Trees are beautiful to look at, but when they fall on your house or property, it can be disastrous. Whether its lightning, excessive winds, severe storms, or super soaked ground, trees can become vulnerable to falling and when they do, it’s never a pleasantry. While you can’t prevent acts of nature from occurring, you can learn some essential tips to prevent home damage from trees.
One night during a severe storm, I heard a thunderous crash. Unfortunately, a huge oak tree was hit by lightning and fell directly onto my neighbor’s house causing a hole in the roof. Heavy rain poured into their upstairs area which only furthered the damages to their home. After the initial shock, you need to begin to properly and quickly take action to prevent further damages to your home.
Home Damage from Trees Can be Minimized
If a covered peril causes a tree to fall, resulting in property damage to your home, your typical Alabama homeowners insurance would be liable up to the acquired property damage limits; however if the fallen tree shows signs of decay or neglect, your coverage could be denied. As a preventative measure, it is recommended you prune your trees on a routine basis, always looking for signs of poor tree health. Below are some signs your tree(s) may be in need of removal:
- Cracks in the Trunk
- Falling or Crossing Branches
- Decay or Hollow
- Trees With an Odd Shape/Lean
- Signs of Deadwood
- Evidence of Ants, Insects, or Fungi Around the Tree
- Peeling Bark on the Tree
- Limbs Touching Roof or Power Lines
If you are in doubt of whether your tree(s) is in need or removal or simply pruning, it is recommended you contact a certified professional to assess the situation.
When a Tree Damages Your Home
Let’s assume you have done all the right things to keep your trees healthy, but nature strikes, and a tree falls on your home causing damages. What should you do after the initial shock?
- Ensure Everyone/Area is Safe- If it is not safe to stay in the damaged area, find a safe area to go.
- Call 911 (if Necessary)- If someone is injured or power lines are down, call 911.
- Document all Damages (photos)
- Notify your Local Independent Alabama Insurance Agent
- Contact a Roofing Company- This should be an emergency as to mitigate any further damages. For example, the roofer should tarp the roof to prevent water/debris from coming in, until repairs can be made.
- Contact a Tree Removal Company- Getting the tree off your roof should be handled by a professional.
Keep in mind that if a storm is occurring and water is flooding your home, you will also need to contact a water removal company.
Unforeseen Losses Can Happen
When a windstorm, lightning, or severe weather conditions happen, you can’t prevent unforeseen situations. Are you adequately protected? If you aren’t sure, contact our offices at Burkett & Associates TODAY and we will assist you with all your Alabama homeowners insurance needs.