Hearing the roaring, tearing sound of a large tree falling is a terrifying experience for any homeowner, but especially for those who live in a suburban setting where dozens of homes are located in a small area. But the experience becomes even worse if those unpleasant sounds are accompanied by the crashing thud as some of the tree's branches strike the roof of your home.
While preferable to a direct hit, this type of glancing blow from a falling tree can result in serious roof problems, even if there does not appear to be any visible evidence of damage immediately after the impact has occurred.
1. Document and report the incident
Homeowners will need to immediately document and report the incident to their home insurance provider, even when no damage is immediately known. In addition to dated, timed photos that clearly show the area of impact from several angles, homeowners will also want to include details about the weather conditions and the owner of the tree, if it belonged to a neighbor.
Relaying this information to the home insurance provider will create a note in the homeowner's insurance file that can be used as proof, should roof repair issues arise in the weeks or months after the impact.
2. Inspect the roof
If the home insurance provider does not hire a roofing contractor to inspect the roof for signs of damage, the homeowner should do so. Sudden impacts that strike a glancing blow to the surface of the roof, such as those delivered by heavy tree limbs, can create enough force to crack or damage the underlying parts of the roof structure.
Rafters and trusses responsible for holding the weight of the roof and stabilizing the entire structure of the home can develop tiny cracks capable of enlarging over time. Roofs that have been impacted suddenly in this manner may not begin to leak or sag until months later when the presence of thick layers of snow or ice occurs.
Glancing blows, such as those from the pointed limbs of a tree can also inflict tiny puncture-like wounds on the surfaces of shingles and other common roofing materials. While invisible to the untrained eye, roofing contractors are skilled at detecting small signs of damage that could make leaks more likely to become a problem later.
If the roof inspection takes place after the debris has been cleared away, homeowners should remember to show the photos of the incident to services like Kerry Roofing LLC. Taking this action will help the roofing contractor better understand the size of the tree and the angle and area most likely to have received damage.