storm tree damage

This tree didn’t fall on a structure, but cleaning up the mess will still be a challenge. Photo: CC0 Creative Commons ©2019


Updated January 2019

Bay Area storm systems bring heavy rains that saturate the soil, creating more surface runoff and loosening plants’ root systems. Under these conditions, strong winds can topple trees, causing headaches for homeowners. If a tree has fallen on your property, follow these steps to remedy the situation:

Power lines

If the tree interfered with power lines or fell in a way that put it perilously close to power lines, call 911 or PG&E. Damaged power lines are a serious hazard that should be handled by those with the proper skills and equipment.

Gas lines

Shut off your gas until a professional can confirm that gas lines didn’t sustain damage.

Document the damage

Once it’s safe, take photos of the fallen tree and the damage it has caused from multiple angles. This will be essential for insurance claims in the future.

Contact your insurance company

Call your insurance representative to begin the claims process. Read over your home insurance policy so you have a better idea of what will be covered.

Do simple patch-ups

It may be a little while before a contractor can do proper repairs. To keep your home safe, board up any broken windows and clear away any debris. Have a roofer or handyman do a basic fix for any roof damage.

Call appropriate contractors for bids

Depending on how the tree fell, you may need to contact a handyman, contractor, tree removal service, roofer, window company or another professional to repair your home. Even in urgent situations, it’s still important to get multiple bids and choose a contractor you can trust.

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