tracydrDecember 3, 2009

We had a fire in our roof yesterday from the chimney. Although there was minimal roof damage the smoke was intense. The floor was also destroyed in two rooms.

In the other rooms I'm wondering how the smell will really be removed from the carpet? It seems like the smell is worse on the opposite side of the house from the fire for some reason. That side will not have carpet replaced according to the adjuster, just treated with the ionizer and cleaned. Will this be sufficient, along with painting walls and sealing the roof rafters, new insulation in the attic?

Also, the garage is really smelly. What do we need to do about the cars and how will they ever get the smell out of the walls and ceiling in there? Somehow the smoke got trapped in the garage while the firefighters had the door open to pull hoses through the garage door.

Has anyone experienced something like this?

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There are many companies that specialize in fire cleanups. Your insurance company should be helping you.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2009 at 9:57PM
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I would get a estimate or two from a company that specializes in clean up after a fire and submit that to your insurance company. I would think the smoke damage may be more than what your insurance adjuster knows about. It's probably not his area of expertise. I had problems with getting my insurance to pay on something. I got a few estimates and it worked out better.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 10:59AM
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so sorry to hear about your fire. glad everyone is safe. I agree with Izzie, you should get a couple of estimates from different companies. Also remember that you do NOT have to agree with your adjuster. You can request another adjuster take a look at the damage. The insurance company must honor your request for a second adjuster. (we had a tree fall on the house, first adjuster said $29,000 - we had estimates of $65,000 - second adjuster agreed more or less with the estimate).

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 7:52AM
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After doing restoration work related to insurance claims for almost 25 years, I know what youre dealing with. Much of my work is commercial but my firm does millions of dollars annually in the residential market from fire, water and storm damage. My firm has handled thousands of insurance claims over the years so IÂm talking from experience.

First, DO NOT TRUST YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY TO DO THE RIGHT THING. Your adjuster represents the insurance company and his sole responsibility is to limit the cost of the claim, PERIOD!!! These adjusters are trained to negotiate and lower costs, not how to rebuild real estate. At the end of the day, these insurance companies and adjustors are not "like a good neighbor", not "on your side" and youÂre not "in good hands".

Not to besmirch insurance adjusters (well maybe a little) but most of them are not the most detail oriented people. Most of them are not the best when it comes to doing their paperwork in a timely manner. After all these years, I can only name a handful of adjustors that I would want to deal with if I had a loss on my home. Those good adjustors that I know are General Adjusters who handle the large losses into the millions and they are very experienced.

Many adjustors get "favors" from the contractors they recommend. Many contractors who get recommended by insurance companies are loyal to the insurance company first. For these reasons, itÂs best to find your own contractor and not use who the insurance company recommends. Most contractors on the insurance programs are the contractors willing to work for less money, not your better contractors.

Do NOT get estimates from two companies as you could paint yourself into a corner down the road. You donÂt want the cheapest, you want the best contractor, make sure his scope of repairs is very complete and let the experienced contractor negotiate the price with the insurance company, not you.

If you get multiple prices and one is much lower, the adjustor has grounds to only pay the lower price which could hurt you in the end. You donÂt care about the lowest price, you just want quality work which the insurance company is obligated to pay. Your policy doesnÂt state the insurance company will only pay the lowest price. You policy states the insurance company will pay a fair price. Even the best and most experience restoration contractorÂs work for a fair price.

This job sounds to be a $50K to $75K claim which is not a big job for a good experienced contractor but it is a job that they will value. Even though itÂs not big, it still takes many, many hours to put an estimate (which really isnÂt an estimate) together. If a restoration contractor is bidding the job, he knows he needs to be the lowest price, not the most thorough. You want the contractor scoping the loss who knows heÂs getting the job. He will be extremely thorough and make sure the jobs done right because itÂs also in his best interest.

Find the best contractor in your area with at least ten years of experience in fire restoration. Avoid using a franchise if at all possible as many of these companies (not all) donÂt do quality work. When it comes to reconstruction, the higher volume companies are usually your best bet.

If you have any other questions, just ask. Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 8:47AM
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