No one wants a tree to fall on their home, but sometimes stormy weather and high winds combined with wet soil or weak tree roots result in the tree crashing down. If this happens to you, the following are the steps you need to take to solve the problem.
1. Evacuate for Assessment
Depending on where the tree fell and the extent of the damage, it can be a hazard to remain in your home. Broken gas lines, increased electrical fire risk, and damaged plumbing pipes are all side effects that can affect your health and lead to greater hazards. Evacuate your home until the major utilities can be inspected to ensure there are no hidden hazards, especially if the tree causes damage to more than just the attic. If you don't have to worry about gas lines, at a bare minimum you should cut off power and water to the affected part of the house.
2. Contact Your Insurance
When it comes to responsibility, generally the cost for removal and repairs is that of the property owner where the tree falls. In some instances, this is literally measured down the property line. If your neighbor's tree falls on your house, they are only responsible for removing the portion that is on their property, and you are responsible for the portion and damage that is on your property. Instead of straining neighbor relations and fighting about it, turn the issue over to your respective insurance companies. They will come to an agreement on whom covers what, and the only out of pocket should be your deductibles.
3. Apply Temporary Tarps
Chances are you won't be able to have the damage repaired, or the tree removed, right away. This is especially true if the tree fell in a major storm event that resulted in similar damages across your region. In this case, don't try to remove the tree yourself, this may lead to more extensive damages. Instead, a tree company should be able to come out for an initial visit, where they can assess the damage and do minor work to make your home accessible. Following this, the damage to your home can be tarped until repairs can be scheduled. Once their schedule allows, the tree service will return to finish the removal of the tree and the stump, if applicable. You can then have it hauled away and the site cleared for the home repairman to come in and finish the job.
You can avoid the damage to your home by having possible problem trees removed before they are blown down in a storm. Contact a local service for more help with tree removal.