Snowstorms, rain storms, wind storms – they make the news, can disrupt our lives, and occasionally knock down trees. And when they do, 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, here are the steps you should take if a tree has fallen on your property or home.
Neighbor’s Tree Fell on My House
It doesn’t usually matter whose tree it was, what matters is whose property it is on now. That is the person who will be responsible for hiring a tree service and paying for the tree work or arranging payment through their insurance.
If your tree fell on your neighbor’s property it is their problem and vice-versa. That being said, a good neighbor should not have to take complete responsibility for what is generally considered an act of god. Most neighbors will likely do what they can to make the situation right with their affected neighbors.
Making it right could mean splitting or taking care of any out of pockets costs your neighbor has regarding this work. This is especially a good idea if they have mentioned their concerns about the tree to you before.
Who to Call When a Tree Falls in the Road
If the area has foot or road traffic, rope off or block off the area to limit the risk of someone getting injured by the hazardous tree. Whatever you have on hand is better than nothing. This terrible situation is only made worse by someone getting hurt on your property. Also, think about putting a sign on the doors inside your home to prevent anyone from forgetting and using the affected exits.
Check the Power Lines
From a distance observe if your power lines are involved. If they are it might be advisable to either turn off your power or at least unplug any expensive electronics. Most modern electronics are surge protected now so this is less of a factor but it is still something to consider. You might want to call the power company as well to alert them to the issue.
Call in a Professional
Call a local tree service company that provides emergency tree service. The company will likely ask you for the photos so they can assess the situation. Tree services that provide emergency service should be able to dispatch someone to examine the damage in about thirty minutes. Once that person arrives they should be able to dispatch a crew in approximately another thirty minutes, even on the weekends or holidays. Sometimes extreme weather causes these times to increase. Speed is an important factor in limiting water damage to the interior of your home in our rainy climate.
There is no need to get an estimate for the emergency tree service work to be performed as tree service companies who routinely deal with these sorts of calls will usually bill your insurance company directly at an hourly rate. This is preferred as they take on the liability for collecting their fee from the insurance company and only require your cooperation in providing information to the insurance company.
Companies who don’t handle it this way might give you a bid which you decide to accept. However, when your insurance agency only agrees to pay a portion of the invoice, that same tree service company is nowhere to be found. Now you’re left with the difficult work of trying to recoup your funds.
Fallen trees are very dangerous! Even trees that look like they have fallen may be under great pressure and thus are extremely dangerous. It’s no joke – leave the emergency tree removal and clean up to the professionals. That neighbor of your who swears he is skilled with a chainsaw and can handle it for you? Really not a good idea. The one thing that can make this already bummer of a situation worse is a trip to the hospital.