If you’ve ever experienced a tree falling on your house, whether due to natural causes like blustery winds or man-made ones such as construction work nearby, you know what an unsettling experience it can be.
The chaos of the moment aside, homeowners have important decisions to make that will determine the outcome when dealing with cleanup and insurance companies. Knowing how to navigate this difficult situation is essential if you want to get through it without too much disruption or financial loss.
In this blog post, we’ll provide valuable advice on how to handle a tree falling on your house – from assessing damage and contacting your insurance company through debris removal and other necessary measures.
Remain Calm – Take a few moments to gather your thoughts and assess the situation
The first and foremost thing to do when a tree falls on your house is to remain calm. It’s understandable to feel panic in such a situation, but it’s essential to take a few moments to gather your thoughts.
Take a deep breath, ensure everyone in the house is safe, and then begin to assess the situation. Look for visible damages but remember to maintain a safe distance from the fallen tree to avoid any potential harm.
Your safety is the top priority, so don’t attempt to fix anything until professional help arrives.
Call for Help – Contact Emergency Services Immediately if Anyone is Injured
If there are any injuries due to the fallen tree, do not hesitate to call emergency services immediately. Dialing your country’s emergency hotline will dispatch local authorities who can provide necessary medical assistance.
In the U.S., this is 911; in the U.K., it’s 999; and in many European countries, it’s 112. Always remember, that treating severe injuries at home can lead to complications. It’s crucial to seek professional help in such situations.
Document the Damage – Record Thoroughly Any Damage to Your House
Once safety has been ensured, it’s time to carefully document the damage. Begin by photographically capturing any exterior damages such as fallen branches, broken windows, or visible structural damage.
Take multiple photos from different angles to ensure that all damage is well-documented. Next, cautiously enter the house and take note of any interior damages such as water leakage, cracked walls, or broken furniture. Document these with photos as well and make a detailed list of all damages.
It will be crucial when dealing with your insurance company and can expedite the claim process. However, remember not to risk your safety while attempting to record damage; if there’s a serious risk, leave it to professionals.
Stay Away from the Tree – Don’t Try to Move It Yourself; Wait for Professional Help
While it may be tempting to remove the fallen tree and clear the debris yourself, it’s strongly advised against. Fallen trees, particularly large ones, can be extremely heavy and unstable.
Attempting to move them without the right expertise or equipment can result in further damage to your property or, worse, personal injury. It’s also possible that the tree could be entangled with power lines, which could pose a serious electrical hazard. It’s always best to wait for professional help.
Contact a tree removal company or your local authorities who are equipped to handle such situations. They have trained professionals who can safely remove the tree without causing further harm. Remember, your safety should always come first.
Check for Other Damage – Look Around Your Property for Potential Risks Such as Damaged Gas Lines or Electrical Wiring
In addition to the visible damage to your house, it’s critical to check for less obvious, but equally dangerous, risks. These could include damaged gas lines, electrical wiring, or other utilities that may have been affected by the tree fall.
Be vigilant and look out for signs such as hissing sounds, exposed wires, or peculiar smells – these could indicate a gas leak or electrical issue. If you suspect any such problem, immediately call the appropriate utility company or a licensed professional to handle the issue.
It’s vital to take all safety precautions necessary as these damages can potentially lead to severe incidents such as fires or explosions. Just like with the fallen tree, do not attempt to repair these damages on your own, as it could lead to more harm than good.
Clean Up Inside Your Home – Begin the Process of Removing Debris and Water
Once the immediate dangers have been addressed and professional help has been sought, it’s time to start the cleanup process inside your home. Begin by carefully removing any debris that may have fallen inside due to the tree fall.
Be cautious when handling sharp objects and use protective gloves if possible. In case of water intrusion, use buckets, mops, or a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to remove the water. All water should be eliminated as soon as possible to prevent moisture damage and potential mold growth.
Install Protective Tarps – Minimize Additional Damage
Following the cleanup, your next line of action should be to prevent additional damage. If there are areas of the roof or walls that have been exposed due to the tree fall, cover them with sturdy, waterproof tarps.
These tarps can serve as a temporary barrier against the elements until repairs can be completed. While installing the tarps, ensure they are securely attached to prevent them from being blown away by wind.
It’s advisable to get professional help for this task as it involves working at height and requires expertise to ensure it’s done safely and effectively. Remember that these are temporary measures, and getting your home properly repaired should be your ultimate goal.
Negotiate with Your Insurer – Discuss Your Options to Determine Coverage and Compensation
After taking the necessary steps to ensure the safety of your household and documenting all the damage, it’s time to negotiate with your insurer. Contact your homeowners’ insurance provider to report the tree fall and discuss your policy’s coverage. Provide them with the list and photographs of the damages you’ve documented.
An adjuster might be sent to inspect the damages and evaluate the cost of repairs, so be prepared to walk them through your property. Remember, your goal in negotiating with the insurer is to receive fair compensation that covers the cost of all necessary repairs resulting from the tree fall.
Be open and honest about all the damages, but also be firm and persistent in making sure your provider understands the full extent of the damage. It may be helpful to have a contractor present during the adjuster’s visit to ensure nothing is missed.
If your claim is denied or the compensation offered seems inadequate in light of your coverage, consider seeking legal advice or hiring a public adjuster who can advocate on your behalf.
About Marshall Tree Service and Landscaping
Let experts at Marshall’s Tree Services and Landscaping take care of your trees and convert your home into a beautiful work of art. We provide pruning, installation, landscaping, pest control, and tree removal services in the Plantation, East Fort Lauderdale, and Davie regions.
As holidays are just around the corner we are offering our new customers a 10% discount on all our tree services! Hurry up—don’t miss out on this amazing deal!
You can also call us for holiday light installations for colorful and stress-free celebrations!
For a complimentary review or to gain further insights into our tree and landscape design services, call us at (754) 235-1926 or (786) 738-4886. You can also reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our contact form to hear back from us.