In these cases the roots will work their way through the cracks and will then anchor themselves inside the pipes. This can then cause the pipes to become clogged and blocked which will then cause issues for your drainage system. It is important to ensure that your pipework is water tight and that any leaks or damage is quickly repaired to prevent further issues from occurring.
If you are thinking of planting some trees in our graden make sure you check the growth and height of your chosen tree and locate it away from your building and if possible away from your drainage pipes. Regularly cutting your tree back and pruning its branches will also help to minimise the spread of its root network.