How Bad Is This Fire Damage Loss In Chicago?

fire damage cleanup chicagoA house fire is one of the most traumatic events a homeowner can experience. Fire damage is traumatic and expensive. Fire damage, not related to weather, leads to $5.8 billion of annual losses in this country. 

Both the assessment and repairs are complex. If you are in this situation, familiarize yourself with the processes and terms used in the industry. And call GCPRO to help you during this stressful time. 

What Factors Affect The Losses

Every fire is different. Several factor contribute to the severity of loss:  

  • How quickly the fire department responds
  • The capability and equipment of the team that arrives first
  • If additional resources were available 
  • The accessibility of water i.e. a fire hydrant 
  • The structure: materials, age, furnishings, etc.

Homes burn faster now than they used to because of the widespread use of petroleum-based furnishings in the home: furniture foam, carpet, drapes, plastic piping. Home construction changes like manufactured trusses, open concept living, and the use of composite materials means that fire spreads from room to room much more rapidly than it did decades ago. 

More unventilated attics and Increasingly airtight construction could also affect the severity of your house fire. 

How To Assess Damage

Before anything can happen, the team will need to determine that the area is safe enough to enter. Once cleared for safety, they will start at the bottom, in the basement if you have one. If the foundation is cracked or broken, your timeline could be months in a rental house. On the other hand, a sound foundation means that the structural damage to your home is less severe and the repairs will be made in the same footprint.  

Then they will focus on the building’s “soundness” or structural integrity throughout the whole house. Load bearing walls are inspected for cracks and weakness. Porous sheetrock material absorbs stains, odors, and even moisture; they might need to be replaced even if they weren’t destroyed during the fire.

Then they will focus less on the building and more on your “home.” Superficial damage assessment begins only after the entire house is secure. Then the restoration crew will get to work on the rest of the house. To file a claim to cover the replacement of personal possessions, you will need to document the process with both video and pictures.   

Working With Insurance Adjusters

When you have suffered a fire in your home, you want the best possible settlement with the insurance company. To understand how amounts are calculated, it is necessary to understand the terminology being used. Here are some phrases you might hear:

  • Replacement cost coverage = replacing with materials of similar quality.   
  • Actual cash value or ACV is defined as replacement cost less depreciation; what your stuff would cost to buy today but adjusted for how old it is.
  • Depreciation is the amount of loss of value due to wear, deterioration, or obsolescence.
  • Total loss is when 1) the fire completely destroys the insured property or completely and 2) exhausts the limits of the policy.
  • “Contents” refers to any of your personal property.

Additional living expenses, or ALE, is the amount of money needed that would not have occurred had the loss not taken place. If the fire was severe enough to make the dwelling uninhabitable, insurance will pay for a hotel. If repairs will take months, it might be more economical to rent a house or an apartment. Your insurance company will work with your family and consider kids, schools, pets, etc. 

Lastly, the claim should not be settled if you can still smell the fire. Any time there is smoke, soot, or charred wood, that smoke smell is emitted. You’ll need professional cleanup to remediate all that damage so that the smell does not return.

Full-Service Fire Damage Cleanup in Chicago

Connect with our restoration experts for “start to finish” services. Unlike a carpet cleaner or handyman, GCPRO Restoration is a full-service reconstruction company that manages your entire project from start to finish. Over the past 12 years, GCPRO has helped over 5,000  households in the greater Chicago area with all sorts of disasters. The team has the knowledge, the people, processes and equipment necessary to support. 

Contact Us

For 24/7 Emergency Service, Please Call 847-656-3322.
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