A storm is always brewing. America sees 1,000 tornadoes every year. Even a light tornado is capable of ripping off a branch and sending it onto a roof.
Roofs are designed to withstand heavy weights. But a tree can cause significant damage, even if the roof does not collapse. If you want to avoid trouble, you need to learn what to do if a tree falls on your house.
How should you prepare for a collapsing tree? What should you do around your insurer? When should you contact a roof repair service?
Answer these questions and you can keep a tree from ruining your beautiful home. Here is your quick guide.
Prepare for Tree Damages
Walk around your house and look at the trees that could cause roof damage. Walk up to them and inspect their bases for signs of rot.
If you see a rotting tree, you should hire a service to take it down. This will cost you some money. But the expense is lower than the expense of a damaged home.
The tree itself may be fine, but its branches may prove a threat. You should also get the branches removed.
Try to move electrical wires and pipes away from the trees. If this isn’t possible, be extra diligent about branches. Just one branch falling on a wire can prove a safety hazard.
Move important items to the other side of your house. Pack a go-bag with medications and clothes and store it in a secure drawer.
Practice evacuating the house in the event of a tree falling. Take first aid lessons so you can respond to an injury in no time.
A tree can fall on your house at any time. Most do fall during storms, especially windy ones.
If a storm is rolling in, remove items from your backyard. Tell others in the house to prepare for a tree falling.
Get Out of Your House
Your first priority must be your own safety. Grab your go-bag and then get out of your house through the fastest available means. Try to avoid going near the area where the tree hit.
You should evacuate even if a branch did not penetrate through your roof. You will get a better appreciation of the situation once you go outside. The branch may have shaken a wire in your wall loose, which can cause a fire.
If there is a storm outside, you should go into your vehicle. Drive to a location where you can see your house that is not near other trees.
Call 911 right away. If your tree has fallen over, it is highly likely that other trees have. It may take some time to get a first responder out to you, so have some patience.
Do not get on your roof. A branch will damage its integrity, making it prone to collapse. You may also slip off.
Wait until the authorities arrive. Follow their instructions, and be prepared to live somewhere else for a little while. You may be able to lock your doors and windows before heading out.
Call Your Insurer
Your insurance policy should cover tree damages. But they can reduce your compensation if they find you were negligent in some way.
The best way to get full compensation is to document the scene. Take photographs of where the tree was, how it fell, and what it hit.
Go into your home as soon as you can and take more pictures. Make sure you are wearing a helmet and gloves. Try to take as many angles as you can, zooming in on important objects.
Contact your insurer once you have your evidence. Tell them what happened and send over the photos you have.
Your insurance company may ask you to find a contractor. They may also send out their own claims adjuster.
This does not mean that the situation is out of your hands. Give the contractor or adjuster a tour of your property. Point out where the tree fell and give details about your damaged property.
Your claim may not be thorough. It may cover roof repair, but not home siding repair. Avoid making permanent fixes until you reach an agreement on compensation.
Hire a Roof Repair Service
Once the scene is safe, you can hire a roof repair company. You should try to do so as soon as you can. Holes in your roof can cause water to leak down and damage parts of your house.
The company will want to inspect the damage. As with the insurance adjuster, you should accompany the person who arrives. Point out what the damage was and give them tips on walking through your house.
If your roof has widespread damage, you may need to get a roof replacement. The cost of a roof replacement may be substantial. But it provides maximum safety and integrity for your house.
Whatever repairs you need, you can negotiate the rates. You can also find ways of paying for your repairs.
It may take some time to repair your roof, especially for big projects. Try to be patient. You can watch over the repairs, or you can find something else to do.
Once you have moved back in, keep an eye on your roof. If you encounter a leak or another issue, contact your service immediately. They can come back and make necessary fixes.
What to Do if a Tree Falls on Your House
You can understand what to do if a tree falls on your house. Inspect the trees near your property very closely. Be defensive and remove any trees or branches that may cause damage.
Evacuate from your home once a tree falls. Get a good view of your house, then call 911.
Get proof of the damages and send them to your insurer. Give their claims adjuster a tour of the damaged property. Then call a roof repair service and negotiate for repairs.
A storm won’t wait for you. Freeman Exteriors serves the Champaign area. Get an estimate today.