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Smoke damage insurance claim
After a fire, it’s pretty obvious what smoke damage looks like in your home. Discolored walls, ash, and soot on the floors, and the powerful odor are all evident. It can also produce smells and other side effects that are harmful to surfaces as well as your health. It’s also important to remember that some signs of smoke damage can occur immediately, while others are only apparent hours or days later.
Shortly after a fire, the effects of smoke damage becomes visible on walls, ceilings and other hard surfaces, appearing as stains and discoloration. Within a few days walls and flooring may begin to turn yellow. This yellowing affect does not show up right away. Plastic surfaces,wood and appliances can also become discolored and warped. Several hours after a fire, metal surfaces can show signs of rust and corrosion. Counter tops, tiles and other porous stone surfaces such as marble and granite usually become permanently discolored from the acidic residue found in soot. This damage is all caused by smoke.
Smoke damage is nasty and affects virtually everything in your home. Many of your possessions and furniture may need to be discarded, even if they don’t look badly damaged. Soot can spread quickly and cover things in hidden places.
If the fire is contained to one room and the property is not a total loss, it’s not uncommon for smoke damage to be more widespread than the fire damage. For example, if a fire in the kitchen occurs and the damage is limited to just that room, even if quickly extinguished, smoke damage can still spread to surrounding rooms. Possibly even the whole house.
It helps to understand how smoke behaves. Smoke is made up of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, ash and chemicals that vary, depending on what was burned. Because smoke travels easily and sticks to things, smoke damage is usually extensive and widespread. The smoke damage after a house fire usually accounts for a significant, if not the largest, portion of the insurance claim.
Most homeowners insurance covers smoke damage, but problems can still arise. Smoke can get anywhere and everywhere and cover your possessions with soot. In the event of a partial house fire, smoke can easily hide in other rooms. Smoke damage is usually easy to detect. Run your finger over a surface that does not seem damaged, and feel for a thick oily residue. That invisible residue can be on every surface of your house. Your insurance company might hire a professional to inspect for soot and residue so that your fire claim can be complete.
So now we know that many of the losses in a fire come from smoke and soot. Because smoke permeates, an item that looks in good shape. may be damaged . Sometimes an item can be cleaned, but because of the smoke damage, it should be replaced. A good example of this could be that expensive mattress that you purchased. The insurance company might say it can be cleaned because it was not harmed by the fire and flames. But because the smoke has permeated, the odor may be impossible to remove. This item should be replaced. Conflicts like this often arise when dealing with smoke damaged items. Be prepared to go through every item in your house with the adjuster. Knowing what your insurance policy covers before the disaster, is paramount to avoiding these conflicts.
ICC Public Adjusters doing business in North Carolina, South
Carolina and Georgia
It’s obvious, Call us to assist you in planning your claims process time line.
Even if you don’t hire us, we will help you get started, and offer valuable hints and insight into this complex claims process.
At ICC, we work solely on the policyholder’s behalf, so you can be sure you are getting the best independent and customer-focused service. If you don’t succeed, we don’t succeed
- Detail the full scope of property damage and estimate repair costs
- Perform content loss, personal injury and business impairment assessments
- Contract specialist to underpin and validate any claims
- Liaise directly with your insurance company, acting solely on your behalf
- Obtain the maximum pay-out possible subject to the findings of our reports
- Ensure your property is returned to its original state as soon as reasonably viable