It’s happened – that old, dying oak tree that has become a staple of your Alpharetta home’s landscape has been defeated by a storm. And even worse, it has landed directly on your family’s home. While you may feel a loss for a tree that has been a part of many memories, chances are you are much more worried about the new hole the tree has created in your roof or wall. What are your next steps? Do you immediately contact a tree removal service in the Alpharetta area? Do you call 911? No need to worry, we at Trees Of Georgia will walk you through the next steps that you should take.
1. Family Safety First
As the timeless saying goes: Safety first! Make sure you and your family are unharmed aside from being understandably shaken. Make your way out of the house if it’s safe to do so to assess the damage. Watch out for any downed or sagging power lines that may have been hit by the tree during its fall. If there are downed power lines, be sure to keep everyone away and treat it as an emergency by calling 911 and also report it to the power company. If there is no immediate danger caused by electrical or gas lines or severe structural damage to the home, it is most likely safe to head back inside and check the damage internally.
Important Note: You should always have a Family Emergency Plan which includes a designated are to meet if your home is damaged and everyone needs to evacuate immediately.
2. Take Pictures for Insurance Claims
Once the storm stops and there is no apparent danger-everyone is safe and accounted for, it is important to take photos of the scene and the damage, both inside and outside of the home. Getting photos of multiple angles of the damage as well as photos of any damage received by items in and around the home such as computers, televisions, and furniture, etc. will help you back up your insurance claim with your home insurance company.
Some insurance policies for homes include tree insurance. Tree insurance typically only pays for tree removal debris only if the cause of the tree falling is a covered peril in your home insurance policy which typically includes storms, fire, wind, lightning, and ice. Additionally, if a tree from the street falls onto your home, contact your municipal government because they may cover the cost.
Make note, most insurance companies will not cover damage by trees that fall due to pest or other natural damage, that is why it is important to routinely check your property’s trees for any signs of poor health. Trees suffering pest infestation, previous storm damage or age, should be removed or trimmed by a tree service expert.
3. Plan For Tree Removal
The next step you should take is contacting a professional tree removal service, like Trees of Georgia, to remove the fallen tree. It is important to use a professional tree removal service in order for the tree to be removed quickly and safely. Trying to remove a fallen tree on your own can cause more damage to your home or property, take too long, and bring a multitude of safety hazards to the situation. Additionally, many insurance companies will not honor an insurance claim to fix your home if you do not work with a professional tree removal company.
4. Limit Further Damage By Covering Up Roof Holes
Now that all of the immediate tasks have been taken care of, it is likely necessary to prevent further weather damage by boarding up or securing tarps over holes. If the damage is minimal and easy to reach, you may be able to complete this job on your own, but it may require hiring a contractor to make temporary repairs for any serious damage or hard-to-reach spots such as the roof.
In any case, be sure to keep track of costs associated with any repairs you have done or if your family has to rent a hotel room temporarily because your insurance company will likely compensate you.
What if My Neighbor’s Tree Fell on My House?
Unfortunately, it’s also important to note that, depending on the health condition of the tree that fell, your home insurance company may not be willing to cover the repair costs associated with the damage from the tree. Typically, home insurance will be reluctant to accept your claim if the tree was already dead or dying beforehand. Another common question that comes up after these events is “Who pays for the damage if my neighbor’s tree fell on my house?”
Although insurance is never cut-and-dry or consistent across the spectrum, assuming that the tree was otherwise healthy, your insurance will likely cover the repair costs for your home even though it was your neighbor’s tree, and vice-versa. However, according to Allstate on the question of if you are responsible for your tree damaging your neighbor’s house, “You’re typically only considered responsible if neglect on your part was a contributing factor to the tree’s demise.”
Trees of GA Tree Removal Service for Alpharetta, Georgia!
Trees of Georgia is ready to address your Alpharetta Tree Service needs. Trees of Georgia serves most of the North Georgia area and is prepared to remove the stress from your tree needs. Our expert tree professionals understand the fear and stress that comes with tree maintenance and are ready to relieve you of any worry. While we can’t rebuild your home, we can provide unmatched service to take care of the tree lodged in it!
Let us take the stress and worry out of properly caring for your trees with tree removal! We work hard to assure damaged and diseased trees do not compromise your home or commercial property.
Ready for us to assess your property for possible tree damage? Contact Us Now or call (770) 882-4955!