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5 Steps to Take If a Tree Has Fallen on Your Home

By crossroadsp2443513, Nov 9 2017 08:35PM

Strong winds and rotted roots can potentially lead to a tree falling over on your house. Perhaps you’ve seen it happen to your neighbor’s house or maybe have had a tree that barely missed the roof of your house. It’s not one of those things you want to really think about but it’s always good to know the steps you can take should your home fall prey to this type of damage. While older and diseased trees are more vulnerable to extreme weather and heavy winds, even strong, healthy trees can give out under these conditions. Fallen trees are actually one of the main causes of roof damage, according to the National Storm Damage Center, costing over $1 billion in property damage each year. From tree removal to roof repair, here’s what you’ll need to know.


1. Immediately evacuate your house.


If you don’t already have one, be sure to have an evacuation plan so that everyone in your house knows how to exit quickly and safely. Having a bag of emergency supplies, including copies of important documents, cash, car keys, and other important items, can ensure that you have everything you need to leave your home.


2. Call 911.


Even if the fallen tree or branch may seem small enough for you and your family members to attempt to remove, it’s best to wait for professional tree removers. It may be tempting for some to climb onto your roof, but it is dangerous work. If rain was involved, it can make roofs slippery, and climbing on your roof puts you at risk of falling. Also, because a tree or branch landing on your roof can threaten its structural integrity, it can increase the danger that it may collapse. You don’t want to be on that roof when that happens.


Once you and your family have evacuated to a safe location, call emergency services and report what happened. They will advise you further on what to do; it is likely they may send out a fire crew or public utility representative to ensure your home is safe, including checking that there is no danger of fire or electrical problems and checking power lines and connections.


3. Contact your insurance company.


Most home insurance policies will cover at least some damage caused by debris, including the cost of removing the tree that has fallen. However, your recovery could be affected if the damage is partly a result of negligence on the part of the homeowner. If a healthy tree on your property is knocked down, your insurance company will likely cover some or the entire cost. However, if an old, rotten tree falls or loses limbs, your recovery may be reduced if it finds that you had prior knowledge of it and could have prevented the damage.


After you report the damage to your insurance company, they will inform you on how to proceed. They may recommend or send out a roofer to quickly cover exposed areas or board up broken windows to prevent potential water damage. As soon as it’s safe to, take photos of the damage. Be careful while capturing different angles of your home, including close ups and long shots. Have the photos ready to show your insurance company.


4. Call your reputable, local roofing contractor.


Make sure you research a reputable company to repair your roof. Tree removal companies or those that offer this service may be available for 24-hour service, so the cleanup process can begin immediately. This may initially mean temporary repairs such as placing tarps over exposed areas, reinforcing parts of the roof that incurred structural damage and cleaning up water that may have made its way inside your home.


5. Make sure to leave your home safe and secure.


If the tree has caused significant damage to your home and will take time to repair, you may have to make other temporary living arrangements. So make sure your doors and windows are locked, and secure anything valuable in case your home is broken into while repairs are underway.


Your family’s safety is the main priority and although you’ll need to patient while repairs are being made, we recommend you let the professionals handle the situation for you so they can get your home ready for you to be able to move back in.


Call Crossroads Property Services at 706-352-5678.


Resources:

https://www.rd.com/home/improvement/what-to-do-when-a-tree-falls-on-your-house/

https://www.resolvebylowes.com/guidance/storm/a-tree-fell-on-my-house-what-happens-now/115001588587





2 comments
Aug 29 2018 02:03PM by Taylor Bishop

Thanks for explaining what can be done if a tree falls on your house. It's nice to know that a tree removal company can be available. It sounds beneficial to call them as soon as it happens, especially if they know how to remove a tree safely and without additional damage. https://www.houstontreeserviceteam.com/tree-removal

Nov 29 2018 04:00PM by Derek Dewitt

A tree recently toppled over onto my garage, so thanks for this info. I like your point about contacting your insurance company first to see if they'll cover the damages. I'll be sure to do this so they can send someone over to evaluate the damages. https://johnsonstreeservices.com/tree-trimming

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