roof damaged by falling tree

What to Do if a Tree Falls on My Roof?

If you check the forecast and see a severe storm rolling your way, your wheels will likely start turning. You’ll put together a checklist: secure or cover any outdoor furniture, make sure you have extra batteries and canned food, etc. You do everything you can to prepare the inside of your home and your belongings to minimize risk.

But have you ever stopped to think about the enormous risks growing around your home?

Trees are significant hazards for roofs. If your area gets hit by severe weather, or the tree is unhealthy or has low-hanging, heavy branches, the tree may fall during a storm. Suddenly, the majestic elm that shades your lawn is a considerable danger to your house and family.

If a tree falls on your roof, here’s what to do.

What Do I Do if a Tree Falls on My Roof?

If a tree falls onto your house, don’t panic. While an incredibly stressful situation, you need to stay calm to proceed. By following these steps, you can minimize damage and ensure your family’s safety.

Step 1: Immediately Evacuate

First, you must ensure that all people and pets are out of the house. Evacuation is essential even if the tree is resting on the roof but hasn’t broken into the house. If a tree falls onto your roof, you cannot immediately know how extensive the damage is. You don’t know if the roof will be able to hold the weight of the tree long-term.

Because of this, you need to evacuate the building ASAP. It’s best to remain at a safe distance until a professional can inspect the property.

As a proactive measure, always keep your essential documents and keepsakes in one easy-to-reach place. This way, you can grab them quickly and leave safely if you ever need to evacuate your home.

Step 2: Notify Authorities

Once safely out of the house, you should notify the authorities. Contacting emergency services is crucial because it’s possible that the impact of the tree has broken or damaged power or gas lines. Call 911 in case a fire erupts and request any other emergency assistance you and your family may need.

Step 3: Shut Off Utilities

Next up, make sure all utilities are disconnected. If you can safely access a breaker box, you can shut off the power on your own, but it’s also a good idea to call your utility companies. You’ll need to ask them to suspend water, electricity, and gas services while the inspector assesses the damage. This step will prevent further harm to your home through a fire, flood, or gas leak.

It’s common for power lines to be affected when a tree falls, so look around your yard from a safe distance and note any affected towers. Relay your findings to the electric utility service.

Step 4: Contact Your Insurance Company

person making phone call

After the authorities and utility companies, you’ll want to call your home insurance company. Most homeowners’ insurance covers damage from a tree falling, regardless if the tree was in your yard or a neighbor’s. The average roof repair cost is over $1000, so you’ll want to get any amount covered.

That said, not all companies will cover the cost of repairs if a tree falls due to a natural disaster. Weird, right? To be on the safe side, always call and report the damage to your insurance company and see what your plan might cover.

Step 5: Call in a Professional

Damage to your roof is typically not something you want to fix on your own. This situation is when it’s a good idea to call in a professional roofer to assess the damage and make plans for repairs.

In some cases, your home’s roof may have taken a hit, but the structural components of your home and its internal belongings are intact. But for safety, it’s best to call the professionals.

To protect your home and all of your belongings until a professional roofer is available, call a 24/7 emergency service like All Dry USA. We can come in and tarp your roof, protecting the inside of your home from pests, further damage, and moisture that could lead to mold growth.

Step 6: Make Temporary Living Arrangements

You’ll also need to determine if your home is structurally secure enough to continue living in while the repairs are underway. If so, you can skip this step. Otherwise, you’ll need to make temporary arrangements for your family and pets while the roofers get to work.

Consult your insurance company and local authorities when making this decision. If you need to stay outside of the home, there’s a chance your insurance will cover a hotel stay during the repair process.

Can a Roof Withstand a Tree Falling on It?

This common question doesn’t have a straightforward answer. As roofs age, they begin to deteriorate. And no two roof materials are created equally. Cement or slate roofs can last up to a century, while asphalt roll can start to weather within a decade. Because of this, knowing what type of roof you have is essential to maintain proper upkeep and minimize the risk of damage to your home in case a tree falls.

Additionally, no two trees are quite alike. The angle and height from which a tree falls and the force with which it falls onto your roof can also make a difference in the damage to your home.

So, in theory, a roof can withstand a tree falling on it. But the age and material components of the roof, plus the way the tree falls, can all affect the outcome—for better or worse.

Even if the damage to your home is not significant and the overall structure remains intact, you’ll likely need to call in the pros to make minor repairs and prevent further damage down the line. Prevention is key.

What To Do if a Tree Is About To Fall on Your House?

One of the most important things you can do to protect your property is to develop a keen awareness of its weaknesses. Pay attention to the health of any large trees surrounding your house. Learn the basic signs of tree defects so you can identify when something is amiss.

Some common signs that things may be wrong with the health of your tree are:

  • Insect infestations
  • Cracking wood along the trunk of the tree
  • Dead branches
  • Fungal growth
  • Storm damage

Also, keep an eye open for uprooting, which is when the tree’s roots begin to rise out of the ground, as this signifies that the tree is no longer secure in the ground.

Not all signs of unhealthy tree growth or decay will be visible. That’s why it’s necessary to have trees inspected by an arborist, especially if you have trees growing close to your home.

An arborist can see if the trees need to be proactively removed or trimmed back. Sometimes, they can support entire trees or hefty branches with beams or rope to secure the structure and limit risk.

These proactive steps can prevent the catastrophic impact of a tree crashing into your home in case of severe weather.

Contact All Dry USA for Emergency Roofing Repair Services

Crises don’t wait until a convenient moment, and you don’t want to wait when a tree falls on your roof. That’s why All Dry USA is available 24/7 to assist you in navigating any roofing emergency. Fully certified and insured, our expert team is ready to respond quickly and get your life back on track. Reach out today for emergency tarping and roof repair!

Ben Suiskind
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