Impact of Trees and Gardens Too Close to Buildings

Does it Really Matter If There is a Tree Close by to a Building?

Although trees play a significant role in our environment, sometimes they turn out to be the cause for the destruction of the buildings. It can either be a direct damage which affects the structure of the building or an indirect damage impacting the soil moisture levels. It is essential to find out the reasons behind the building damage because once the root cause of the damage is identified the next course of action can be planned.

Take a Look at Few Important Facts

  • Not all trees result in damage.
  • The roots of the trees that spread up to three times the height of the trees seldom affect the modern buildings.
  • Some types of soils such as clay soil can absorb a large amount of water post rainfall making the ground sticky and heavy. During summers they can also become hard which results in shrinking and cracking of ground.


Trees Close to Your Property Can Cause Structural Damage Due to Subsidence

A characteristic of many clay soils is that they swell in volume when they get wet and retract when dry. Clay soils tend to cause structural damage since they have a high shrinkage potential. Four storey and above buildings with shallow foundations, especially those constructed before 1950 are at a higher risk.

Drain Damage

Tree roots can sometimes mess around sewer and storm water pipes. Attracted by condensation that forms around drains, tree roots can dislodge the underground pipe work. Mostly the roots can get into the drainage system through faulty joints or cracked pipes. Once in, they flourish rapidly and sometimes result in complete blockage of the drain. However, tree roots can hardly crack through a properly installed and well-maintained pipe.

Physical Damage

Trees can damage the property from underneath and above. The branches of the trees damage the roofs and guttering of the building. The buildings built on clay soil are at a higher risk as in summers they can cause cracks in the walls and floors. During winters and rainfall, they push these cracks that lead to heaving.

Cause and Control:

The clay soil shrinks maximum during summers and this process is termed as “seasonal soil moisture deficit” as generally such soils regain moisture post winter rains. These continuous seasonal changes in soil result in subsidence of the foundations and structural cracking. Such cracks probably develop around windows and doors where 5-10mm of movement is ideally needed before cracks can develop. In long run, permanent soil moisture deficit can develop if it continues getting dry year after year. Cutting down trees on such soils can sometimes lead to heaving.

Deep strong foundations will not allow the roots to penetrate.

A well-built and maintained drain won’t allow the tree roots to spread and cause harm to them.

Ways to Minimize or Prevent Damages

If you wish to plant a new tree in your yard, select a slow-growing tree species with less aggressive rooting tendencies. Do consider the size of the yard as well. Global warming being a major concern, it is time for the over cautious insurers and councils to think of other productive measures.

A particular tree might be at risk; this is never predictable as there are a lot of factors that affect subsidence. Hence, it is wise to take well-thought steps before taking any action.


Factors to Consider About Trees Near Houses and Other Buildings

In most cases, trees around the buildings will not cause damage. However, they might cause severe damage after long dry winters.

The physical threats posed by trees are either caused by falling limbs, structural failure of the main trunk or falling of trees due to heavy rains and storms apart from subsidence.

In case you own a tree near public highway or a building it is wise to get a professional survey done once in every few years. This will help you to analyze the tree’s overall health and determine if there is a need for pruning or felling.

The reports can be useful to negotiate with insurance companies and other public bodies.

Tree Legislation

The proprietor of the land is responsible for the trees on his / her property and is liable for any damage caused. It is wise to check with the Local Planning Authority whether a Tree Preservation Order is in place before you plant trees.

Want to know the impact of trees and gardens being too close to buildings? Need a solution to manage the trees? Contact us today. At Arkle & Co we provide comprehensive Engineers Reports and take care of all the necessary Council Permits and Inspections. We are fully insured and are members of the HIA. Our work is of the finest standard so much so that we put a 15-year guarantee on it.

Call us on (03) 5253 1977, 0409 186 179 or 0403 072 329.

You can also mail us at  Alternatively, you can also contact us through our online contact form.

Top 5 Tips to Help You in Your Home Renovation Plan

Renovating a home is an exciting task as it gives you an opportunity to reflect your style through your home. With an efficient renovation plan, you can easily spruce up the look of your home. Besides, you can also take care of damages which if left unattended can lead to major issues and cause inconvenience later. However, before you embark on your next home renovation plan, you need to keep certain factors in mind.

The entire process of home renovation can be a tedious and stressful task. Even small issues like a delay in delivery or a measuring error can emerge into stressful problems. To ensure that you are equipped to handle any situation, you need to have a proper renovation plan in place.

This guide aims to help you prepare an efficient home renovation plan that will make the process smooth and easy for you.

1. Plan Your Renovation
An essential task is to have clarity about what exactly you are expecting out of your renovation. Make sure not to over-renovate your home with expensive finishes that are not required. Sometimes, even a simple renovation can enhance the overall look of your home.

2. Plan the Budget
The most common issue faced while renovating a home is related to the budget. Most first-timers often find that the cost of everything is higher than expected. The best way to avoid any such budget issues is to have an emergency fund in place to meet any additional expenses that might emerge.

3. Hire a Reputed Builder
It is necessary to do a bit of research before you finalize a builder. Make sure to go through reviews and compare the rates. You also need to check if the builders are quoting for the same inclusions. If possible, visit projects that the builder has earlier worked on and talk to their clients. Also, make sure to go only with licensed and insured builders.

4. Expect Delays
While it is necessary to have a well-defined renovation time frame in place, you also need to be flexible to accommodate delays. To make the process smooth, try not to plan your renovation around major family events or festivals.

5. Have a Flexible Approach
While you may have a specific plan in mind, new issues might emerge during the renovation process. You need to be flexible and seek expert advice to determine the most appropriate solution.
During the process of renovation, you may also come across structural issues. The renovation process may unearth problems related to underpinning, termites, electrical issues and more. Such structural checks for ascertaining damages will enable you to upgrade your home in the most efficient manner.

Are you planning to remodel your home and are looking for reliable restumping, underpinning and reveling services?

At Arkle & Co, we offer a comprehensive range of services to fix structural damages in your home. If you feel that your home requires attention, feel free to get in touch with our team. We will offer the best solution. You can call us on (03) 5253 1977, 0409 186 179 or 0403 072 329.

You can also mail us at Alternatively, you can also contact us through our online contact form.