A Tree Fell on My House: Now What?

One of the last things that you want to be greeted with when you get home after a long day of work or wake up to in the middle of the night is a tree sticking in your house. Whether it’s because of hurricanes, snow storms, floods and other severe weather conditions, or because the tree has been around for a long time and diseases have taken their toll on the roots, one of the top causes of roof damage has been fallen trees.

The harm that fallen trees can cause to residents physically is matched by the harm they cause financially, as this type of situation results in over $1 billion in property damage each year, according to the National Storm Damage Center. If this just happened to you for the first time, knowing exactly what to do to bounce back in advance effects how quick the recovery process will be. Here are some steps that you’ll need to follow to determine how bad the fallen tree damage and recover to make your property look good as new.

Ensuring Your Safety

When the tree falls onto your property, no matter whether it’s an empty area or next to, or in, someone’s room, the first thing that you need to do is make sure everyone is alright. If you live in a house with your family or with a friend in an apartment, make sure that the other person, or people, haven’t suffered any injuries. It’s important that you get to the first floor as quickly as possible if you’re on a second or third floor.

You might have to get leave through a window or other exit in case the debris is blocking the door. It will most likely be an easier time leaving the property if the tree hits a fence or deck, as you will probably not have to duck or step over any large branches or other debris in order to get around or outside. It also helps to have a form of communication with your neighbors in case this type of incident happens to one of you, which could include exchanging numbers in case you’re away from home at work or on vacation and one of your neighbors is around when a tree falls on your property. They could give you a call or text to let you know what happened so that you can call the right people to deal with the situation before you get home.

Afterwards, you’ll need to make a variety of calls, including those to emergency services in case you can’t safely exit the property, as well as the police and a power company if the storm forced wires or power lines to fall. Locking your doors and windows and covering valuables will minimize the damage that weather could cause to your interior. You should only go back inside if there isn’t fallen debris or power lines around, and leave the repairing to the professionals instead of trying to deal with it yourself.

Removing Damage

The phone calls won’t stop there, as one of the first contacts you should make is with tree removal organizations. It’s best to wait until the storm is over so that it is safe for you, as well as the people needed to clean up the area, to go into the house or apartment. There are a variety of services like a forklift dealer or these certified arborists in Fairview, OR available for fixing the place up, whether it’s moving a tree, getting rid of debris, pruning branches or removing stumps.

Extensive service maintenance comes in handy with removing material because a forklift, roofing system or similar equipment that is able to meet safety and operating standards affects how much work needs to be done. If the equipment isn’t checked before it’s used, it could not only not be able to get rid of the damage, but it could cause even more that has to be taken away. It’s best to have expert technicians check the equipment so that you save time and money, and replacement parts should be on hand so that you can easily fix it before it creates more problems. The best part of these emergency services is that just about all of them operate 24/7, which definitely helps if a tree falls on your property in the middle of the night.

It helps to know if the damage was caused by an aging tree or severe weather, which a professional tree service can help with by determining the health of trees in your area. You’ll then know how to avoid these situations in the future, such as if you should cut down on the tree growing. It’s best to stay at a friend or relative’s home in the meantime if the damage is past a certain level or the tree is a certain size, as this will affect how long it takes to remove unwanted material.

Property Repair

Once everything is out of the way, you’ll need to get a hold of a roofing contractor, who will let you know the extent of the damage to your property. This will be done by covering up exposed areas, cleaning up any water inside the home, and fixing any parts that received structural damage. Companies that handle this work, including these commercial roofing experts in Portland, OR provide a variety of services for different situations in which property is damaged, as well as for property of different forms and sizes.

Your insurance company will also need to be contacted so that you know what will be covered and how quickly it will take to fix the situation, and knowing someone like this personal injury law firm in Salem, OR will come in handy.  It’s best to have photos and videos taken of the area so that you have proof of what is damaged and if anyone was injured.

You may be in a situation where a tree on your property falls onto your neighbor’s house or apartment, in which case, standard homeowners policies put the responsibility on the neighbor for dealing with repair no matter where the tree came from. Paying the cost or deductible may be a factor, and it’s best that you and your neighbors have a good relationship and are able to discuss and deal with these situations in a civilized way. This will increase the chances of both of you having each other’s back in case this type of incident happens again to the other person.

If a tree comes down and doesn’t land on anything, you’ll be responsible for the cost of removing it. However, your policy could cover some of the cost if the tree lands somewhere that blocks a driveway or other access point on a road.

Conclusion

Knowing what to do and who to contact when a fallen tree damages your home will get you through the situation as quickly and safely as possible. Your safety, as well as that of your loved ones, is your top priority, and you should leave the repair to the professionals so that you don’t face any extra dangerous and everything is removed and repaired accordingly. Having proof of the damage will also help determine how much your insurance company will be able to help you with finances.

Keep these tips in mind so that you can keep yourself and the ones that matter safe and end up with a fresh-looking home.

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