A Tree Fell on My House: What Do I Do Now?
Storms are a fact of life in the Williamsburg and Yorktown areas. Hurricane season brings it's fair share of storms but our area is also affected by snowstorms, rain storms, and wind storms anytime of the year. They blow through, wreaking havoc, can disrupt our lives, and occasionally knock down some trees. When that happens, the safest thing to do is call a tree service company experienced in emergency tree removal. If you haven’t dealt with a fallen tree before, or even if you have, we have outlined a few keys things to help you out in case you ever run into this situation.
my neighbor's Tree Fell on My House
It doesn’t usually matter who the tree belonged to before it fell down, what matters is whose property the tree is on now. This is the person who is ultimately responsible for hiring a tree service and paying to have the tree removed and any associated debris from the property. Most homeowners insurance will reimburse the homeowner for emergency tree removal services, less the homeowner's deductible. To offset that unexpected cost, E&E Tree Services (in almost all circumstances) will cover your deductible for you, so that is one less thing on your plate after an emergency.
This works both ways, however, so if your tree fell on your neighbor’s property, that would make the removal of the tree their responsibility. That being said, emergency tree removal due to a storm or other weather related event is typically considered an act of god and most neighbors will likely do what they can to make the situation right regardless of where the tree is laying now. We can't say this type of cooperation happens all of the time between neighbors, it all depends on the people involved.
We have seen neighbors split the cost or cover the cost of emergency tree work completely until the homeowner's insurance repays the homeowner for the cost of the emergency tree care. This type of gesture is always a good idea if the tree originally came from your yard, but it is especially a good idea if your neighbor has mentioned their concerns about the tree to you before.
My Tree Fell in the Middle of the Road
If your tree fell on a Williamsburg or Yorktown road, or any road for that matter, there are a few vital things you need to know.
From a distance check to be sure there are no power lines on the ground before you get anywhere near the tree. If there are, stop, do not go any further, and call the police. Messing around with downed power lines, rain, water and fallen trees without knowing what you are doing could cost you or others around you their life. It's just not worth. It also might be advisable to turn off your power inside of your home until it is repaired or at least unplug any expensive electronics. Most modern electronics are surge protected so this is less of a concern than a few years back but it is still something important to consider.
If there are no electric lines to worry about and you are able to safely maneuver around the fallen tree, block off the area as best as you can to limit the risk of someone getting injured. Rope, tape, anything you can think of y=that you have on hand is better than nothing. A fallen tree is already a bad situation and it can only be made worse by someone getting hurt on your property.
Call in a Professional
Fallen trees are very dangerous! It's easy to assume that once a tree has fallen, the immediate danger is gone, but even fallen trees can be extremely dangerous. It’s no joke – leave the emergency tree removal and clean up to the professionals. That friend who swears he is skilled with a chainsaw and can handle it for you probably means well, but it's really not a good idea. The one thing that can make this already emergent situation even worse is someone hurting themselves trying to help clean it up.
Call a local tree service in Williamsburg or Yorktown that provides emergency tree services and/or storm damage cleanup. Tree services that provide emergency service should be able to dispatch someone to examine the damage fairly quickly, but this should be done on the same day. Once they arrive they should be able to have a crew available to handle your emergency tree situation quickly. Speed is an important factor in limiting water damage to the interior of your home. Most tree services are well aware of this fact and do their very best to move as quickly as possible. Sometimes extreme weather will delay emergency response from tree services, but as soon as it becomes safe, they should be able to be there helping you with your fallen tree.
Most tree services will work with you and your insurance company to arrange payment. Typically you either pay for emergency services up front and the insurance company reimburses you directly, or sometimes we are able to allow time for the insurance agency to pay us directly. We try to make this unfortunate emergency situation a little easier on our clients and most of the time we will cover the cost of your deductible, so you don't have to. Again, not all tree services will do this for their customers, so it's best to ask before hand.
Contact the Insurance Company
If a tree has fallen on your home, call your homeowners insurance and open a claim. There is no reason to avoid doing this because homeowner’s insurance rates are not typically affected by this type of claim. Additionally, this type of emergency tree service work is very dangerous and labor intensive requiring the use of specialized equipment and heavy machinery - and thus it is not cheap - you will want your insurance company to get the ball rolling on reimbursing your claim as quickly as possible.
You will need to get the following information from your insurance company:
The good news is there’s good chance that you won’t have to pay much for this work, if anything (for example - we cover the deductible for our customers), or at least for the part of the tree that has already fallen. The parties who can potentially be liable for paying for the work are: the city, the power company, your homeowner’s insurance, your car insurance, and/or your neighbor’s homeowner’s insurance.
The rules regarding who does the work and who pays for the work are complex, so contacting a Williamsburg tree service who regularly handles this type of emergency tree removal work is your best bet to figuring this part of the equation out.
Don’t Forget to Capture the Moment
It may not be a memory you want to hold on to for the rest of your life, but taking a few minutes to snap photos of the damage, the tree, and the surrounding structures is extremely important to accurately document damages. You may not need them, but in the event that you do, you will be glad you took the time to get some pics.
Having a tree fall on your house or property is never going to be a fun experience. However, if you keep these things in mind, you will have a much smoother time making it through the process and have much less to worry about. And, in the event that a tree does fall on your house or property, contact E&E Tree Services by calling or texting 757-634-6309. It’s the fastest, best way to get the experienced tree care professionals on our team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
What Our Clients Have to Say
"Awesome service! Have used them more than once and would highly recommend them to anyone in need of Tree Services. This time the trees we needed removed were along our fence, they took the fence apart, removed the trees, ground up the stumps and put the fence back together. They left the area cleaner than they found it! Extremely happy with their service"