In order to help you during this difficult time we have compiled a list of “After The Loss” actions you may take which will ensure you are taking the proper steps to get your home or business back to pre-loss condition in a swift and efficient manner.
Following a devastating and tragic fire loss, individuals and families are often in state of confusion and shock. Our team at PROBuild Contractors respond to fires every year in Portland, OR and assist families in rebuilding their homes and getting their life back to normal.
What To Do After A Fire Loss:
- Speak with your local fire department. Often times after the fire department extinguishes the fire they will need perform an investigation to find the source/cause of the fire and they may maintain control your home until this process has been completed.
- Contact your insurance agency to report the fire loss and start your claim process. At this time you will receive a claim number and an adjuster will be assigned to your claim. Keep the claim number and the name and contact information of your adjuster as well. Note your insurance company may also conduct their own independent investigation regarding the source/cause of the fire.
- Your insurance and the fire department can hold you responsible to secure your property from any outside contaminants or influence. This means that building needs to be boarded-up, tarped and/or fenced to prevent further damage from weather or potential thieves/squatters. This service is often provided by a local restoration company. You may contact them yourself or the fire depart may have a list of companies they recommend.
- After the Fire department and your insurance have conducted their investigations they will release the property back to you. At this point if the fire depart has deemed it safe to enter you may collect important documents, money, firearms and small family heirlooms. Please note that contents inside the home will have a strong smoke odor smell and will contain toxic particles. Anything taken from the home needs to be kept in a seal container and avoid contact if possible.
- Meet with your adjuster and discuss coverage details and the extent of the damage.
- Now it is time to hire a fire restoration company. The adjuster and your insurance will most likely recommend a few restoration companies. Our best advice is to research these companies to ensure they provide a high quality and standard of work. Insurance companies can and do often recommend companies that provide a sub-par service in order to keep the repair costs as low as possible. This can lead to a poor quality repair and end up lowering the value of your home and causing problems down the road. Look for reviews, testimonials, completed job photos and overall professionalism before hiring a restoration company.
- Once you have chosen the restoration company you want to hire; they will work with your insurance and adjuster to come up with a restoration plan. This plan will consist of the demolition, mitigation, restoration and reconstruction of your home.
- The home will often be uninhabitable after a fire. This means you will need to work with insurance to find a temporary living space while your home is restored.
- Keep in touch. Make sure to save all the names and contact information from all parties involved in the fire loss and restoration. It is important to follow-up with your insurance, insurance adjuster and restoration company often so you have the most up-to-date status of your claim and you have the proper expectations regarding your home’s restoration.
- Breathe. This can be a very difficult situation to manage because there are a lot of moving parts and it is a large transition. The best thing you can do is remain calm and hold you and your family’s health as a number one priority. Lean on your friends and family, insurance company, insurance adjuster and restoration company for help during this difficult time.
Water losses can be a just as devastating and disruptive as a fire loss. The Pacific Northwest is prone to water losses from flooding, heavy rainfall, freezes and home water supply issues due to aging homes; our team at PROBuild Contractors help hundreds of homeowners and business owners every year to restore their home/business back to pre-loss condition.
What To Do After a Water Loss:
- Once you notice standing water, wet spots or stains you need to identify and cut off the source, if possible. If you are unable to identify the source you will need to contact a company who can help. Typically you will want to call a water damage restoration company or plumber(if you suspect a the leak to be coming from a pipe.)
- Once the source has been identified and/or cutoff you will want to remove any personal items away from the affected areas. This would include furniture, rugs, clothes, boxes, etc.
- Fixing the source of the leak is paramount when dealing with a water loss. Whether the leak is coming from a crack in your foundation or a pipe you will want to fix the issue prior to any mitigation work begins.
- Once the Leak is fixed you will want to hire a water restoration company to assess the damage and begin the mitigation process. This will consist of testing the presumably affected material, removing heavily damaged material and drying out any material that can be restored.
- At this point depending on the severity and source of the water loss you will want to contact your insurance to report the loss and discuss coverage. If you do make a claim your insurance company will provide you a claim number and assign you an adjuster. Save the claim number and the adjusters contact information.
- If your home is too damaged or affected by grossly contaminated water you may need to find a temporary living space. You will want to discuss these options with your insurance.
- Stay in contact with your water damage restoration company, insurance adjuster and insurance company to and stay up-to-date on the status of the repairs and restoration.