A fire in your home can leave you feeling a myriad of emotions. Even a small fire can leave you and your loved ones with a sense of loss, grief, anger, frustration, and sadness. It’s a normal part of the process, and you’ll just need to walk through it.
As the days go by and you start to assess the extent of the fire and the restoration process, there are some things you can do to help you cope with fire damage to your home.
6 things to do after a fire at your home
Working through the emotional part of the fire may take some time. It can help you to start the restoration and rebuilding process. Here are some of the key things that you’ll need to do after a fire has damaged your home.
1. Document the damage
Once the fire has been extinguished and you’ve been given the all-clear by the authorities, take photos and videos of the damage. You’ll need these for insurance purposes. Write down all the items you lost in the fire that are covered by your policy. This may include electronic devices, jewelry, furniture, etc. It’s important not to throw anything away, even after you’ve documented it. The more evidence you have for your insurance the easier your claim will be. A key piece of evidence will be the fire report. You can ask the fire department for your copy. Details on this report will include the condition of the structure, the time and date of the fire, and who was involved.
2. Protect your home
Even if you’re not able to move back in, you’ll need to find a way to protect your property. Houses that are damaged and unoccupied may attract thieves. You also need to be aware of any weather that may cause further destruction to your home or property. Some insurance companies offer to do this for you, so it doesn’t hurt to ask. This step may include boarding up windows and doors to ensure no one can get access to your home.
3. Get your possessions
One of the next steps is to sort through your possessions. This includes any personal documents, identification, prescriptions, glasses, credit cards, jewelry, and keepsakes. It’s vital that if you are not able to find your credit cards or other key documents that you call the companies and alert them of the situation. In the case of your credit cards, it might be best to have them cancelled. Once you’ve taken your items from your home, separate your salvageable ones from those you can’t salvage. If you don’t have the time to sort through your belongings you can ask your restoration company to do it for you. They can also clean your items for you.
4. Contact a reputable contractor
You may be inclined to wait until you feel more equipped to deal with a restoration company, but it is vital to get in touch with them right away. Getting an assessment can take some time. The sooner you start the process, the faster you’ll get the repairs completed. Some questions you can ask your restoration company include:
- When will you come to see the home?
- How long will the restoration project take?
- Do you give any guarantees?
- Do your technicians have the necessary certifications?
There are many other questions you may have for them but be sure that you understand the process. If you are not clear on how something works, the owner of the restoration company you have selected is the best person to ask.
5. Hire a third-party damage inspector
Relying on the insurance adjustor to fairly document the damage can be a risk. After all, they work for the insurance company and may be more inclined to do what is right for the company. Rather, opt to hire an unbiased contractor or structural engineer to provide an honest estimate of the repair costs involved.
6. Consider your options
Depending on the extent of the damage, you’ll need to consider whether it is worth repairing your home or rebuilding it. Your insurance company will have some say in this. While you might think it’s better to demolish and rebuild, your company might not cover those costs. To help you determine the best route, research what it will cost to demolish your home and compare it with the expense of repairing the damage.
What is fire damage restoration?
Cleaning and restoring your home needs to be done by a professional fire damage restoration company. They will help clean your home and restore your belongings. The process starts with an assessment of the damage.
After you’ve been given the go-ahead to begin restoring your home, a professional team will help remove your items from your home. They can also help you clean them and bring them back to life. Professionals will also do what is necessary to prevent further damage to your property. They will wipe down and clean every surface to remove smoke and soot. Any smoke odours will be eliminated through cleaning and advanced technology.
A fire damage restoration company can also work with your insurance provider so you can rest assured that everything is being done right.
Finding a fire damage restoration service
It’s crucial to start the restoration process as soon as possible after the fire. Cleaning up your home is a key part of the healing process. At FIRESTONE Restoration, we understand the emotional impact damage to your home can cause you and your family.
Our cleaning professionals will use techniques that help protect your property. From boarding up your home, removing valuable items, to cleaning the inside of your home, our fire damage restoration services can help you recover from the trauma. Contact FIRESTONE Restoration today.