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How to protect your home from falling trees

Published on: 10 October 2014

For most parts of the country, summer brings heavy rain storms that can be destructive at times. Lightning, strong winds and fires can cause trees or large branches to fall on your home and cause extensive damage to your property. You can’t control the weather, but you can at least know what to look out for to keep you and your home safe.

What are the warning signs?

The first step is to pay attention to the types of trees on your property. Some species are simply less hardy than others. The shape of a tree's branches and forks are also relevant. For example, U-shaped forks are less dangerous than V-shaped forks, because V-shaped forks split more easily.

Here are some other potential problems to look out for:

  • Dead, hollow or decayed trees
  • Mushrooms growing from the bark – this is an indication of decay
  • Cracks in the trunk or major limbs
  • Trees that look lop-sided or lean significantly to either side
  • Branches hanging over the house near the roof or over power lines
  • Branches which cross or interfere with one other.

How to prune your trees

Hiring a professional to prune your trees and remove those parts which might be dangerous, will help prevent many problems. Removing any diseased, damaged or dead plant parts helps to limit the spread of harmful insects and disease, as well as reducing the possibility of future storm damage. During pruning, do not cut too deeply into the trunk, as you could set the stage for insect infestation. Also, don't over-prune as this can weaken the tree and make it more likely to fall.

What to do after a major storm

  • Remove broken, separated, or hanging branches
  • Check for cracks where branches connect to larger branches. If you see cracks, cut the branch back to the next healthy, whole branch
  • Cut the tree down if it leans over your house, car, or areas where people walk or play.

Insurance coverage

The good news is that your home insurance usually covers tree-related damage. MiWay covers you for loss or damage caused by falling trees or trees cut down by a professional tree feller. MiWay clients also enjoy cover against loss or damage caused by acts of nature such as wind, thunder, lightning, storm, hail, flood or snow.

Report damage to your property to your insurance company after a severe weather event or other natural disaster. For more information on how to submit a claim, click here.