A large house fire can be a nightmare, and it may take a long time for life to return to normal. After all of the flames are put out, you will need to face the aftermath and take steps to have your home repaired and restored. If your home has been damaged by a major fire, plan on taking the following steps:
File an Insurance Claim
Your homeowners insurance policy is designed for situations like a house fire where you need substantial financial assistance to repair your home and restore it to its original state. It is in your best interest to file your claim as quickly as possible so you can begin to work with a claims adjustor and get your check in a timely manner.
Hire a Structural Engineer
While a claims adjustor has a lot of knowledge, when it comes to a house fire, you should not automatically accept the insurance company's estimate to repair your home. Smart homeowners hire a structural engineer to inspect their houses after a large house fire. A structural engineer has the skills and training to assess the state of a house after a fire and discover everything that needs to be repaired or replaced in order to make the home safe and stable again.
A fire can cause extensive damage to your home, and the process to put the fire out can cause a large mess. After your home is deemed safe to enter, you will most likely discover that your house is covered and soot and there will likely be dirty standing water. In the event of a major fire, it is in your best interest to hire a company that specializes in fire restoration and cleanup. A fire restoration company will have the skills and tools to safely remove water damage and signs of soot. Once the cleanup is complete, you may also want to consider hiring an industrial hygienist to test the air quality inside your home to ensure that it is safe to breathe.
Work with a Contractor
A home that suffers extensive fire damage will likely need a variety of repairs. It is a good idea to work with a licensed general contractor who can oversee the whole project. When you have a general contractor, you will have the peace of mind of knowing that all of the sub-contractors are being properly supervised while your home is being repaired.