Trees fall all the time. However, not all homeowners will experience tree fall in their homes. If unfortunately, a tree falls on your house, there are specific measures you should take to ensure safety and prevent further damage to property and belongings. Here’s what to do if a tree falls on your house.
1. Ensure Safety
Safety is a top priority when a tree falls on your house. Check if your family and pets have sustained any injuries. Move your family to a safe location after leaving the house as you await doing other things. Once you have ensured everyone is safe, continue to inspect the extent of the damage. Various factors are significant in determining the extent of the damage. Look if your roof is showing signs of falling, power lines have fallen into your house, and other safety hazards. Don’t climb the roof or go too close to the scene.
If the damage is extensive, you have breached power lines, and there is flooding or any other dangerous issues that could pose a safety hazard to your family, evacuate the house as soon as possible. If the damage has blocked your exit and there is no other way out, call for help immediately.
2. Prevent Further damage
A fallen tree can severely damage your roofing, crush your sidings, break windows, and cause other damages on your house. While you cannot prevent these damages, there are others that you can avoid. As a precaution, only prevent further damage if it is safe to do so. Otherwise, wait for professionals to do the work.
Turn off the water from the main switch, shut off the gas, and remove valuables that you can salvage from the damaged areas. These steps will protect your home from further fire and water damage.
3. Report the Incident
Proceed to report the incident to the authorities. It is indispensable to report to the police and emergency services if the incident has caused injuries, fatalities, or has interfered with utilities on your home or neighborhood. Also, report the incident to authorities if the tree threatens the safety of other people or has blocked a road.
When the police arrive, tell them about the incident, how it happened, what time it happened, what injuries or fatalities it caused, or any other valuable information.
4. Call Insurance
You don’t have to incur costs attributed to the incident with your out-of-pocket money. If you have regular homeowner’s insurance, call your provider before doing anything that will cost you money. Although insurance claims can be complex and challenging, you are liable for compensation if you are up-to-date with your premiums, meet your deductions, and have not exhausted your coverage limits.
Your insurance company will send an insurance adjuster to determine the full extent of the damage and file a report. Before they arrive, obtain the necessary documents to make a successful insurance claim. Take photos and videos of the damage from different angles. Call a roofing professional to take pictures of damaged areas on your roof.
Be sure to record broken windows, doors, wall damages, and other structural damages caused by the fallen tree. Also, record all your damaged belongings. Don’t leave anything out of the list. The pictures and videos you take will act as evidence for supporting your claim.
The amount you will receive will depend on your policy. Hold off any repairs and services until you and your insurance company have decided on the right amount of compensation. Hire an independent adjuster to estimate the amount of compensation you should get. You have the right to dispute the compensation if it is not proportional to the loss. Your insurance will cover damage to your property and any neighbor’s property that might have been affected by the incident.
5. Call Tree Removal Services
Tree removal is absolutely necessary because the longer you leave a fallen tree on your house the more damage it can cause. Call a tree removal business once the scene is safe, authorities have been notified of the incident, and you have finances to cover the costs. While desperate times call for desperate measures, don’t work with just any tree removal company. Work with the best because you will spend a dime on the removal.
Ask for referrals, search online, or look for posters in your neighborhood. Create a shortlist of the tree removal businesses you want to work with. Be sure to ask the arborists on your shortlist if they have insurance and the necessary credentials. Tree removal can be dangerous if done unprofessionally. That said, the business you hire should have not only experience in dealing with complex tree situations but also have insurance to cover any potential damage and injuries during the removal.
Additionally, you can ask for evidence of previous work if you are skeptical. Ask about their plan and timeline. Be sure not to hire a tree removal business that will cut the trees into pieces and leave them lying all over your lawn. Work with a company that will do the job professionally. Knowing their timeline will enable you to make proper preparations.
A professional arborist will evaluate the scene and is highly trained to deal with complex tree fall situations. Tree removers also have access to advanced tools and equipment, such as cranes and loaders, necessary for removing the fallen tree. Experts’ tree removal will come at an additional cost because safety is guaranteed, and work is completed professionally.
The tree removal business you call to remove a fallen tree from your home should charge reasonable prices. The tree removal cost is based on various factors, including the tree’s location, size, and specifications. The equipment required, safety and risk concerns, the time it will take, and the crew needed to complete the task will also influence the cost of tree removal. Professionals also have liability and workman’s compensation insurance to cover any damages and injuries during the process, which usually add up to the cost.
There are various tree removal services that a tree removal business can do for you. They include:
Tree Removal: Tree removal is, without a doubt, the most common service provided by tree removal services. They can remove old, damaged, fallen, or any trees that threaten safety. Professionals will guarantee you a safe removal of the affected tree(s) without causing harm to people, pets, property, or the surrounding.
Tree pruning: Besides tree removal, a tree business specializes in tree pruning. Arborists can get rid of infected, damaged, and overgrown branches. Tree pruning promotes better growth of trees and ensures safety as well.
Tree Care and Maintenance: Tree care and maintenance is key to making trees healthy. Staff from a tree company have expertise in watering trees, eliminating pests, identifying and treating diseases, and trimming trees.
Tree Stump Removal: Tree trumps can make a property look ugly and detrimental to safety because people easily topple over them and cars and bump into them. A tree removal company conducts tree removal.
6. Call Roof Repair Services
A fallen tree will surely damage your roof. The tree may have punctured a hole in the middle of your roof, damaged your sidings, or sunk your roof. Whatever the damage, a roofing professional will repair your roof and restore its structural integrity.
Like any other repair, roof damage repair should be done by a company that provides quality roof repair services. Hire a trusted contractor who has a good wealth of experience, access to tools and equipment, and insurance cover. Ask about price estimates and their payment schedule.
The price of the roof repair will depend on various factors. One major factor that will determine the amount you will pay for the roofing services is the damaged extent. A collapsed roof will cost more than a roof with a few broken shingles. The size of the damaged parts, equipment needed, human resources required to complete the job, and special elements like chimneys and skylights will be factored in when calculating the repair cost.
Ask your roof repair damage expert to look for other hidden damages and not leave any stone unturned. This will prevent future damages and the need for repairs. Pay your contractor once you have inspected and are satisfied with the job.
7. Call Other Necessary Repair Services
The fallen tree will affect other areas of your house besides your roof. Therefore, you should call other repair services based on the things damaged by the incident. After things have settled down, inspect your home to determine the kind of repair and replacement services you might need.
One repair service you might need to call is the garage door repair service. Maybe the tree fell on the garage door and damaged it. Emergency garage door repair service experts will inspect the damage and determine if your garage door needs repair or replacement. The experts will proceed to take the right course of action and restore the integrity of your garage gate.
You might need to call plumbing services if the incident damaged your plumbing system. Obvious signs that may indicate a problem with your plumbing system after a tree has fallen on your house include water pools on your roof, visible water leaks on your walls, and lack of water in your home. A professional plumber will identify the problem and repair it.
The tree might have fallen on your walls and demolished it. If that is the case, you will need to call a construction company to do the necessary repair. You might also need gas, electricity, and other repair services. Don’t postpone any repair services your home needs to prevent further damage and increase home safety.
8. Contact Junk Removal Services
The damage, tree removal process, and repairs after a tree fall incident will leave loads of waste in your home. Contact junk removal services to help you get rid of all the junk in your home. Hiring a home junk removal professional will save you the hassle of using dumpster rentals and help clean your home by getting rid of junk in your home.
Home junk removal professionals provide multiple services ranging from debris removal for a construction site to garbage removal, tree parts removal, and garage cleaning. They can handle any junk removal task after tree removal and major repairs in your home.
You will have to make an appointment with a junk removal company, and they will send a crew to your home. The size of the crew they will send, and the tools and equipment they will come with will depend on the amount of junk you have in your home. These factors will also determine the cost of service.
Provide the professionals with accurate specifications if you want your property to be cleaned. Tell them unwanted things to remove. Note that there are limits to what their services entail. Junk removal will help clean your home and enable you to recover from the incident and go on with your life.
9. Prevent Future Tree Falls in Your Home
Prevention is better than cure. As you recover from the tree fall and continue with your life, take measures to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. This will help you ensure your family and property safety and prevent future financial losses.
One action you can take to prevent tree falls is to take good care of trees to maintain their strength. Prune your trees regularly. As a general rule of thumb, remove damaged branches, overhanging branches, and branches that have the same size as the tree trunk. It is recommended for your trees to have one trunk and balance.
Another thing you can do to prevent free falls on your house is to remove trees growing too close to your house. A tree cannot fall on your house if it is far away. Cut down all trees growing very close to your house. Ensure the nearest tree to your roof is at least five meters away. This way, trees will not fall on your house if they do fall.