Tree root barriers for insurance claims
Tree root barriers are becoming a popular solution for litigation claims involving subsidence damage due to tree roots.
In cases where tree roots have been demonstrated to have a direct causal link to subsidence issues a common solution is to remove the tree. However, due to technical and legal reasons this is not always an option. A root barrier will allow trees and other vegetation to remain whilst ensuring that they will not have an impact upon an adjacent property.
This can be particularly advantageous in cases involving root trespass. That is to say that the roots of the offending tree have trespassed onto a neighbouring property and have caused damage to or have potential to detrimentally affect that property. In such cases the tree owner can adopt a responsible approach to mitigating any damage and protecting neighbouring properties with a tree root barrier.
Alternatively the trespassed land owner can install a barrier to protect their structures and surfaces, the cost of which can be claimed against the tree owner. We have assisted in such cases, including litigation and mediation, many times in the past and would be happy to assist you.
When to choose a tree root barrier solution:
- Severe pruning or removal of the tree are unacceptable methods of amelioration.
- The tree must remain (e.g. due to a Tree Preservation Order).
- When the tree roots can be demonstrably implicated to be causing indirect damage on a nearby building (e.g. localised clay shrinkage).
- To prevent tree root trespass to neighbouring properties as part of a tree management plan.
- When the root network of a neighbouring tree is trespassing on to your property.
Benefits of a tree root barrier:
- Quick Installation
- Minimal Disruption
- Enables Vegetation to remain (and so facilitates work on trees protected by Tree Preservation Orders)
- Cheaper than underpinning for most cases.
- Can be undertaken during the nesting season (trees cannot be removed if they disturb nesting birds or roosting bats)
The installation of a tree root barrier will also help to ensure that any property that has been affected by tree root induced subsidence will only need to be repaired once as a result of that issue. If a property is repaired (cracks filled etc) but without any additional measures being undertaken to curtail the impact of the tree there is a risk damage will recur unless suitable steps are taken to address the presence of roots.