Trees and Subsidence

If you’re not already aware then subsidence is simply the downward movement of the ground supporting a building. The downward movement is not caused as a result of the building’s weight, but rather because of the poor quality of the soil. Subsidence can be caused by a number of things, including leaking pipes, long periods of dry weather and natural decomposition. One major cause of subsidence that not everyone is aware of, is trees.

Why trees cause subsidence

The link between trees and subsidence might not seem obvious at first but there’s a very simple explanation. In order for soil to retain its integrity, it must contain enough moisture. Large trees also have large roots that take moisture from the surrounding soil. When there’s not enough water in the soil, it can begin to crack and therefore become unstable – resulting in subsidence.

Subsidence caused by nearby trees becomes much more likely during extended periods of dry weather. The reason being that when trees cannot take the moisture they need from the immediately surrounding soil, they will extend their roots to find it. When you consider that some fully matured trees can take more than 50,000 litres of water from the ground per year, then it’s easy to see how this can soon become a problem, especially during long dry spells. Insurance providers even have a term for years where there is an exceptionally low amount of rainfall, known as ‘event years’ – so named because of the increased number of events that lead to claims.

If you do have large trees and shrubs around your property then you shouldn’t just assume that this must be the cause of subsidence. Variables that affect whether trees cause subsidence include –

  • The type of tree
  • The size of the tree
  • The number of trees
  • The distance from the property
  • Type of foundations
  • Depth of foundations
  • Weather conditions

Modern properties are much less likely to suffer from subsidence caused by trees since the clay used for the foundations will almost certainly be designed to resist the influence of expanding tree roots.

For more information please visit https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=225.

Get subsidence insurance quotes now

If you have a property that’s prone to subsidence then you’ll want to get a special policy to cover it. Luckily getting subsidence insurance quotes is now easier than ever. To get quotes from a panel of subsidence insurance specialist, simply click the green button below. You can have your quotes within a matter of minutes and being able to easily compare the prices means you stand to save a good deal of money.