Smoke Damage After a Fire: What To Do Next?

Having a fire is bad enough, but having to deal with the smoke damage from the fire can also be challenging. Smoke and odor can create havoc on your home or business and it’s contents. Fortunately, you’re not alone and you don’t have to figure it out by yourself. All that you need to do is call the two most important resources and they’ll guide you through the rest.

Who are those resources, you ask?

The first is your home insurance company, as they’ll need to send someone out to investigate the damage and process the claim. They’ll also be responsible for putting you up if you have to be out of your home, and taking care of other related expenses, depending on exactly what kind of coverage you have on your policy.

The second call on your list should be to a smoke and fire damage restoration company. These experts know all about getting rid of fire damage, and more importantly, cleaning up that difficult smoke damage once and for all. They can also help walk you through the repair and restoration process, and even help you navigate dealing with your home insurance company through it all.

Take Stock of Losses

One thing that you will need to do, either on your own or with the estimator or adjuster, is to take stock of all of the property losses, such as personal belongings that are too damaged to repair or items that completely perished in the fire. If there are things that can be repaired, but need cleaning and a lot of work, make note of that, as well. It’s not about figuring out what can and can’t be saved, though—that’s what the pros are for. You’re just making a list of your belongings so that the insurance company knows exactly what needs replaced.

Stay Out Until the Scene is Cleared

Some small fires may not have this concern, but larger fires or any that have impacted the structure of your home will come with a safety caveat: you can’t just go walking in and start figuring out how much damage there is. You have to wait until the property has been cleared by the authorities and inspected by all the proper parties before you can go back in and start sorting through things. Not only that, but you also have to make sure that it’s safe.

If the structure isn’t sound, it could be dangerous to even enter the home. If there is still lingering soot or smoke in the air, that could be dangerous to breathe. Make sure that safety comes first.

Smoke Damage to Contents

Too often, people try to salvage things that can’t be salvaged. While this is a noble cause, it’s really just not a good idea. For starters, items that are just too damaged with smoke and soot could be dangerous to try and keep. Plus, they will never quite work right or look the same again. Smoke damage is difficult and can continue to be a risk to your health, so don’t get too stuck on keeping items that have no sentimental value.

Keep these things in mind and you’ll have a much better chance of making it through the process after a fire with less stress.