Tree outside a commercial building

Creating a visually appealing exterior of your commercial property is vital for achieving a positive first impression for visitors. Large, flourishing trees are one of the main factors that contribute to an attractive commercial building. Although when regularly maintained and checked, nature causes no problems to buildings, if left unkept, tree damage can cause serious issues that will dramatically impact your business in the long-term.

6 Signs You’ve Experienced Tree Damage On Your Premises

From electrical maintenance to healthy and safety observations, there are main different tasks you must remember to carry out as a business owner or commercial property owner. It is your responsibility to ensure all tenants, employees and visitors remain safe at all times.

Potential risks on the exterior of your property are taken just as seriously as those that may occur inside; this includes risks due to the nature surrounding your building. Trees, in particular, can be the cause of many structural problems, so here we have devised a list of the main six ways trees can damage your commercial building.

1. Drain Blockage

Trees and their roots are continually seeking water to remain healthy and nourished meaning roots grow towards all nearby forms of water supply. Roots cleverly manoeuvre their way through the soil until they find a sufficient water supply. In periods of drought when soil becomes dry, the roots will make a beeline for the only alternative water supply, which is in drains. The roots will eventually manage to push their way through the pipes and over time, will fill the pipe with shoots. Pipes simply cannot support an evergrowing tree meaning they will ultimately burst.

If a root blocked drain is caught early, it can be solved with the help of a professional plumber. Common telltale signs include slow drainage and low water pressure, meaning water supply take a while to come out and when it does, is very sparse.

plumber fixing pipes

2. Subsidence

As mentioned previously, roots need a continuous supply of water to stay alive. When growing undisturbed, trees will use the moisture from the soil to meet their water supply. If there has been regular rain, the water makes the soil compact, meaning it is stable enough to support the weight of buildings. However, similarly to drain blockage, when there have been many weeks with no signs of rain, the roots will absorb all moisture from the soil, making it extremely loose and dry. The loose soil underneath foundations can no longer support the weight of the building, causing subsidence. Subsidence means that the ground surface becomes uneven and starts to sink, making buildings feel or look as if they are sitting on a slant. One of the most prominent signs of subsidence is prominent cracks appearing near doors and windows.

3. Broken Branches

With age, tree branches do start to become unstable and brittle which if left unpruned, will run the risk of major issues or injuries. If fragile branches are left unremoved in months where storms and high winds are frequent, it only takes one strong gust to cause them to break off and fall onto cars in your carpark, onto the roof of your building or in the worst case scenario, fall onto an employee or visitor causing severe injury.

To avoid running the risk of potential tree related dangers on your commercial premises, you must always enlist the services of a professional tree surveyor to assess the health of the trees surrounding your property. Legally, a survey must be complete before you can be insured or you will be faced with claims.

Here at Neal Landscapes, we can survey, maintain and remove any trees you believe are causing a problem. We only perform tree surgery Milton Keynes if it is completely necessary and there are no other alternative ways to save the tree.

broken branch

4. Lift Paving

When a tree is growing in soil too close to a paved area, the only way for it to continue to thrive is to start to develop between the soil and pavement. This means if you were to remove the paving slab, you would immediately see roots growing above the soil. With the strength of the evergrowing roots, the pavement will start to lift away from the surface making it uneven and a major trip hazard. If this proves an ongoing issue on your commercial premises, it is highly recommended to implement barriers to prevent the lift.

5. Structural Cracking

Thick roots, usually found on old trees, over time cause foundation damage causing the concrete to bend and eventually crack. While concrete can easily support a building, this is mainly due to the fact that buildings do not move or continuously grow, once they are built, they remain standing in the same position for the remainder of its lifespan. Whereas, trees continue to grow, which especially if the tree has thick roots, puts the concrete under immense pressure, constantly pushing at its surface, weakening its components making it bend and crack.

tree root breaking through pavement

6. Disrupt Landscaping

Landscape maintenance is a fantastic way of sustaining a well-kept, attractive commercial exterior, however, can prove tricky if all trees and plants are competing for essential nutrients. While a large, prominent oak or pine tree looks stunning, it is likely to be taking up valuable root space needed for other trees and plants to grow. We suggest opting for allowing your large tree to have as much free surrounding space as possible to grow and utilise other empty spaces with colourful plants and shrubs.

If you’re unsure on the best route for creating a welcoming exterior, incorporating in a large tree, why not enlist the help of our commercial landscaping Milton Keynes?

Avoid Tree Damage On Your Commercial Building

If you suspect that a tree may be starting to cause problems with your premises, it is always recommended to call a professional and address the situation as soon as possible. Similarly to any other potential building hazard, the earlier you opt to investigate, the more likely you will be able to solve the issue before it becomes a severe problem. It is a shame to have to remove any form of nature from its natural surroundings, however, in some cases, there may be no other option, particularly if it runs the risk of injury.

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