At first glance, the immensity of fire damage can be completely overwhelming. People make the mistake of repairing and limiting that aspect of the overall cost-inundation, without factoring in the consequent smoke damage that lies hidden beneath. Smoke damage is particularly dangerous because it is possibly undetectable unless you go looking for it. The danger intensifies due to the fundamental composition of the smoke and how it affects health, long-term.
Most of us are only familiar with the visual aftermath of smoke damage, such as the stains and the smell carried by burnt fabric, mattresses and furniture. But it can cause serious harm to the integral structure of the building, including electronics and electrical fittings. The mixture of toxic soot and greasy oil-like coating can render most of the appliances useless after a while. It matters quite seriously to keep the smoke-damage in account while evaluating the overall fire damage done to the property.
Insurance companies are reluctant to initiate or admit a complete valuation of the smoke damage, in addition to that of fire damage. Hence, even amidst the emotional roller-coaster you might be going through, it helps when you keep an eye on the smoke trauma borne by your house or establishment. A public insurance adjuster might be of big help in such scenarios so that the insurance company does not overlook that aspect while passing your claim.
Tell-tale Signs of Smoke Damage
While looking for evaluations of the extent of damage, for the sake of filing a claim for insurance purposes, it is vital to detect and document the smoke damage as well. Where there is a fire, there exists smoke too. The intensity and toxicity of this smoke depend primarily on its composition. The source of the burnt material decides the magnitude of the danger the produced smoke will inflict. The most dangerous fumes are those created by the burning of plastics and synthetics. These chemicals, mixed with fumes, are the most devastating in their effects on respiratory and cardiovascular health. Some tell-tale signs of smoke damage are as follows:
- Black soot that covers the surfaces which were nearby the flames at the time of the fire.
- A thin coat of oil or grease that is apparent upon touching the surface of the floors or the furniture is an indication of corrosion.
- A strong smell of smoke that appears to be coming out of nowhere usually means that the smoke damage has reached the nooks and crannies of your space and needs exploration and removal.
Reminders Regarding Smoke Damage Insurance Claims
In the long run, it is always helpful to have another set of eyes to evaluate the extent of the damage to your property. A public adjuster and inspector can keep a level head while going over minute details of the fire trauma. It is a harrowing experience to bear, and you can’t be blamed for oversight while assessing smoke damage for claiming insurance. Here are some reminders to help you navigate thoroughly through it so that you can avail your rights to claim and rebuild properly:
- Even though the smell is irritating and reminds you of the fire, it is paramount that you don’t dispose of or clean the appliances or furniture almost immediately. The insurance company is liable to provide you claim for all the potentially affected items, either in replacement or fixing. Keep hold of the damaged goods until you are desirably reimbursed by your insurers.
- Avoid making instant decisions when it comes to repairing the damage done by smoke. Always take a second opinion when it comes to restoring the destroyed items. The recommendations of clean-up companies that your insurance company provides are often quick-fix settings to avoid piling costs of reimbursements. The bills are subsequently deducted from your claim amount itself, and you may find out, down the line, that the damaged things have only been cleaned, when they had to be replaced entirely. It is merely the cheaper and more affordable alternative that the insurance companies tend to take in cases of tremendous fire and smoke damage.It should be a firm observation to replace the damaged goods completely, even if the flames haven’t reached them. The longevity of the returned goods suffers if they are not double-checked for the signs of smoke damage, especially after the insurance firm closes your claim.
- As we mentioned above, the extent of the smoke damage to your house is accurately reflected in the details of the structure. We tend to overlook it because it remains hidden in the form of minor cracks and in between closed corners where only a skilled pair of eyes can reach and detect it. Your insurance company might be counting on this oversight to save itself some part of the compensation, but you must be aware of the significant issues it can create over the next couple of months. When that happens, it will be fruitless to turn to your insurance company. The only solution is to act quickly and thoroughly.Most of the undetected smoke damage is done to the ventilation systems of your building, your electronics and other household appliances. The soot and heat that smoke brings can corrode the wiring of electronics and other devices, and penetrate to the innermost parts of the air conditioners, reacting with the metal components gradually, needing to be replaced in the coming months. It is always advisable to let your hired public claim adjuster keep an eye on including the replacement costs of these.
- It is quite a human thing to trust the people who help us in our time of need. Your insurance company offers you financial assistance, and you tend to trust them with the money. Whatever amount they offer, people tend to take it, even if it is far less than what it should be. You need to be aware of your right to hire an expert to evaluate the damages and the cost, just like the insurance company has the right to do the same for themselves. You should not hesitate to contest the settled claim, even after the event. Take help from public professional adjusters and go for what you deserve.Call for proper guidance from us as soon as possible so that we can assess the damage done alongside the adjuster of your insurance company, keeping a check on them, if required. The insurance company is legally obligated to pay for everything, even if it crosses your policy’s limits in some cases. You can accept our help even after the restoration company has started its work of cleaning up. We can make sure that you get what you are owed precisely and not a penny less.
It may seem trivial to call a standalone investigator right after the traumatic event of a fire, but it pays off very well while you are rebuilding and recuperating for the long term. The stress of dealing with the finances at such a critical period and coming out without losing too much is something we can handle for you, while you direct yourself at supporting your partner and family emotionally.