Whether you are a tenant or landlord to a residential property, fire damage is the last thing you want to face. Fire damages can disrupt the rhythm of your life, and the pertinent possible after-effects such as odor and mold can adversely affect your health.
For any property owner, post a fire, restoring their property to its previous self as soon as possible is a priority. They spent no time resorting to DIY fire damage restoration strategies and cleanup. On most occasions, residential property owners overlook certain when restoring fire damage:
So, is there a foolproof checklist that you can follow to restore your property after fire damage? Yes, this post features the major actions you need to carry out after a residential property fire.
Ensure family well being
The moment of fire can be chaotic, and you are bound to be overwhelmed and confused. Make it a point to calm yourself and ensure the safety of your family members. Ask them whether they are fine and look for any mild symptoms of shock or injury.
Bear in mind that your family members might also be in shock, and they might think that they are uninjured or unfazed even if they were.
If you are a tenant, inform your landlord about the situation immediately. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to stay in the house until it is cleared by the fire department, even if the fire damage is minor. So, the next step is to find a place to stay. Depending on insurance coverage, you might be eligible for partial or complete reimbursement for accommodation for the period you are displaced due to the fire. Once you are cleared to return home, document damages to your property.
Contact your insurance agent.
Do not engage in any fire damage repairs before you contact your insurance agent. If your insurance coverage documents look confusing, your insurance agent can help you get information on the following about your coverage:
- Whether you are eligible for loss of use funds
- Reimbursement for daily expenses due to displacement
- Financial support for housing
Also, contact your utility service providers and other applicable agencies, including banks, auto insurance agents, to notify them of the incident.
Understand whether your home is salvageable
It would be best if you had professional assistance to understand whether your home is salvageable or not. Even if you get the clearance from the fire department, it is ideal to get your house inspected by IICRC certified fire damage professionals.
Fire incidents generate immense heat that can cause structural damage along with other lingering issues, such as the toxic atmosphere within your house. A fire technician can help you identify and rectify these hidden hazards and give you an overview of what needs to be done, the possessions that are salvageable, and what your next steps should be.
Differentiate damaged and undamaged possessions
Make a list of damaged and undamaged possessions. A fire technician can help you figure out the items that are beyond repair. Bear in mind that a couch might look good, but the water from the efforts to kill the fire along with the microscopic smoke and soot particles could make it a platted for mold growth.
Your prime focus should be on valuable documents, including medical records, passports, and other property/possession documents. No matter how unaffected it looks, do not retrieve cosmetics, food, or medications from a fire-damaged property.
Rebuild and restore
Your insurance agent should be able to guide you on the next step to restore the damage and rebuild the house. Ensure that all the insurance claim files are loaded with sufficient imagery and media documents that feature the damages to your property. Bring water, fire, and smoke restoration specialists to kick start the restoration process after a detailed plan.
Rebuilding after major fire damage to a home requires an experienced, licensed contractor. Titan Restoration Construction has over a decade of restoring homes in our area. With a large percentage of retired firefighters on staff, our company brings more experience and skill to each home than any other agency in our area.