Houses catching on fire is not a rare occurrence. In 2015, for example, there were over 1.3 million house fires in the United States. Seeing your house on fire can be a horrible experience but if everyone got out that is the most important thing. If it is a major fire you will have to stay somewhere else while the property is fixed up by a general contractor. After finding somewhere safe to stay it’s time to start dealing with the problem.
As this Baltimore Examiner article points out there are four broad steps to take after your home has caught fire. The first step is to contact your insurance company. The claims adjuster will let you know what steps to take and what the process is. They will also help to secure the home to make sure further damage and/or theft doesn’t occur while the home is unoccupied. Your homeowner’s policy will cover the damage to your home and the property in it, assuming that the homeowner didn’t intentionally set the fire.
Once the home is safe to enter you will want to assess what property was damaged. The more documentation you have for the insurance adjuster about what you own the better. This includes serial numbers, brands, models, and so forth. It’s good to have photos of your property as well as receipts stored in a separate location in case of a fire or other disaster.
Next, you will want to remove any important property from your home to protect it. You can discuss having the expense of renting a storage unit, for example, with your insurance adjuster. They will also help you identify the best fire restoration company in your area, such as one of many fire damage restoration richmond va firms that specialize in this type of general contracting work.
This Angie’s List guide to the cost of restoring a home after a fire will make you thankful that you have homeowner’s insurance coverage. Cleaning up the damage of a fire can be very expensive, around $800 for a small, contained fire on up to $93,000 or more for a large fire. The amount will depend on the number of rooms impacted by the fire and what repairs are needed.
In addition to the fire damage, there is likely to also be smoke damage. Additionally, there is likely going to be water damage from the firefighters spraying down the fire to put it out. The water damage, especially, needs to be dealt with quickly as otherwise rot or mold can set in. the smoke damage will affect the walls, carpets, curtains, and clothing especially.
There are two ways that fire restoration contractors deal with smoke damage. The first way is to use a thermal fogger which is effective at removing smoke from several different types of fabrics. The second way is ozone treatment which is used where the fire started to break down the odors of smoke. They will also replace burnt walls and carpets which retain a lot of smoke.