Last night’s storm sure was a doozy, with whipping winds and lots of loud cracking sounds. When you leave the house to see how things look outside, you notice a downed tree, and it’s leaning on your house! How do you remove a tree that fell on your house? It’s certainly not something you can do on your own, but rest assured, by using the following knowledge, you’ll be able to get the situation sorted swiftly.
Did You Know?
Falling trees are responsible for causing more deaths each year than lightning. According to some sources, even shark attacks kill fewer people each year than fallen trees. That said, the number of fatalities from falling trees is significantly lower compared with other things that cause fatalities (about 100 or more each year as opposed to thousands or tens of thousands, such as traffic accidents).
The National Storm Damage Center rules that trees are the number one cause of roof damage, costing people more than $1 billion in damages to the property each year. If you have a lot of trees on your property, it goes without saying that you should have homeowner’s insurance for fallen trees, but there are also some things to know about, including how to remove a tree that fell on your house, as it is likely you will have some experience with falling trees in your lifetime.
What To Do If You’re in the House When a Tree Falls
Get Out and Make Sure Everyone Is Safe
The first thing you need to do is get out of the house, as a fallen tree can cause the roof to collapse. On your way out, mind any electrical lines that have come down and beware of exposed gas lines. Do not make any phone calls on your cell phone until you’ve left the property. Make sure you use the safest route possible to evacuate yourself and your loved ones from the house and property.
Next, call 911 or another emergency service. The appropriate emergency responders will come and make sure the house is safe. If anyone has been injured or killed by the fallen tree, tell the dispatcher this information when you first place the call. It’s best to stay near the property but not next to the house while you wait for the emergency team to show up and evaluate the situation. Once someone shows up, you can seek appropriate medical help or wait until an ambulance arrives.
Talk to Your Insurance Provider
After making sure you’re alright medically, now it’s time to get in touch with your insurance company to not only alert them to the situation, but also to see if they will agree to cover the emergency costs and the repair and removal of the downed tree. You can also learn about any of the other requirements of your homeowner’s insurance. If the tree from your yard has actually fallen on a neighbor’s property, your neighbor will need to contact their own respective homeowner’s insurance too, but your homeowner’s insurance should know about the issue in any case.
Removal and Repairs
Get in touch with a tree removal company, a roofing contractor, or another professional who can inspect the damage and carefully remove the tree. Your home needs to be secured by a professional before you can go back in to collect your personal possessions and any other personal property you might want to remove.
Even if the fallen tree has missed the house itself, the roots of the tree could have uprooted gas lines or cables or even destabilized the foundation of the home. A professional will still need to inspect all the damages of the property before they can start to remove the tree from the grounds. A contractor can safely look through the house to see if there are any signs of instability, such as cracks in the drywall or brickwork.
The inspection of the home, grounds, and tree should always be left to a professional. Do not do it yourself. Even if there are just some large branches that have fallen or the tree doesn’t look that big, it’s always best to be safe with something unpredictable like this. There can be structural integrity issues that someone without training wouldn’t see. Therefore, for everyone’s safety and well-being, and for that of the foundation and home, a professional should be the only one making decisions about how to progress.
If the property is deemed unlivable for the moment, make sure the property and damage are secured to prevent any further damage or instances of looting. Once everything has been removed and repaired, there are a handful of things that can be taken into consideration and done to prevent another experience like this from happening.
How Can I Prevent Another Tree From Falling?
The best thing you can do is to make sure your trees are healthy. If you suspect that you have a diseased tree or any that might be easily be knocked over by strong winds, call a professional tree service, such as Mr. Tree Services, to come to inspect the trees on your property. We are trained to find issues with structural integrity and will be able to offer solutions, such as tree removal, branch trimming and pruning, and other services that can decrease the likelihood of a repeat incident.
If no tree has fallen yet, consider yourself lucky, and make sure that all your trees are healthy, trimmed, and pruned and that any weak or damaged branches are removed. If any of your trees are near power lines, these are especially important to keep trimmed, or if the probability of an issue during a storm is too high, you can preemptively remove the tree from the grounds.