Storm damage can occur at any time of the year, but the most severe storms tend to happen during the spring and summer months here in the midwest. The peak season for severe storms in Missouri is generally considered to be from late March through early June. During this time, the state is at risk for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, and flash flooding, all of which can cause significant storm damage.
Missourians know it’s not a question of “if” but “when” a severe storm rolls through, breaking limbs and knocking down trees. If the storm damage is minor, such as a few small branches, it may be easy to handle the cleanup yourself.
Prioritize safety: Before beginning any cleanup, make sure to assess the damage and prioritize safety. Look for any downed power lines, broken tree limbs, or other hazards that could cause injury.
Wear protective gear: We know you may not want to make a pit stop in your garage to grab protective gear before heading outside… But, it's important to wear appropriate gear such as gloves, sturdy shoes, and eye protection. This will help protect against sharp objects and debris.
Remove debris: Start by removing any large debris, such as fallen trees or branches, from your yard. If you have a small amount, then cities like Columbia offer curbside collection on regular refuse day. But, if you have a lot of debris, you may want to consider taking it to Columbia’s Capen Park Yard Waste Drop-Off Center. This program is run through the city as a location for residents to drop off lawn clippings, leaves, brush and small limbs. The City of Ashland also has a program contracted through Clean Cut Services for disposal of residential yard waste. (Note: tree limbs must be under four feet in length!)
Clear out gutters and downspouts: Heavy rains and wind can cause debris to accumulate in your gutters and downspouts, which can lead to water damage. Make sure to clear out any debris to prevent blockages.
Check for damage to your home: Take a close look at your home's exterior for any damage, such as broken windows, missing roof shingles, or dented siding. Address any issues as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
However, if the storm damage is extensive or you don't feel comfortable doing the cleanup yourself, consider working with a professional tree service or restoration company. Here are some factors to take into consideration:
Extent of damage - If the damage to your yard is minor, such as a few small branches or leaves, you may be able to handle the cleanup yourself. However, if there are large trees or branches that have fallen, it may be safer and more efficient to hire a professional.
Safety hazards - If the storm damage has created safety hazards, such as downed power lines or unstable trees, it's important to seek professional help. Attempting to move or remove these hazards on your own can put you at risk of injury or death.
Equipment needed - If the storm damage cleanup requires specialized equipment, such as a chainsaw or wood chipper, it may be more cost-effective to hire a professional who already has these tools.
Expertise required - Removing fallen trees or large branches requires knowledge and expertise to do so safely and efficiently. If you don't have experience with tree removal, it's best to hire a professional to avoid causing further damage to your property or risking injury.
Overall, if the storm damage is extensive, creates safety hazards, requires specialized equipment, or requires expertise beyond your level of experience, it's best to hire a professional tree service to handle the cleanup. A professional will have the necessary tools, experience, and knowledge to safely and efficiently remove fallen trees and debris from your yard, and can help prevent further damage or injury.