What to Do When a Tree Falls On Your House

Advice for the worst-case scenario.

© iStockphoto/ThinkstockLearn how to contain and prevent tree damage in the aftermath of a storm.
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[step-item number=”1″ image_url=”” title=”Get Out” ] Use whatever route is safest to leave the property. This may or may not be the same as your fire-escape route.[/step-item]
[step-item number=”2″ image_url=”” title=”Call Emergency Services” ] The Fire Brigade will make the house safe.[/step-item]
[step-item number=”3″ image_url=”” title=”Contact Insurers” ] Get in touch with your insurance company as soon as possible. They will need to agree to cover expensive removal and emergency repair procedures.[/step-item]
[step-item number=”4″ image_url=”” title=”Secure Your Home” ] You will need roofing contractors or builders to repair the roof and any other structural damage. The first priority will be to make it waterproof so that there is no additional damage to your property and possessions.[/step-item][/step-list-wrapper]

What Next?
• A firm of tree surgeons will be needed to cut up and remove the tree.
• If you are unable to live in the house immediately, ensure it is not a looting target. Secure doors and windows and put valuables in temporary storage.

Be Aware
• Storm damage to homes by trees (and the cost of removing the tree if it has fallen on the house) is covered by most building insurance polices.
• If your tree falls on your neighbour’s property, they will need to make a claim on their building’s insurance policy.
• Although unlikely to cause a sudden emergency, tree roots can extend under a property, causing damage to the foundation. The first signs of this might be cracks in the plaster inside the house or cracks in the brickwork on the outside.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest