Seeing your house on fire is an amazingly helpless feeling as you hope and pray the firemen can get it out before everything is destroyed. If it is a total loss, your only option is to start over. However, if it is;t a total loss, you can work with your insurance company to repair the damaged areas and make the home livable again. Here are a couple of steps to get you started moving back into your home after a house fire.
Where to start after a house fire will depend on how bad the fire was; however, the first step will always be filing a report with your house insurance company. Barring the unforeseen, the repairs and cleaning needed after the house fire should be covered by your homeowner’s insurance.
You will need to talk to your insurance agent to determine how much you are getting for repairs, so you can start getting estimates and moving forward. Your insurance company will also understand the cleaning needs you will be facing due to the fire and the water or materials used to put the fire out. If you are unhappy with how your insurance company handles the fire claim, you can look into switching companies after your house is repaired.
You will need to get estimates for repairs and get them approved through your homeowners’ insurance before moving forward. Contractors who frequently work with the insurance companies will know how the process works and be prepared for it.
Depending on the extent of the damage, you may have to get generator servicing to have electricity during the repair process. A portable generator can be rented for the length of time you need it, and your insurance should cover the cost of the portable generator along with the repair costs. Your contractors will be able to take care of the generator, the fuel, oil filter, coolant, and whatever else it needs to run while they are working.
Hire contractors you can trust to return your home to you quickly. Going through a house fire is a traumatic event, and you don’t want to add to your family’s trauma by having to stay in a hotel for an extended period of time or not having the house back to livable to your standards when you return. Choose a company you already know and trust or one that comes highly recommended by people you trust.
Finally, you will need to clean the areas of your house that survived the fire because the smoke will have gotten everywhere and will cling to all the soft surfaces and fabric items throughout your house. Companies like Veil offer an odor eliminator spray that will help with the cleaning process. Unlike room spray scent or fragrance, an odor eliminator will remove the odor from the fabric instead of just covering it up. This will work for carpets, pillows, and furniture. It will also help get an air filter to get any remaining particles from the fire out of the air, so you and your family are not breathing them in when you return.
There are cleaning companies you can hire that specialize in cleaning houses after fires. They have their own cleaners and processes that will effectively get all of the smoke and soot out of your house, as well as take care of water and moisture cleanup. You will have to check for damage caused by the water or foam used to put the fire out. That will be taken care of between the contractors and cleaners because it will depend on how bad the damage is.