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inside view of a deserted run down building after a fire

Fire damage restoration tips

How to choose a restoration contractor

Fire damage restoration is the most complex type of insurance claim. Many restoration companies don't comprehend what is required to put you back into a pre-loss condition. I did an insurance claim a few months ago where the carrier and contractor wanted to paint the burnt rafters. While you and I might laugh about this that in no way represents a pre-loss condition.
Fire damage restoration contractors are a dime a dozen. Why? because there is a lot of money in fire restoration for even the worst of contractors. I just inspected a house yesterday that the contractor did not know what he was doing. They installed the drywall over the old electrical they never even replaced the light fixtures and outlets. This is a recipe for disaster as the chemicals in the smoke corrode the wires and will cause another fire in the coming years. They did replace a few of their nice windows but with a cheaper model and they did not replace all of them in the house even though they were yellow and charred. With the windows they did replace they damaged all of the stuccoes around the windows and filled them with caulk. While all of that sounds bad, still nobody addressed the fact the tile roof was damaged by the firefighters when they were putting out the fire. So after it is all fixed they have a leaky roof to damage it all again. 100's of thousands of dollars were left out of their claim and the contractor did not use a public adjuster to properly get the claim paid or know what was actually owed. Contractor Question # 1 Do you work with a public adjuster? If not you know they will not put you in pre-loss condition
So don't just google "fire damage restoration service near me" and hope that you get the service you need. You want to make sure that the contractor has a deep understanding of how fire affects the components of your home and your personal property.
For example- Did you know that when your home burns there are many caustic and harmful chemicals that are created. A house fire is much different than a campfire. The wood products in your home are treated. Many with formaldehyde and other chemicals to help preserve and protect them. Then there are plastics and other petrochemicals that are released into the air as well as asbestos. I have done testing in homes with hundreds of harmful and deadly chemicals found even after the cleaning was done.
Your insurance company is going to say that can be cleaned, and we are only going to clean that. However, if they are not able to put it into a pre-loss condition, or make it safe then they owe to replace it. Most fire damage restoration services do not do any testing. This would be a good question to ask them. Contractor Question #2 What kind of testing do you do? If they do not do any testing you can know they are not going to put you in pre-loss condition and your health is not their number one priority. 

The fire damage restoration cost- Many people are worried about how much their repairs are going to cost. This is not as important with insurance claims as what the scope of repairs is going to be. Going with the cheapest contractor is not the best idea. They will typically have to cut corners to achieve the lowest cost and all you are doing is giving the insurance company a break. You want to get the best quality contractor that is going to do it the right way. Contractor Question # 3 what other projects have you worked on? Get references from previous clients

Most fires need water damage restoration as well because when the firefighters put out the fire they are going to use foam or water. The foam also leaves harmful chemicals in the drywall and flooring. This comes back to testing as well. What types of tests is your contractor going to do. Contractor Question #4 If you ask him what is a VOC (volatile organic compound) and he does not know you should probably find another contractor. 

The fire damage restoration standards are to pre-loss condition. This means they should be like kind, quality, construction, and financial condition, and health.  If any of these qualifications have not been met then the insurance policy has not been properly executed and you chose the wrong contractor.

The only way to make sure the fire damage restoration process has been properly completed is to make sure that you have a good contractor and that they work with a skilled public adjuster.

We make sure that you are placed in a new home while your repairs are being done. We make sure your contents are properly documented and before they leave the house. These often are lost. I had a couple who lost their wedding rings because the mitigation company either hauled them off, stole them, or simply threw them away.

We make sure all the coverages of the policy are properly applied. It is often that policy limits can be exceeded if this happens you will need to know where you can find another 10-20% additional coverage.

Let us help you navigate the difficult path back home.

Claim Rangers are there for you. Give us a call for a free consultation.