According to the USFA, there were 1,381,500 fires in 2018. So, if you are dealing with the aftermath of a fire burns house situation, you are not alone. House fires occur daily, and if you are lucky only your house will be harmed. However, even if your family escapes injury you will still have a lot to deal with in the morning. Many people are surprised by how much damage can be done by a seemingly small fire.
The problem with house fires is that fire alone is not the only source of damage. Smoke can damage plenty of your belongings. The ones that escape smoke damage are often ruined by the massive amounts of water that are poured onto a home to put out the fire. Water damage, mold damage, fire damage, and smoke damage are all issues that you have to deal with in the harsh light of day.
Be Cautious Before Reentering
Accidents during cooking are responsible for about 51% of all house fires according to the USFA. This means that there is a good chance the fire started in your kitchen. That may make it tempting to walk into other areas of the home afterward. Regardless of where the fire started, you need to be very careful when you walk back into your home. Embers can burn long past the initial fire and the extensive force of water can weaken or damage the flooring. As anxious as you may be to get back into your home, it is best to wait for an inspector or firefighter to give you the official all-clear before you do.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Right now you are probably in shock, but you need to call your insurance company and report the fire so that a claim can be filed. No one will be able to move forward until a claim is filed and reparations, repairs, or a sale can be processed. You also will need to call your mortgage lender since they own a stake in the property as well. While you are busy making calls, be sure to put in an official request for a copy of the fire report.
Photograph All Damage
Once you are able to get back into the house, make sure you photograph everything. Do this before beginning any repairs, clean-out, demo, or water damage restoration work. Make sure to go from room to room and clearly photograph everything of value. When you file your insurance claim you need to prove everything that you have lost.
Salvage What You Can
Once the fire burns house remains are documented, you can try to salvage anything you can. Depending on where the fire started, you may be able to save some items. Anything covered in smoke needs to be properly restored. You also should always wear a mask while sorting through your things. This process can be long but can help you find small tokens and memories of life before the fire.
Should You Rebuild or Sell Your Home After a Fire?
Deciding whether to rebuild or sell your home after fire burns house is a very personal decision. It is not one that should be taken lightly. Rebuilding your home could displace you from the property for months or even a year. Water damage restoration, proper smoke removal, demolition, and rebuilding a property all take time. If you are lucky mold will not start to grow and become another problem.
When you consider all of these factors, selling your home may be the fastest way to get out from under fire and get the money you need to get into a new home. If you have been the victim of a house fire and are ready to sell your home, request a cash offer from WeBuyHouse to find out how much you can get for your house today.