Thousands of people were evacuated from their homes during the recent San Diego wildfires, and most of them, when they returned after the evacuation orders were lifted found their homes still standing and their personal property intact.One of the issues that you may face, if your home was in the wake of the constant presence of smoke from the wildfire near your home, is smoke damage to the exterior and possibly the interior of your home.
Smoke damage can affect the exterior of your home as well as the interior, and leave a heavy odor on your furniture, carpeting as well as the clothes you left hanging in your closet.
This article deals with what your homeowner’s insurance policy can provide to you to assist in remedying this problem.
First of all, if you can see the staining left by the smoke and soot on your exterior walls, you can ask your insurance company for assistance in removing this from your home; it should be done as quickly as possible, particularly if you have a stucco exterior. Also, if you have a tile roof, cleaning of the roof should be considered being done as quickly as possible.
In certain situations, if the exterior cleaning does not remove all the smoke and soot stains, repainting of the home may be called for. In the past, many people when they are ordered to evacuate will leave their Air Conditioning Unit on. Most likely, the unit was on due to the fact smoke was beginning to gather outside prior to the evacuation order being given.
The Air Conditioning Unit will usually become contaminated with smoke and soot from the return air side, leading to a situation involving the required cleaning of the duct work, not to mention the interior of your home. If the AC Unit is damaged from the smoke and soot badly enough, the replacement of the unit may be required.
If necessary, the interior of your home can be cleaned chemically by a qualified restoration company, and your clothes and furniture items can be cleaned as well to have the smoke smell removed.Usually the company which the insurance carrier requests to handle the cleaning of the home and the interior can also assist in cleaning your clothing items.
If your clothes, or for that matter your furniture items, cannot be restored to the condition they were in prior to the fire, your policy should be able to provide replacement of the items destroyed subject to the terms of your policy
If you believe you have received enough smoke damage to the exterior of your home, the interior and to your personal property, please call your agent as quickly as possible to file your claim.