High winds and strong storms can really wreak havoc on your home and landscaping. One of the most common causes of serious wind damage is tree branches falling on roofs. If you have trees in your yard, or even in a neighbor's yard, it's important that you know what to do if a big tree branch should ever fall on your roof.
Get out of the house.
Especially when the wind is howling and the rain is pouring, it's impossible to quickly and safely assess the extent of the damage. It may look like the branch has barely cracked the roof when really there's extreme structural damage underneath. Since this type of damage can sometimes lead to a roof collapse, the safest thing you can go is evacuate the home. Go to a friend's house or a local mall. If the storm is so bad that you don't feel safe leaving your home, then head to the basement or lowest floor of your home. Try to stay on the opposite side of the home from the fallen branch.
Call emergency services.
Call 911 or the emergency number in your area. You can call their non-emergency number if you have it readily accessible. They may send a fire crew over to remove the branch and assess the damage. They can also contact local utility companies if the electrical lines were disturbed by the branch. Stay in your safe location until the emergency team calls you and tells you it's safe to return to your home.
Call your homeowners insurance company.
Once you've contacted the emergency number, the next call you should make is to your insurance company. Making this call early ensures that if you're told it's not safe to return to your home, your insurance company can then give you the approval to stay in a hotel. This cost is generally covered by most homeowners insurance companies as long as emergency services have made the determination that your home is unsafe.
Regardless of whether or not you can return to your home, your insurance company will get back to you with a list of roofing contractors for companies like Rainy Day Exteriors who can repair the damage. An insurance adjuster may then come out to estimate the damage. They'll award you a certain amount to repair the damage, and you can then use those funds to pay the roofing company for the repairs.
Hopefully, you never have a big branch fall on your roof -- but if you do, you'll now be prepared to handle the situation.