Building subsidence can be caused by water uptake in trees, and can potentially cause significant damage to residential homes and commercial properties. Soil, particularly of clay composition, continually shrinks and expands due to the loss and addition of water. Building subsidence is caused when soil shrinkage due to loss of water in the summer is not replenished during the winter months.
This may occur for a number of reasons, including the presence of trees whose water uptake is too great to be replenished during the winter months. An additional cause of damage to buildings can occur through the process known as heave. This is where the expansion of soil during the winter months outweighs shrinkage during the dry season. A common cause of heave is the recent removal of a tree. As with subsidence, clay soils are most susceptible.
PJC Consultancy performs tree building subsidence surveys including soil and root sampling, which can aid the assessment of likely causes of building subsidence. Should adjacent trees be identified as the cause of building subsidence, root sampling can aid identification of the culprit tree (where this is not obvious).
PJC Consultancy can also provide recommendations for mitigation measures involving tree removal or engineered solutions. There may be various methods of mitigation in which the cost and value of the tree will be determining factors.