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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak Can Help Recover Your Losses from Fire Damage

11/9/2020 (Permalink)

A catastrophic event, such as a home fire, can be an overwhelming experience. The process of making sure everyone is safe, finding temporary lodging, starting the clean-up activities, and ultimately rebuilding can take months. It can also take a huge toll on the family. That’s where the training and expertise of the clean-up and restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak (972-937-1494) can provide assistance to get you through.

In this article we will explain one part of the recovery process that can be an almost insurmountable task for the homeowner to do alone. That is, determining what is salvageable and what is not among all the affected items in the home and communicating that information in detail to the insurer. This is a necessary step to recuperating your loses related to your fire damaged belongings.

We at SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak do this task regularly for our customers who are recovering from a home fire. It is a lengthy process that must precede packing your belongings out of the damaged home and beginning cleanup. The process ensures that every item is accounted for and that you and your insurer are informed as to what is deemed salvageable and what is going to have to be replaced.

The Process

During the process of assessing your household and personal goods, every item will be photographed, assessed, and inventoried. Then two lists will be created, one of salvageable and one of non- salvageable items. Presumably, depending on your insurance coverage, the insurer will pay to clean or restore the salvageable items and to replace those deemed non-salvageable.

Non-salvageable Items

Several factors contribute to the decision as to pace an item in the non-salvageable category. Our technicians are trained to recognize damage that can be cleaned and restored versus irreparable damage.

Some items are easily identified as damaged beyond repair. Those are immediately placed on the non-salvageable list.

Items that sustained smoke or soot damage are carefully assessed and those that cannot be thoroughly cleaned without damaging the item further also go into the non-salvageable list, as well as those that sustained water stains or other water damage that cannot be restored.

In some cases, it might be possible to restore an item, however, the cost to do so is so high that the insurer would opt to replace it instead. Such an item goes on the non-salvageable list.

An important factor to note here is the fate of your unsalvageable items. When your insurer agrees that an item cannot be saved and agrees to issue payment to you for that item, we are required to dispose of the non-salvageable item. Insurance policies prohibit us returning the non-salvageable item to the insured.

Oftentimes customers will ask for one or more of their unsalvageable items to be returned. We fully understand that some items may have sentimental value to you and your family. If this is the case, as soon as possible after we provide you with the list of unsalvageable items you need to let us know of any items you want returned. We must remove that item or those items from the list so that your insurer can adjust payment.

Waiting until close to the end of your job to ask for the return of any unsalvageable items will result in an unhappy ending. After the insurer has paid for those items, we are obligated to dispose of them.

Salvageable Items

Your belongings that have sustained damage, but can be cleaned and restored to their previous condition go into the salvageable category. These items might be cleaned at your residence, especially if your inventory is being stored on site at your residence, for example, in rented pods. But more often the salvageable inventory will be transported to our warehouse where we have specialty equipment and products to facilitate their careful and thorough cleaning. It is helpful to keep in mind that many household items sustain a normal amount of wear and tear in their daily use. This type of damage is not likely to be repaired in the restoration process. Rather efforts involve removing smoke, soot, and water stains.

How You Can Help

The entire process of inventorying and assessing all your affected items can be a long, laborious task, one that most homeowners chose to leave to the professionals. However, there are some things you can do to help your insurer in completing this process.  When negotiating salvageability and pricing with your insurer having good documentation at hand can save the day.

One important task is to keep receipts for all significant purchases. Having proof of purchase and purchase price can be invaluable in recovering the full value of your belongings.

In addition to receipts that show the original price of your items, having pictures from before your fire damage can help to prove that the damage sustained was related to the fire. These two things help immensely when it comes to creating and validating your unsalvageable list with your insurer.

If you have not already compiled a home inventory, please consider making a list of all your items and their associated costs. Store these together with receipts and photos in a safe, fireproof place. It is a lengthy process that most homeowners never consider until it is too late. But in the unfortunate event of a home fire, it could prove invaluable in recuperating your loses.

We hope you  never experience the unfortunate circumstance of a home fire. But if you do, remember the professionals who can take the burden of inventorying salvageable and non-salvageable items off you – SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak. We will rush to your assistance and make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us at (972) 937-1494.

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