The Hidden Damages of Fire Loss

June 22, 2022
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A fire loss of any type is devastating and leaves property owners with the challenge of navigating the overwhelming claims process while also dealing with the emotional impact of their loss.

All too often, insurance companies focus on structural damage and loss of contents, but it’s likely there are unseen damages that when left undetected can lead to costly ongoing issues and health concerns.

The following are insights on what hidden dangers to look for, as well as how working with an experienced public adjuster can help ensure you get maximum recovery on any potential fire damage claim.

Smoke and Soot Damage

The reason that smoke is black is that it contains particles of what’s burning. The residual effect is soot – the dust left throughout your property well after the initial smoke has lifted.

The most common indicators of smoke and soot damage are:
– Odors
– Stained fabric and upholstery
– Paint discoloration
– Changes in health (such as hoarse voice, difficulty breathing, irritated eyes/skin, and unusual headaches)
– Flooring damage
– Pitting, corrosion, and rust on metal surfaces (like pipes or jewelry)

Keep in mind, that airborne soot is invisible, so you may not even realize you’re breathing it in. The longer it remains, the more damage it causes. Most worrisome are the negative health implications which may include respiratory problems, skin damage, heart attacks, stroke, cancer, and long-term issues for young children.

Smoke and soot damage require quick action, but you don’t take on the clean-up as a DIY project. Your insurance policy should cover the expense of hiring a professional smoke and soot removal team.

Water and Mold Damage

The volume of water from sprinklers and firefighters used to put out a fire can result in severe damage to what’s left behind. Beyond the physical damage to the proper, water in walls, furniture, and carpeting can lead to mold if not addressed quickly.

Mold is never an easy fix, even in the best of circumstances. However, after a fire it’s even worse – it can grow and spread rapidly in the wet environment. Black mold has been linked to lung issues in people of all ages, and even your pets can be affected.

Most policies do not cover mold alone, so it’s important to include it in your water damage claim.

Electrical and Equipment Damage

When a fire spreads throughout a home, it can destroy electrical boxes, leaving wires exposed and melting components. Immediately following a fire, have the electricity to your home shut off by your power provider as sparks from damaged wires can trigger another fire. An experienced inspector should check all wiring in the home to ensure everything is repaired and safe before power is restored.

You might notice melted or destroyed electronic devices, but what may not be as obvious are melted internal components, damaged HVAC units, soot-covered chimneys, etc. It may be months later, after a change in season, before you are aware of ventilation issues.

The Value of Hiring a Public Adjuster for a Fire Loss

Any significant property loss warrants the assistance of a public adjuster. Given the potential for hidden damage after a fire, it’s even more advantageous to work with an experienced professional like SunPoint Public Adjusters, Inc. when filing your fire recovery claim(s).

A public adjuster will be on your side to lead the process of examining policy coverage, handling claims, and disputing/resolving any claim disputes. Their ultimate goal is to obtain an adequate and fair settlement after a house fire (or any other significant property event).

SunPoint Public Adjusters, Inc. Advocates Only for the Insured’s Benefit

SunPoint Public Adjusters, Inc. (“SunPoint”) is the “Gold Standard” of the Public Adjusting industry. We comprehensively review and evaluate your insurance settlement, immediately deploy a team of specialists to assess and quantify your damages, and customize a strategy around your personal recovery to promptly and properly maximize the resolution of your claim.

Our in-house experts and external veteran professionals are experienced in quantifying and negotiating building, personal property, inventory, or other additional coverages. We work solely on your behalf to favorably resolve your claim. Our team ensures your insurance company does not delay, diminish, or deny benefits that are rightfully owed to you. Industry authorities agree that having a public adjuster like SunPoint on your side early in the process expedites and maximizes your recovery.

Policyholders have been benefiting from our knowledge and advocacy for decades. We have handled, managed, and successfully navigated claims ranging from homeowner losses; corporate losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars; disaster losses involving government entities and entire municipalities; agricultural and recall losses, and virtually any type of disaster claim that could be imagined.

Our team of Public Adjusters, building cost consultants, inventory specialists, forensic accountants, and equipment consultants are unmatched in our industry. It is easy to be big. But it takes dedication every day to be the best – we have that dedication. Our goal is aligned with yours. To obtain a free insurance settlement assessment of your specific circumstances and recovery please contact us to strategize your optimal means of recovery.