High winds, heavy rain and lightning are stormy conditions that can cause falling trees, and having a tree falling on our home is hopefully something that none of us have to deal with. However, if this should happen it is better to be prepared and know what to do. You could help save your family and even protect your home from serious damage just by knowing what immediate steps to take and quickly putting your plan into action.
Five Steps to Take if a Tree or Branch Falls on Your Roof
1. Evacuate Everyone from the House Immediately
Everyone in your home needs to know how to exit as quickly and safely as possible so you need to make sure you have an evacuation plan in place and that you have practiced it with your family. To be sure that you have everything you need to leave your home until it is safe to return, have an emergency bag with emergency supplies, copies of important documents, car keys and other essential items that you can “grab and go.”
2. Call 911
Whatever you do, do not climb on your roof, it is dangerous especially during or after a storm when it is very slippery. You not only put yourself at risk of falling but possibly of being struck by lightning. There is also the possibility that the structural integrity of the roof may have been compromised by the tree or branch, increasing the danger of it collapsing.
Once you and your family have reached a safe location after evacuating your home, call emergency services to tell them what happened. They will advise you what to do next. They may ensure your home is safe by sending out a fire crew or public utility representative to check that there is no danger of fire or electrical problems and to check the power lines and connections.
3. Contact Your Insurance Company
Some of the damage caused by storm debris as well as the cost of removing the fallen tree are covered by most home or umbrella insurance policies. However if the tree was old and rotten your cover could be reduced particularly if it is found that you had prior knowledge of the potential hazard and could have prevented the damage.
When you report the damage to your insurance company, they will advise you how to proceed. To prevent any further water damage they may recommend or send out a roofer to cover any exposed areas and board up broken windows as quickly as possible.
As soon as it is safe take photos of the damage from different angles, including long shots and close ups, to show your insurance company. If your company has a web-based system you can upload them to speed up evaluation and finalize compensation.
4. Call Your Local Roofing Contractor
In case such an emergency occurs, it is a good idea to select a reliable roofing contractor ahead of time otherwise you could find yourself grabbing the first roofer you can find. Be careful of con artists who offer their help in emergency roofing situations, scam homeowners and disappear with their money.
Try to get a good, honest and reliable roofing contractor to do the repair work.
5. Make Sure You Leave Your Home Safe and Secure
If it will take some time to repair because the tree has done considerable damage, you may not be able to live there straight away. Remember to lock all the windows and doors and secure your valuables in case your home is broken into while you are away.
Your number one priority should be you and your family’s safety. A fallen tree and a damaged roof are not to be taken lightly. Let the professionals handle the situation for you. If you need emergency repairs Asset Roofing can help. We serve Snohomish and surrounding communities. Call us today.