When a Tree Falls You Need to Act
While we may never know the answer to the age-old question, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?’ but we do know what to do if that same tree falls on your house. A fallen tree can come from various situations: high winds, flooding, storms, blizzards, accidents, and more. No matter what causes a tree to come down, it can cause some severe damage. Not only can branches and trunks create holes in your roof and windows, but they can also bring down power lines or create other hazards.
Check out the steps you need to take if something causes tree roof damage to your property.
The first and most crucial step if a tree falls onto your roof is to get to safety. Gather your family, including pets, and get out of the house as quickly as possible. If your home shares a wall with another home, like in a duplex or multifamily complex, alert your neighbors. If someone is injured, call emergency services immediately and follow their instructions.
There’s no telling what kind of damage is present while you are inside the house. As long as you are inside, you are at risk of debris or other hazards. The initial impact can cause structural damage to your home that only worsens as time passes, which means the entire structure could collapse without warning.
Get away from the damaged part of the house and stay away from downed powerlines. Once everyone is in a safe location, call 911 and your utility companies. You may need to shut off your power, gas, or water to preserve the property or reduce risk. Tell the dispatcher if you smell smoke/gas, or the power is out so they can take the proper precautions.
Call Your Roofing Insurance Company
While waiting for emergency services to respond to your situation, make a quick call to your homeowner’s insurance company. Let them know what happened and ask what to do. A roof insurance claim involves many steps, so you don’t want to miss anything.
They may ask you to complete paperwork, take photos, or create videos to document the damage. Your roofing insurance company may also ask you to file your claim using their app or website.
You’ll want to assess the damage to understand better what’s happening. Take plenty of good photos and videos, no matter what damage you find. Get as many angles as possible. If the tree falls at night, use a good flashlight and follow up with additional pictures in the sunlight.
It’s always best to hold off on permanent repairs until you and your roof insurance company agree on your claim. Depending on your policy, you may have different limits on specific repairs or overall costs. You may be liable for the difference if there are costs beyond what your insurance company covers. You always have the right to appeal the insurance company’s decision to reevaluate the claim. In this case, make sure you turn in multiple bids from Lafayette roofing and general contractors to showcase that the actual costs are higher than the insurer allows.
Protect the Home from Further Damage
Downed trees can cause extensive damage to your property. If the tree is big enough, it might break windows, create holes in the roof, or knock down entire walls. If possible, try to cover holes, at least temporarily, to reduce further damage. Tarps are sufficient options to keep additional rain from getting into your house.
Avoid going onto your roof to cover holes or assess the damage. The roof may not be stable enough to hold your weight. Wait for a Lafayette roofing pro with the proper safety equipment to deal with the riskier tasks.
Call a Residential Roofing Company for a Comprehensive Roof Inspection
Once the situation is under control, call a professional residential roofing company to help. The damage can be severe when a tree falls on a house. A Lafayette roof repair professional can inform you of your options and whether you need simple repairs or a new roof.
Your insurance company may suggest a roofing installation and inspection team, but you don’t necessarily have to go with their choice. You should be able to choose whomever you want, especially if you feel more comfortable with your own Lafayette roof repair and roofing installation company. If nothing else, it’s worth getting multiple quotes and assessments.
Depending on the size of the tree and extent of the damage, the cost of repairs can vary greatly. If a single branch of a tree falls, it might only cost a couple of hundred dollars to repair the damage it causes. However, if a whole tree falls on your roof, you could be looking at thousands of dollars in repair costs. That’s why you want to ensure your homeowner’s insurance is current.
If a tree falls on your house, call Hibbard Roofing & Construction. Not only can we handle all your roofing repair and installation needs, but we also have a wealth of experience working with insurance companies. You don’t have to wait until a tree falls to have us come out and inspect, prepare a quote, or perform repairs. Give us a call and schedule your free consultation today.
These are actual photos of a roof we got fully approved through insurance to be replaced. We also emergency tarp the roof and charge the insurance as well as move the trees to the road. When something like this happens do not panic. This type of stuff happens very often in Lafayette, Louisiana and surrounding areas. Call us and let us take care of it (337) 366-0814