What Should I Do if a Tree Falls on my Roof?
How to Handle a Roofing Emergency
We all know the signs of a thunderstorm: the sky turns gray and ominous, sunlight gets choked out by the thick blanket of clouds in the sky. The tell-tale sounds of the storm become closer each minute. The wind picks up and the windows are rattling. And then comes the rain, first with a few splatters on the sidewalks, and then suddenly it’s crashing down in torrential downpour.
If you enjoy a good storm, it can be a chance to cuddle up with a good book or watch the storm roll through from the safety of your house.
However, sometimes an unexpected bolt of lightning strikes the magnificent tree in your yard, splitting the trunk and sending the tree crashing onto your roof. Or maybe the wind howls a little harder than the tree trunk can bend, and like an insurance company commercial the tree falls straight toward your house.
At first glance, it may seem like a script from a movie, but thunderstorms are pretty common in Ontario and Canada. In fact, statistics reveal that each year, we experience more than 30 days of electrical thunderstorms. Shocking, right?
During days like that, it’s not uncommon for trees and branches to cause damage to rooftops. It’s just not common for it to happen to you!
Thankfully, fatalities caused by trees falling are rare: the main concern is the damage they can cause to your property.
Falling trees are one of the biggest causes of roof damage and, if you live on a tree-lined street or in a wooded area, it is best to be prepared beforehand.
What to Do If a Tree Falls Onto My Roof?
- Check if anyone has been hurt or injured. Call an ambulance right away if this is the case. If necessary, evacuate the house immediately to prevent any further injuries.
- If the falling tree or branch has damaged any power lines, electrical equipment or transformers on its way down, inform your electricity company as soon as possible. Avoid going back into the house, and don’t approach the power lines. Stay back at least 10 metres (33 feet). That’s about the length of a city bus.
- Assess the damage to your property from a safe distance and call your insurance company. Take as many pictures and videos as you can to use as evidence for insurance claims. Make sure to take good, clear photographs of the tree that caused the damage in the first place. Ideally, the insurance company will send an insurance adjuster to assess and appraise the damage very quickly.
- Prevent any further damage to your property by turning off the gas and water to avoid gas leakage, flooding, and further damage to your possessions. Sometimes, a fallen tree can damage the gas pipes, or the impact of the fallen tree can burst a pipeline, so be sure to check for that, if safe to do so.
- As tempted as you may be to have the tree removed as quickly as possible, keep in mind that removing it yourself can be extremely dangerous. Both the tree and your roof are in unstable conditions, and it is best to wait for professionals to approach the job with the right tools and expertise.
- Call a tree surgeon, roofing contractor, tree removal company or professional builder to assess the damage, safely remove the tree, and ensure that the house is safe to enter once again. A roofing contractor can also examine for any other damage to the roofing structure, cracks in the drywall, or uneven roof areas that need to be repaired for safety purposes.
At Dykstra Knight, we understand how hard it must be to go through a roofing emergency like this, however, we can guarantee that choosing us to take care of your problem will be the best roofing decision you ever make!
With access to an exceptional team of experts, our trained and certified workers, and our property damage advisors, we’ll get your roof back to normal ASAP!