A home is rather sturdy and can usually protect homeowners from severe weather events. Although the wind may blow off shingles and hail can cause damage to gutters and windows, it is usually safest inside the home during the storm. However, a tree that has fallen on the roof is quite a different scenario.
When a tree falls on a home, it can be a frightening and traumatic experience for homeowners. This situation may be completely unfamiliar and leave homeowners not knowing what to do. This makes it important to understand the steps that need to be taken if a tree falls on the home. This will ensure that homeowners are prepared and remain safe.
Leave the House
Although a home is pretty sturdy and can usually handle a lot, when a tree falls on the roof, it is always a good idea to leave the home immediately. The roof repair and insurance claim can wait. The occupants of the home’s safety should always be the priority.
A tree is quite heavy and large. Even relatively small trees can be very heavy and cause significant damage to a home. Although the home can probably withstand the fall, it is always better safe than sorry. If the tree fell in the right place or with the right force, it may have caused significant structural damage to the home.
It is important to get the entire household out of the home as soon as possible in such a situation. Structural damage could create serious risks to the home and make it unsafe for anyone to be inside. It is always best to have a plan with family members on where to go in such a situation.
Call Emergency Services
Once safely out of the home, the next step is to contact emergency services or 911. This allows the dispatcher to contact the proper authorities to help with the situation at the home. If there is a powerline that has been taken down, it may also be a good idea to contact the electric company.
Even if a tree does not take a power line down with it, when it damages the roof, it could damage power lines attached to the home or even electrical wiring in the home. This could create a serious risk of fire. Notifying emergency services alerts the proper authorities of the problem and provides them with time to assess the situation.
There are also risks associated with the tree and the potential structural damage to the home. Notifying emergency services lets the area be assessed for other risks of the tree falling more or even problems associated with the home collapsing. Emergency responders can help secure the area to prevent further issues.
Contact Insurance Provider
Once household members are in a safe location and the home has been assessed by emergency personnel, the next step is to contact the homeowner’s insurance provider. This will allow the claims process to begin.
In general, a homeowner’s insurance policy will cover the damage caused to a house from a tree falling during a storm. However, there are some cases where the insurance will not cover and it is important for policyholders to understand the terms of their insurance coverage.
If the tree falls due to wind or storm, the insurance company will usually cover the damage to the home. However, if the tree was not properly maintained, is diseased or rotted, the insurance may not cover this damage due to the negligence of the property owner unless the tree was on someone else’s property.
There are other times when the homeowner’s insurance may not cover the costs of a fallen tree. For example, if the tree did not cause any damage to the structure of the home or other covered structures, the insurance company may not provide coverage for debris cleanup. Some, however, may provide coverage if the tree is blocking access to the home.
Contact a Roofer
The next step in the process is to contact a roofer. A roofing contractor can come to the home and safely cover the damage to the roof to prevent further damage in the home. Contacting them as soon as possible is a good idea to help minimize the cost of repair.
A professional roofing contractor will be necessary to assess the damage and create an estimate for the cost of repair. The insurance provider will need this estimate before they can approve the cost of repairs. Many roofing companies will work directly with the insurance company to help expedite the process.
Once the insurance company approves the repairs, the roofing contractor can begin work on the roof to help restore the home to its safe and proper condition. It is often a good idea to research professional roofing companies in the area and know the best option to call before such a situation occurs.
When major storms rip through an area, it can cause serious damage to many people’s homes. This situation can attract what is known as storm chasers. These are individuals who arrive at a storm-damaged house and offer their services to homes that have been damaged.
Many of these storm chasers are not reputable roofing contractors. These individuals will often perform shoddy work or even take the money without doing any repairs. Since they do not have an established location, they may be impossible to locate to get any money back. Having a roofer in mind ahead of time can help prevent these situations.
Secure the Home
When a tree falls through a home’s roof, it can cause severe damage and make it unsafe for homeowners and their families to stay in the home. This damage can take considerable time to repair. Even with the best roofers, this process could take days or weeks, depending on the damage.
This means that the homeowner and their family will need to stay in another location during the repair process. Unfortunately, this will leave the home unattended for long periods of time. During this time, the home needs to be secured.
All doors and windows should be securely locked. If entry into the home is possible, it may be a good idea to secure or even remove any valuables in the home. This can help to prevent a break-in while the home is being repaired.
A tree falling on a roof is a serious situation that should not be taken lightly. It is important to act fast and follow the steps necessary to ensure everyone is safe. There are professionals that can handle the situation and get the home back to normal.
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