Recovering from a fire or other disaster that causes smoke damage to your home can be a challenging experience. You will likely have to deal with your insurance company and contractors all at the same time. While this isn’t an easy process, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. There are some simple steps you can take to get on track again after a fire or other disaster in your home. If you’re fortunate enough not to have been injured in the fire and the house is not beyond repair, the first thing you need to do is contact a public adjuster who specializes in property insurance claims and will work directly with your insurance company on your behalf. This is especially important in estimating the loss for common elements such as carpet, kitchen cabinets and appliances that are often damaged in a fire or smoke loss.
Estimate the damage and hire professionals
The first step in the process is to assess the damage to determine which repairs are necessary and which items need to be replaced. Before hiring anyone, get three estimates from contractors who specialize in fire and smoke damage restoration. This will help you get an idea of the cost of different levels of services. You can find contractors who specialize in fire and smoke damage restoration by contacting your public adjuster, asking co-workers and friends for referrals, or visiting online directories such as the Better Business Bureau’s website. It’s important to hire contractors who are state licensed and have experience in this type of work.
Cleaning and restoration
After you’ve determined the damage, your next step is to clean up the mess so you can get back on track as quickly as possible. If the fire or smoke damage is extensive, you may want to consider hiring a professional cleaning service. Once the site is cleared, it’s time to turn your attention to repairing or replacing damaged items. Depending on the extent of the damage, this may take some time. It’s important to remember that an insurance company will pay for getting items back to their original condition. In most cases, they are required to pay only for repair or replacement of the original items; not betterments. When determining whether to repair or replace items, it’s important to consider their current condition, maintenance costs, and whether or not they are covered under the policy. It’s also a good idea to keep receipts or detailed records of the costs associated with rebuilding your home. You may need these at tax time to claim a deduction or when applying for a loan.
Repair or replacement of damaged items
If you want to repair items rather than replace them, you need to find a contractor or supplier that can do this. You can find these these contractors or suppliers by simply asking your public adjuster. Repairing items are usually more expensive than replacing them. If you decide to repair items, make sure to keep detailed records of the costs and time involved so you can recover these expenses. If you decide to replace items, make sure that you do so with items that are comparable to the damaged items. An insurance company will usually only approves the payment for comparable items.
The best way to deal with the aftermath of a house fire or smoke damage is to be prepared. Keep your home fire-safe by keeping your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in working condition at all times. You can also take steps to make your home fire-tough. These include installing fire alarms and sprinkler systems, keeping your home well maintained, and storing flammable materials in a safe and out-of-the-way place. If your home is damaged by fire or other disaster, don’t panic. Instead, follow the above steps to get back on track as quickly as possible.
First Choice Restoration’s highly trained fire cleanup and restoration team will take the needed professional approach to solving your fire or smoke issues. To help restore your home and get back your peace of mind, call us now at 800.370.0770.
When disaster strikes, and you need fire or smoke cleanup! Contact First Choice Restoration! We are here for you!