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What to Do When a Tree Falls On House (Removal, Roofing, & More)

Written by

Leroy Whitt

A tree falling on your house is a nightmare scenario for any homeowner. Not only can it cause significant damage to your property, but it can also pose serious safety risks to you and your family.

In this guide, we’ll explore:

  • The reasons why trees fall down
  • What to do in the immediate aftermath of a tree falling on your house
  • Insurance coverage and the repair process
  • Steps to prevent tree damage in the future

Reasons Why Trees Fall Down

Understanding why trees fall down is essential for homeowners to identify potential risks and take preventive measures. Here are some common reasons for tree failure:

  • Weather Events: Severe weather conditions such as strong winds, heavy rain, snowstorms, or lightning strikes can weaken trees, causing them to fall.
  • Disease and Decay: Diseases, pests, and decay can compromise the structural integrity of a tree, making it more susceptible to falling.
  • Poor Tree Health: Lack of proper maintenance, such as pruning and watering, can lead to weak, overgrown branches or root issues, increasing the likelihood of tree failure.
  • Soil Conditions: Soil compaction, erosion, or changes in the water table can affect a tree’s stability, especially during storms or heavy rainfall.
  • Construction Activities: Excavation, trenching, or changes in the surrounding landscape during construction can damage tree roots, destabilizing the tree and causing it to fall.

What to Do When a Tree Falls on Your House

tree fallen on house

The immediate aftermath of a tree falling on your house can be chaotic and stressful. Here’s a step-by-step guide on what to do:

1) Ensure Safety:

First and foremost, ensure the safety of yourself and your family. Evacuate the house immediately if there’s a risk of further collapse or if you suspect gas leaks or electrical hazards.

2) Assess Damage:

Once it’s safe to do so, assess the extent of the damage both inside and outside your home. Take photos or videos for documentation purposes, which can be useful for insurance claims.

3) Contact Authorities:

If necessary, contact emergency services, such as the fire department or utility companies, to address any immediate hazards such as downed power lines or gas leaks.

4) Notify Insurance Company:

Contact your insurance provider as soon as possible to report the incident and initiate the claims process. Provide them with all relevant information and documentation.

5) Mitigate Further Damage:

If it’s safe to do so, take measures to mitigate further damage, such as covering exposed areas with tarps or boarding up windows.

6) Hire Professionals:

Depending on the extent of the damage, you may need to hire professionals such as tree removal services, contractors, or structural engineers to assess and repair the damage.

Will Insurance Cover the Repairs?

Whether or not insurance will cover the repairs depends on your specific policy and the circumstances of the incident. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Homeowners Insurance: Most standard homeowners insurance policies provide coverage for damage caused by falling trees, including the cost of repairing the house and removing the tree debris. However, coverage may vary depending on the cause of the tree falling and any exclusions specified in your policy.
  • Additional Coverage: Some insurance policies offer additional coverage options, such as debris removal, temporary housing expenses, or coverage for landscaping and other structures on your property.
  • Deductibles: Keep in mind that you’ll likely have to pay a deductible before your insurance coverage kicks in. Review your policy to understand your deductible amount and any applicable limits on coverage.
  • Exclusions: Certain situations may not be covered by your insurance policy, such as neglect or lack of maintenance, acts of war, or intentional damage. Review your policy carefully and consult with your insurance agent to understand any exclusions.

The Repair Process

laying roofing tile

Once you’ve reported the incident to your insurance company and assessed the damage, the repair process can begin. Here’s what to expect:

Damage Assessment:

A claims adjuster will visit your property to assess the damage and determine the cost of repairs. Be sure to provide them with any documentation or evidence to support your claim.

Temporary Repairs:

In some cases, temporary repairs may be necessary to secure your home and prevent further damage. This could include emergency roof repairs, structural stabilization, or tarping damaged areas.

Tree Removal:

If the fallen tree is still on your property, you’ll need to hire a professional tree removal service to safely remove it. This may involve cutting the tree into manageable pieces and hauling away the debris.

Structural Repairs:

Once the tree is removed, repairs to your home can begin. This may involve repairing or replacing damaged roofing, siding, windows, or structural elements such as beams or trusses.

Interior Repairs:

Don’t forget about interior damage, such as water intrusion, ceiling or wall damage, or electrical issues. Depending on the extent of the damage, you may need to hire contractors such as plumbers, electricians, or restoration specialists.

Final Inspection:

Once repairs are complete, your insurance company may conduct a final inspection to ensure that the work meets their standards and that your home is safe and habitable.

How Long It Takes and How Much It Costs

The duration and cost of repairing a house after a tree fall can vary widely depending on factors such as the extent of the damage, local labor and material costs, and the availability of contractors. Here are some general estimates:

⏰ Duration:

Minor repairs may take a few weeks to complete, while more extensive damage could take several months or longer, especially if there are delays due to weather, permitting, or contractor availability.


Repair costs can also vary significantly depending on the extent of the damage and the cost of materials and labor in your area. Minor repairs may cost a few thousand dollars, while major structural repairs could exceed tens of thousands of dollars or more.

To get an accurate estimate of repair costs and timelines, it’s best to obtain quotes from reputable contractors and discuss your options with your insurance company.

How to Avoid Tree Damage in the Future

While it’s impossible to completely eliminate the risk of a tree falling on your house, there are steps you can take to minimize the likelihood of tree damage in the future:

  • Regular Maintenance: Schedule regular inspections and maintenance for trees on your property, including pruning, trimming, and removing dead or diseased branches.
  • Tree Health: Keep trees healthy by watering them during dry periods, mulching around the base, and addressing any signs of disease or pest infestation promptly.
  • Proper Planting: When planting new trees, choose appropriate species for your climate and soil conditions, and plant them at a safe distance from structures and utilities.
  • Structural Support: Consider installing cables, braces, or other structural supports for large or leaning trees to help reduce the risk of failure.
  • Professional Advice: Consult with certified arborists or tree care professionals for guidance on tree maintenance, risk assessment, and hazard mitigation.

By taking proactive measures to maintain the health and stability of trees on your property, you can help reduce the risk of tree damage and minimize the impact of potential incidents.

Healthy Trees Make a Healthy Roof

Experiencing a tree fall on your house can be a traumatic and overwhelming experience, but knowing what to do in the aftermath can help you navigate the situation more effectively. By understanding the reasons why trees fall, taking prompt action to ensure safety and mitigate further damage, and working with your insurance company and trusted professionals, you can begin the process of repairing your home and restoring peace of mind. Additionally, by implementing preventive measures to protect against future tree damage, you can help safeguard your property and ensure the safety of your family for years to come.

Ready to make sure that your roof stays safe all year long? Contact Whitt’s today to learn about safety measures you can take.

Leroy Whitt

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