UKTC Archive

Re: Dampness caused by trees

Subject: Re: Dampness caused by trees
From: John . Blessington
Date: Jan 02 2007 11:56:34

It's got to be more than just wind-shelter and light shading hasn't it as
otherwise all modern detached houses (built 0.5m apart) and properties with
a wall or fence, shed or building close by would suffer similarly too-
unless these are all old properties with porous bricks and solid walls.
Clearly it's not a problem in all (most) cases.
Do our N.American cousins suffer this who love to plant big evergreens on
the wintery side of the house? Many people also grow climbers all over
their houses which is a much closer association.
I'm not sure how big a factor the trees are as against an unfortunate
combination of other factors (soundness of guttering is a first check).
There are also good silicone water repellents available now to treat porous
walls.
Perhaps though the barrier effect of leaves or stomata have some effect,
some kind of exudate or simply an exchange of biodiversity between tree and
wall? If the accused was anything but a tree would the first suggestion be
to pull it down as a first course of action? Perhaps an exploratory prune
to see if this has any impact is a sensible first course of action instead.
Happy New Year to all.
John


<<How do others respond to the complaint that 'this tree is making the
wall of my house damp?'
How much effect does wind-sheltering and light-shading (let's say by a
biggish evergreen) really have on a building?
Does it actually result in penetrating damp?
How can it be demonstrated that a tree does or does not cause dampness
without the practical (but rather final) experiment of felling it?
Has anyone carried out that experiment and if so, with what results?
And, is there any literature on the subject?
(Anyone know if the BRE book "Understanding dampness" would justify its
£42.50 cover price, or is it all about bridged cavities and blocked
airbricks?)
Jerry R>>



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