How To Recover From Flood or Fire Damage
How To Restore Your Home After a Flood or Fire
Floods and fires can cause devastating damage to homes. In extreme cases, recovery may seem impossible. But with the right approach and help from a skilled flood and fire restoration company, you can successfully get your property back to its pre-disaster condition. If your home has been flooded or burned, here are steps you can follow when planning to rebuild it:
- Assess the Damage
Assessing the damage to your property will help you determine the extent of repairs you need. Doing this will also allow you to better communicate to the insurance agent and restoration contractor what happened to your home. In general, you don’t have to conduct a thorough inspection—your insurer and contractor will evaluate the damage in more detail later. But you need to provide a few initial observations like:
- What areas have been damaged?
- Is your home exposed to the elements? (roof holes or broken windows)
While assessing your home’s damage, do not clean up, no matter how tempting it may be. The insurance company needs detailed evidence of the disaster, so cleaning up without the proper documentation can hurt your claim.
- Contact Your Insurance Company
One of the most crucial things to do after experiencing flood or fire damage is to contact your insurance company immediately. Your fire and flood insurance will likely cover some or all of the costs associated with reconstruction, but you must file a claim to receive those benefits. Insurance companies often have strict deadlines for making claims, so call them as soon as possible.
Once you have made a claim, your insurance company will likely send out an adjuster to assess the damage and determine the extent of your coverage. This step can be crucial in the reconstruction process, as the adjuster’s report will be the basis for your restoration plan. Ensure you are present when the adjuster arrives, as they may need additional information or clarification about the damage.
- Hire a Flood and Fire Restoration Company
Talk to your agent about hiring a professional disaster restoration firm. Choose a reputable and experienced company with a proven track record to ensure a smooth reconstruction process.
You also want to hire a reconstruction firm that can navigate the complex disaster insurance claims process. The restoration company can be your advocate during the claims process and help you recover as much insurance money as possible.
- Secure the Property
Securing your property will help prevent damage from the elements, theft, and vandalism. Board up broken windows and ensure that you only have one entryway to your home. Your disaster restoration company can help you with this process.
- Collect the Necessary Evidence
Gather all the documents you need for your claim. You can ask your insurance agent what documents they require. Typically, you’ll have to submit the following:
- Photographs of the damage
- An inventory of damaged items
- Moisture, atmospheric, and dehumidifier readings
- Official reports from the fire department, police, or first responder
- Plumber’s report
An experienced restoration company can be very helpful during this process. These experts know what to inspect and document to ensure all damaged structures and properties are included in your claim.
- Clean Thoroughly
Floodwaters typically carry germs, so cleaning and disinfecting affected areas is crucial to prevent health hazards in your home. Meanwhile, fires leave behind soot and smoke debris that is also harmful to your family’s health. These two contaminants can penetrate hard-to-reach crawl spaces and HVAC systems. So, you may need to hire a professional for your safety and to ensure better cleanup.
- Repair, Restore, or Revamp
Once your property has been cleaned, it’s time to start the repairs. The fire and flood reconstruction company you hire will repair your home’s structures, electrical systems, and other damaged areas. Depending on the extent of the damage, the restoration process can take a few weeks to months.
While your home is under construction, you might as well take the chance to plan a remodeling. Doing so at this time will be cost-efficient. You can ask your reconstruction company if they can install new kitchen countertops and cabinets, upgrade your window panes, or repaint your walls with livelier color. Discuss any home remodeling idea with the contractor, and they’ll let you know what’s doable.
Rebuild Your Home With the Experts
Do you have fire or flood damage? Let us help you navigate your insurance and reconstruction. Recovering from the effects of flood and fire damage can be a daunting and overwhelming process. At DeWald LLC, rebuilding your home can be a smooth process. We are a team of Amarillo remodeling contractors with expertise in flood and fire restoration. Contact us and get a free estimate today!