No one wants to think about a tree or large branch falling on their home. However, weather conditions can put homes in South Carolina in danger. Old or diseased trees are most vulnerable to high winds and other extreme weather conditions. However, even completely healthy trees can fall if the weather is bad enough. If a tree or branch falls on your roof, it can cause extensive damage to both the roof and the interior of your home. When something like happens, panic may set in. However, there are a number of things you need to do to get back to normal as soon as possible. Let’s discuss the steps you need to take.
Get Everyone Out of the Home
Long before anything bad happens, you need to have an evacuation plan in place. Everyone needs to know how to get out as quickly and safely as possible. You should even practice the evacuation before a storm hits. Consider putting together a go-bag with copies of important documents, emergency supplies, and other necessities. This will be very useful if you need to leave your home for a short time.
Once you’ve gone to a neighbor’s home or another safe space, you need to call the emergency services. They will tell you what to do based on your description of the situation. Let them know if someone suffered injuries or if there’s clear evidence of a serious problem. If you can see a downed line or you smell smoke, be sure to mention this to the 911 operator. The operator may send a fire crew or a utility provider to ensure your home is safe. When trees fall, they often take power lines with them and this can increase the risk of fire and electrical shock.
Do not try to climb on your roof to address the issue even if the branch seems small. This is especially important if the tree fell during a storm. Working on a roof is dangerous under any circumstances but rain, strong winds, and lightning make it even more treacherous. Since it’s possible the roof could collapse, you should leave the job to Greenville roofing experts.
Prevent Further Damage
In addition to damaging the roof, windows, siding and other elements may also get damaged on impact. In addition, your home’s gas lines could also be affected. Until you’re sure that the gas lines weren’t damaged, you should turn off the gas from the meter.
Call Your Insurance Company
Most home insurance policies will cover at least some of the damage caused by adverse weather. However, if the homeowner’s negligence had a role to play, it could impact your ability to recover damages. If you knew a tree on your property was rotting but you failed to have it removed, you could be considered negligent. When you call your insurer, they will tell you how to proceed. Be sure to take as many photos of the damage as possible before anyone moves anything.
Call a Local Roofing Contractor
If you already have a roofing contractor whom you trust, you need to call them. Most established contractors are accessible 24/7 in case of an emergency. If you don’t already have a relationship with a professional roofer, resist the urge to call the first one you find online. Ask neighbors for recommendations or look for contractors with positive reviews and solid references. Local contractors who have an established presence in the community are more likely to do high-quality work. Their reputation depends on it. Your insurance company may also be able to send someone out to address the most pressing issues.
Secure Your Home If You Have to Leave
If the tree caused significant damage to your home, you may not be able to stay there. Your safety should be your priority and major repairs take time. You shouldn’t take chances if a branch falls on your roof. If you have to go stay with a relative, make sure you lock your windows and doors and secure your valuables.
Roofs in South Carolina can take a beating during storms and fallen trees and branches can cause significant damage. At Lanier Roofing, we’ll help to relieve some of the anxiety you’ll feel at such a time. Contact our experienced roofers in Greenville, SC and let us inspect the damage and give you a free quote. We’ll answer all your questions and help you get your home back to normal as soon as possible.