A common occurrence that is not discussed is roof damage due to tree or branch falls, especially in places like Greenville, which receives its fair share of rainfall and storms. Every other resident has to face this situation at least once during their lifetime.
However, it is unclear to most what must be done when a tree or branch hits its roof. Such a situation can occur due to multiple causes: storms, rains, or any natural calamity; during extremely hot summer days, when trees dry up and fall over on your roof; or in case your neighbor is not taking care of their garden. Irrespective of the cause, the experience can be disturbing and difficult to tackle and needs assistance from roofing repair contractors in Greenville, SC.
We are here to guide you on the first five steps you must take in such a situation before anything else.
Steps to Take if a Tree or Branch Falls on Your Roof in Greenville
Here is what you should do to minimize damage and ensure everyone’s safety.
Prevent Further Damage
This should be your first step once you have shaken off the initial shock. A tree or branch hitting the roof can have a varying impact based on the force, the weight of the tree/branch, and so on.
If this happens during a storm, you need to cover all your valuables with waterproof material to ensure they remain unharmed from the incoming water. There is a chance that your home’s gas line will get affected. To prevent any further escalations, switch off the gas meter.
In addition, make sure that all the plugs are disconnected from the switchboards, water and electricity are a dangerous combination, and electric shocks are common in such situations.
If this accident happens for other reasons than a storm, do not try to climb up the roof and take things into your hands. Roofs become very shaky, and their robustness is unpredictable after such damage. Thus, it is important to protect your valuables and keep the roof undisturbed even in low-impact cases to prevent further damage.
Ensure Everyone’s Safety
The house members are likely to get stuck or hurt as rubble and broken parts of the roof shatter on the ground below. Watch out for broken pieces of tiles from the roof as you walk on the floor. Thus, you must first ensure that no one is hurt or stuck in any part of the house. Ensure they are given first aid before moving on to the next step.
Leave the Premises
Once you have taken care of all your valuables and ensured the safe condition of your family members, pack your essentials for a few days and leave the house immediately. The roof is the safety guard of your home. Without it, you will be exposed to harsh rains or the sun, and it is practically impossible to live like that. There is also a chance that more of the roof breaks down as an aftereffect, which may be a source of accidents in the house.
This step is extremely important to tackle the situation as fast as possible. Call 911 after the things in the first step are taken care of. You need to provide your details such as name, full address, social security number, and contact details on the call. 911 will then inform the police and fire departments to visit the site. It is expected that they will inspect the situation and extent of damages and inform you of what needs to be done further.
Find Alternative Lodging
As a safety measure, it is best to seek shelter or find alternative lodging nearby hotels. You should prepare to be out of your house for two days to a week. Depending on the magnitude of the accident and the damages, it can take a long time to get your home in a safe condition.
Call Your Insurance Company
This is a crucial step in this whole process. Your insurance company can help you cover costs if you suffer from injuries. For some cases, the insurance company will also cover your temporary lodging costs. Make sure you have your house insurance and a good record of social security contributions. This will largely help your case and help you recover the damages easily.
Before calling your insurance company, make sure you had no contribution to the incident– not even awareness. If you were aware that a tree or branch in the vicinity was drying up or rotting towards your roof, this qualifies as negligence. If your negligence is proved, your insurance company can deny any compensation to you.
As evidence, your insurance company may require photographs of the site and the area of damage. Ensure you have photos and recordings from the site after you evacuate and ensure your safety.
Contact the Best Roofing Repair Contractor in Greenville, SC
After the police and fire department has assessed the situation, it is best to contact a reliable roofing contractor who can repair your damaged roof. Ideally, contact the contractor on the same day, if possible, or the next day of the incident.
Choose a reliable roofing contractor with a good track record. We recommend not going for top-ranked contractors online but rather finding a contractor through your neighbors; in most cases, familiar contractors in the locality are more reliable.
Costs of Repairs
This is a very practical concern associated with such incidents. In most cases, your insurance company will not cover all the costs. You will need to manage the funds for the repair.
Roof repair costs tend to have large variations depending on several factors. If the damage is limited to the roof, based on the roof type, material, and shingles used, it may cost a few hundred dollars. However, if the roof has partially or completely broken down and led to indoor damages, the cost can double or triple depending on the extent of damages.
In such incidents during storms, the rainwater tends to seep indoors. In this situation, your repair cost may shoot up considerably.
Laws to Keep in Mind Regarding Such Accidents
There are a few legal details in South Carolina that you need to remember-
- Compensation is not provided for damages resulting solely from an “Act of God”: natural calamities, disasters, storms, tornadoes, and so on, which no amount of precaution could have saved.
- An exception to this rule is the damage due to high winds or rain– in such cases, damages can be recovered, given an insurance policy.
- In case of any human intervention or negligence during natural disasters that may have led to the damages, such as not taking “adequate precautionary measures,” no compensation is provided.
That said, if you are looking for a local roofing contractor, contact us today.