Preventing fallen tree damage is becoming more important as the UK continues to experience high winds and heavy rain. The MET office has issued 38 flood alerts nationwide and are suggesting UK residents prepare for potential power outages. Much like storms Malik and Corrie, previous storms have left particular damage to the nation’s forestry. Back in November, Storm Arwen caused winds to reach nearly 100mph and damaged around 8 Million trees in Scotland alone.
A fallen tree is one of the most common causes of structural damage after a storm. Since trees can topple in a matter of seconds, your home can be at serious risk for expensive, life-threatening destruction.
Luckily there are some preventative measures you can take now to check the durability trees near or on your property:
- Look for large, visible cracks in the tree’s trunks and branches.
- Be aware of potential rotting and look for things like fungus or mould on the bark of the tree.
- Trees and branches that are leaning at a sharp angle are at risk of toppling over or at risk for branches breaking off.
- Older trees or hollowed out sections of your tree should be assessed by a local arborist to determine if it should be removed.
What Should I Do if My Tree Looks Unhealthy?
Once you’ve discovered that a tree near your home is damaged, rotting or old, it’s essential that you take the following steps before it affects your home:
- Trim cracked or dangling tree limbs, and prune any branches that are close to your structure.
- Have a professional inspect trees that appear to be leaning or those that are older and more prone to disease.
- Report tree limbs that are close to utility lines to your local power company.
- Never try to cut a tree down yourself without the help of an experienced tree removal service.
What to do when a tree falls on your home
As soon as a tree hits your home, be sure you and your family get out as quickly and safely as possible. Be extra careful if there are phone or power lines down and wait to use your phone until you are out of the house.
Call Emergency Services
Do not attempt to deal with a fallen tree on your own. To ensure the safety of all involved, call 999. They will send the appropriate respondents to the scene. You need them to make sure your home is safe to re-enter and that no one has been injured. If the incident has caused an injury, stay calm and wait for an ambulance to arrive.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Make sure to call your insurance company as soon as possible to file a claim for your home. Once you start the process, they can instruct you on how to proceed, as you will want to be sure the removal of the tree and your home repairs are covered before you begin any work. If your tree falls on a neighbours’ home, your neighbour will make a claim – but you will still need to notify your insurance company as well.
Get in Touch with a Roofing Contractor
Go ahead and call a local roofing contractor to assess the damage. Do not try to do the work on your own, even if it seems small, only a professional knows the extent of structural damage that has occurred.
Take lots of Photos and Secure Belongings
As is the case with most disasters, it’s a good idea to take photos of the damage. Be careful when taking pictures and don’t attempt to get on your roof. If you will need to be out of your home for some time, be sure to secure any valuables. Make sure your doors and windows are locked and take anything that you may need with you.
If your home has been affected by a fallen tree and you need help cleaning up the damage, contact ServiceMaster Restore by finding your nearest business here. Whatever the damage, we have the proper tools and expertise to get your home back to normal as fast as possible.
Credit: Tom Page, Digital Content Writer – ServiceMaster