Having a tree fall on your house is certainly an experience that no one wants to go through, but it does happen. When any event like this occurs, the first step is to remain calm. Hopefully, no one was injured and you can turn your attention to dealing with the damage in the most efficient (and least expensive) means possible.
Take Care of Any Immediate Threats
Unless the falling tree was caused by your negligence, someone's homeowner's insurance will be covering the damage to your home. However, this doesn't mean that you shouldn't take steps to protect yourself and your belongings. If the tree made it through the roof, there is likely to be significant damage to the upper levels of your home, and, in case of storms, there is also a way for water to get in and start doing additional damage.
Before you do anything else, make sure that you and your family are going to remain safe throughout the event. Turn off power to the affected areas, remain in a safe spot if high winds are likely, and ensure that gas lines are intact. In addition, use good judgement when working to save items threatened by the water. If the tree has damaged the structure of your home, it is possible that more of your home could collapse as the tree settles.
As long as you feel safe doing so, take steps to remove items from where they can get wet, and start to dry things out as soon as possible. If you have any tarps or plastic sheets, they can act as a temporary water barrier until you can put a more permanent solution in place. It might seem cliche, but buckets and bowls are an effective way to keep water from getting further into your home. Water damage is a serious problem for a homeowner, and you should do everything you can to keep your home as dry as possible.
Document the Damage
As with any claim that will go to your homeowner's insurance, the first step is to document the damage thoroughly. Pictures are an extremely useful way of showing exactly what it is that you have lost from the storm. This includes anything damaged by the water that gets in after the tree breaks through your roof. As mentioned, you want to move everything away from the damaged area if possible, but you need to take pictures before you actually start any repairs. Your insurance agent will give you instructions on where to submit photos, and what additional documentation they will require.
Prepare for the Cleanup
Once the rain has stopped and any immediate problems have been cleared up, it is time to start working towards the repair process. If you are unsure of who to contact, discuss the issue with your insurance company. Most maintain lists of roofers, contractors, and water damage experts who they believe to be competent and honest. In many cases, contractors from this list will get paid by the insurance company directly, so you do not need to be in the middle on that issue. Regardless of your choice of contractor, try to get them out to your home as soon as possible, In the event of a major storm, they may be too busy to start on the final repairs right away, but they should be willing to assist you with setting up some temporary patches so that your home does not suffer further damage.
While dealing with a fallen tree may be unpleasant, there are far worse outcomes that can occur during the violent storms that usually cause this kind of damage. By taking care of your problem efficiently, you can minimize the damage and ensure that your home is repaired quickly and safely. To learn more about roof repairs, which may be necessary after a tree falls on your home, click here for more information.Share
24 June 2015
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