Video: What Do I Do if a Tree Falls on My Home?

Video Transcript:

Hi. Did your house get damaged from a large storm or a natural event? Maybe a big branch came through the house or maybe even a tree landed on it. If something like that happened and your house got severely damaged, we can definitely help.

Hi. My name’s Josh Anderson. I’m with Lamont Bros. And today we’re going to be doing a demo and discovery on a house that got crushed by a gigantic tree so that we can start to negotiate with the insurance company about what it’s going to take to get this house back into good, livable condition.

What Happened to This Home?

So during this large ice storm that occurred a few weeks back, this magnificent Douglas fir got pushed over in the wind in this storm. And when it came down, it crushed the corner of this house. Today, we’re going to be doing a demo and discovery to figure out exactly what is the extent of the damages and start to put together the claim to get this house put back together again.

The Restoration Journey

So when this tree fell, you can see that it ripped up the sidewalks. But the real story is that it crushed this whole corner of the house. And what we need to do today is start to survey all of the damage, put together a comprehensive list of everything that occurred.

That way, when we submit the claim to insurance, we have a carefully surveyed property that is going to be accurate for the insurance company to reimburse this client for.

Comprehensive Evaluation: Beyond the Surface

We need to look at how the house was framed. We need to look at all of the materials that were used in the roofing. We need to document what type of siding the house has. We need to look in the crawl space at the foundation, make sure that there’s no structural damage.

And if there is, we need to accurately document that. And as we put together a comprehensive claim that will dramatically improve our opportunity to get full reimbursement for all the work that needs to go into fixing this house.

What are the Results of the Demo & Discovery?

Hey, we’re back on site today where this huge Doug Fir fell and crushed this house behind me. Last time we were here, we were doing a demo and discovery to really try to analyze what happened to the home.

We learned that four of the trusses were crushed. So now we know how much of the roof has to be pulled back so that we can restore those trusses and then restore the roof to get to the top of the place built back together. Two walls were totally destroyed and those will all need to be reframed and built back. We also found that in the crawl space there’s a new large crack in the foundation. So we’ll be diagnosing if the foundation shifted or moved and determining whether it’s stable.

Dealing with Hazardous Materials and Water Damage

There’s a texture on the ceiling inside that has asbestos and it matched throughout the whole entire interior. So we’re going to be abating all of the asbestos ceiling texture and doing a new matching safe drywall texture throughout the rest of the space.

Some of the other problems that we uncovered was a lot of water was getting inside the attic from when the tree was on the house and some mold started to grow. So we’ve also gone to abate that and get the space dried out to really do everything we can to make sure it’s a really healthy environment to be in.

The Role of Structural Engineering in Restoration

This project is going to involve some structural engineering to be able to restore everything to what we would call pre-loss condition. Today we’re inside measuring the interior and doing what we call our As-built survey, and we’re really cataloging the house so that we can start to build the insurance claim to restore it pre-loss condition. So today we’re going to be inside and outside taking tons of measurements and pictures and developing really a site plan that’s going to help us to develop the insurance claim so that we can make sure that this homeowner has a house that’s restored to pre-loss condition. Is safe, healthy, and going to last for a really long time.

What are My Next Steps?

Well, that’s it today from this house. But you should know that we did publish a really great article that will help you if you’ve had to file an insurance claim. If a tree has fallen on your house, if you’ve had a pipe burst, or any other number of problems that resulted in filing an insurance claim, you need to know how to advocate for yourself to get your house back to pre-loss condition. And the article that we published does a great job of explaining a lot of that process and what you need to be doing.

How to Educate Yourself Further

And while you’re there, check out some of the other awesome content that we have published on our website and on YouTube and other social media platforms.