If your home or business has been substantially damaged by fire or flooding, the first thing you need to do is get out. Fire, flood and even lesser water damage, like from blown pipes, can deliver physical damage to humans and pets even after the flames are extinguished and the waters have receded. A variety of invisible toxins may be present and growing within ventilation systems, behind walls, above ceilings and below floors.
Expert and technically advanced inspection and detection of toxins, like in lingering soot, water damage and mold, may include use of air sampling, water testing and thermal imaging systems. Practiced and implemented by a professional fire, water damage and mold remediation repair expert, these tools will let you know when it is safe to return.
Until it is safe to return, book a hotel or stay with friends or family. And keep your receipts. You may not have to wait long to put that paperwork to use. Check with your insurance company immediately. Chances are good they may provide an advance on your valid fire or water damage claim, enabling you to avoid coming out-of-pocket for everything from toiletries to meals and hotel rooms. Fire and Water Damage Experts
But remember, while you are away from your fire or water damaged home, you remain responsible for mitigating damages. That means you should contract with a reliable, qualified restoration contractor to secure your premises and personal property. If walls, windows and doors are damaged and easily traversed, all need to be boarded up and locked up. If you don’t get your home or business secured, your insurance company may deny claims for theft or vandalism which occur after the fire or flood.
Get the insurance claims process underway ASAP. And remember, you don’t have to go it alone. A reputable and expert fire and water damage repair contractor should also be expert in dealing with insurance companies. Here at Classic Restoration and Reconstruction, dealing with insurance companies and the insurance claims process is something of a specialty of ours. We know how to work the ropes so you don’t have to jump through the hoops. Fire and Water Damage Experts in Dunedin, Florida
Know your coverage. Both you and your water and fire damage repair contractor will need to know if your policy covers the repair or the total rebuilding of your home or business premises. You will need to acquaint yourself with terms and conditions including phrases like “actual cash value” and “replacement cost”. There will be limits and if your home was in need of repair before, for instance, the coverage may be limited to returning the premises to that prior condition. In other words, to get the job done as well as possible, you may have to stretch your claim dollars further than you may prefer.
In any case, your best bet is to hire an expert and honest fire and water damage repair contractor. Not only can that contractor work with you to get the best return on your coverage dollars, a truly professional contractor can actually expedite the claims process.
Of course, don’t rely on the insurance adjuster’s estimate. Even the most well-intentioned can short you in favor of their real client, the insurance company. Have your contractor do their own estimate of repairs. Fire and water damage repair can be complex with many hidden areas of damage. The job needs to be done right – 100 percent right – the first time.
Don’t rush to settlement. For the home or business owner who suffers substantial damage by fire, water or mold, getting their life back on track can be a stressful business. Some insurance companies, through their adjusters, have been known to pressure their harried clients to settle quickly. Don’t do it. Take the time and work with a professional fire and water damage contractor to find all areas of structural damage. Many of these areas will be hidden. It takes a pro to find and fix them all.
Here are a couple of useful links: United Policyholders offers guidelines for dealing with insurance companies: www.uphelp.org. The Insurance Information Institute provides consumers with advice on how to file a claim: www.iii.org. Fire and Water Damage Experts in Pinellas,
Or just call us, Classic Restoration and Reconstruction. We’re here to help. Fire and Water Damage Experts, Certified and ready to tackle any job.
Classic Restoration and Reconstruction, a building, construction and bio-hazard removal contractor fully licensed, insured and bonded within the state of Florida, primarily services the Florida cities of Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs, New Port Richey, Clearwater, Port Richey, Holiday, Odessa, Oldsmar and Hudson.
Classic Restoration and Reconstruction is a private business owned and operated by Florida native, Michael Huss. Learn more about us.