It's important, when suffering a loss, to maximize your ability to recoup that loss through a homeowner's insurance claim.
This article is written for those who have just experienced a fire and therefore assumes you have already safely evacuated the building. It's important now that you stay out of the building and do not re-enter until firefighters give the OK.
Check for signs of structural damage before entering the building. After verifying that there is no immediate danger of collapse, use a flashlight when inspecting damage in your home at night because smoking remains are often not visible after dark even if they are smoldering.
If possible, turn off electrical power and gas service to the building until an inspection can be made by utility company personnel.
The water used to put out the fire is very often more damaging to your home than the fire itself. Before cleaning, check any wet items for evidence of fire-related damage such as soot, charring, or cracked glass on a light switch or plug that was near water. If you discover any of these signs then it is recommended that the item should not be used until a certified restoration service has evaluated it.
It is best to leave the wet items untouched in the house until professional help arrives. Not doing so can cause further damage to your home that may not be covered by fire insurance.
While you are waiting for restoration professionals, make a list of all damaged items in your home and create an inventory with photographs if possible. This list will be very helpful when filing a claim with your insurance. Ideally, you've done a video walkthrough of your valuables prior to a house fire. (Tell your family and friends to walk through their homes, rotate valuable items to show brand markings and serial numbers, etc, wherever possible to simplify future claims processes.)
After even a minor fire, it is important to have a remediation company out to the house to handle the water, smoke, and fire damage in your home. The sooner you address this, the more you will be able to save. Like any water or mold disaster, don't move items from room to room. You could potentially spread mold into additional areas of the home.
We work closely with some of the best remediation companies around. Call us for a referral. Once your items have been remediated - it's time to rebuild.
What Kind of Damage Can You Expect From a Burned House?
The damage caused by a house fire is determined by what surfaces come in contact with the hot gases and flames. Damage to some materials can be repaired while others must be discarded. Water and Smoke Damage can extend far beyond the site of the initial fire.
Damage from a house fire will vary depending on:
The type of material involved, how long it was exposed to the heat and flames, where objects are located in a room or building, the presence of burning material such as mattresses which may melt certain furniture finishes, and equipment that have been known to contribute to fires such as electrical appliances, smoking materials, and high-intensity light bulbs.
Restoration may be as simple as drywall replacement or extend to your flooring, walls, structural features, etc.
Rebuilding After a Fire:
Our team here at Green Restoration & Reconstruction is able to quickly provide you with a detailed professional estimate. We are extremely well-versed in working with insurance companies to secure sufficient funds for the project at hand. Rapid turnaround is a core tenant of our business model. It is our purpose to get your family back to pre-fire and pre-loss conditions both as safely and as efficiently as possible.
When a tree first falls on your house, it can be a pretty scary experience. With luck, no one in your family is harmed. But the emotional pain of seeing your home damaged by a tree can be great. What follows can be just as stressful. That's why the team at Green Restoration & Reconstruction would like to prepare you for what to expect, and if necessary, work with you and your insurance company to restore your property back to pre-loss conditions.
First, immediately evacuate the house.
If you're near the house when it falls, be careful. There could still be live electric lines or structural damage nearby that can injure or kill you if not handled carefully. Do not let children or anyone approach the area before professionals give you the green light. Gas lines may also have been damaged in the fall, which could result in fire or explosion and structural damage may cause additional parts of the house to cave in.
Nothing is more important than getting your family safely out of the house. Once everyone is out of the house and safe, you want to contact your insurance company. You may want to hire a public adjuster to assess the damage as well, as they are financially motivated to be more detail-oriented in their assessment of the situation.
A professional arborist should be employed to remove the tree. Be sure the tree service has good reviews, is comfortable working with insurance companies, and has sufficient insurance themselves. Beware of ghost insurance policies that don't cover all of the tree company's employees.
Once the tree has been removed, it's important to restore your home to pre-loss conditions as quickly as possible. A common mistake homeowners make is to hire their favorite non-emergency contractor. Some contractors are absolutely excellent at what they do but don't necessarily have the experience working with insurance restoration claims to work efficiently with the insurance companies throughout the process, and often have other large work scheduled that pulls their attention away.
With Green Restoration & Reconstruction, quickly responding to emergency reconstruction calls is our specialty. It is our mission to get your family safely back into your home.
Here are some examples of what can happen when a tree falls on your house:
The weight of the tree can push siding or shingles off, exposing insulation or framing that's not meant to be visible. Materials like this must be replaced with matching materials in order for an insurance claim to payout. If the tree falls on your roof or gutters, they will be destroyed, necessitating either repair or replacement by an insurance claim.
Windows or doors near the fall site may be damaged and require replacement. In some cases, wiring or piping may need replacing near the damage site. Chimneys and vents may be damaged and in need of replacement or repair. In extreme cases, an entire section of the house may need to be rebuilt, and the foundation may even be affected.
Our team at Green Restoration and Reconstruction can assist you in the restoration process, no matter how minor or extensive the damage is.