What to Do If a Tree Falls on Your Roof
Michigan has seen some heavy-duty winds, rain, lightning, and heavy snowfalls. These are all weather conditions that can easily cause a tree to fall.
Hopefully, you are keeping tabs on old or sick trees that are near your house to make sure this doesn’t happen. Unfortunately, it can happen no matter how well you plan.
It is a good idea to know what to do in an emergency and act quickly to protect your family and your home from even more damage.
7 Action Steps to Take if a Tree Falls on Your Roof
Here are seven action steps to take in the event a tree does fall on your roof.
#1 – Do a quick inspection inside and out
Get everyone together and leave the house and do an exterior inspection. Most homes can take a pretty good impact, and although loud and scary, you may find the damage is “minimal.”
On the other hand, depending on how hard and where the tree hit, there could be significant damage. This will help you in understanding where and why the tree fell. In most cases, the damage from a tree fall is instant, and you will see the cracked ceilings and walls if it was hard enough.
#2 – Find a place to stay if you don’t feel the structure is safe
Depending on the construction methods and severity of the impact, you may want to consider staying at friends or neighbors. We have seen large trees come right through the roof and cave in ceilings. Again, the damage is instant, and in such a case, it’s probably best to leave and start making phone calls.
#3 – Don’t Attempt to Deal with the Fallen Tree or Branches by Yourself
Do not climb up on your roof. Climbing on your roof is dangerous even for people who do it all the time. Rain makes roofing slippery, and winds make it hard to keep your footing. Climbing on top of something already damaged can expose you to more risk, as the structure is compromised.
#4 – Call Emergency Services (if Needed), Tree Company and Roofing Company
A fallen tree plus rain can be dangerous. There is electricity to deal with, possibly broken plumbing, gas lines, and other potentially hazardous issues when the structure of a house gets compromised.
Let authorities safely deal with this by sending a fire crew or other emergency responders as you deem necessary. Then also call a tree company and roofing company and get on the list for removal and then temporary weatherproofing ( tarps, structural, etc.)
#5 – Leave Your Home Secure
If your home is damaged so much that you cannot immediately live in it after the tree falls, make sure you get your valuables out. Then leave all doors and windows locked until work can begin to repair it.
#6 – Contact Your Insurance Company
Here’s the good news: In most cases, your structure will be covered. However, in some cases, we have seen limited coverage because the damage was due to owner neglect.
Essentially it is your responsibility to maintain your home in a secure and safe manner. It is your responsibility to have dead and rotting trees removed. Similarly, you wouldn’t let an ongoing leak continue, or exposed electric wires go without repair.
You, as the homeowner, have the responsibility to deal with potentially hazardous problems on your property. If you are reading this now and you have a problem tree to deal with, doing so now could save a lot of potential headaches and heartache.
#7 – Call a Reputable Roofing Contractor
Hopefully, you already have a relationship with a local, reputable roofing contractor who can assess the damage. If not, now is not the time to say yes to the first contractor who offers a low price to fix your roof.
Be careful of storm chasers. These are scammers who follow storms to make a quick buck off of homeowners. Don’t fall for this. These unscrupulous companies will not be around when their shoddy work fails. Do your homework and find a reputable company that can provide local references.
Vigilance is key when it comes to tree maintenance and to protect your house from a tree falling on it. However, Michigan’s severe weather may cause unexpected damage to your roof. It is wise to have a plan of action.
If your roof has damage from a fallen tree and you live in Southeast Michigan, please give us a call. We will make fixing your roof and restoring your home as painless and professional as possible.