What are the Hidden Damages of Fire Loss for Businesses?
Damage of fire loss may be more than just what you can see directly. Fire can also cause hidden damages to your business in the form of soot, smoke, water damage, and heat distortion. Other hidden damages such as mold and a serious decline in air quality are also types of fire damage that may not be immediately or easily visible. When you know the additional impacts a fire can have on your property, you will be able to know what you should look out for when you submit a fire claim to either your insurance company or a public adjuster.
Fire and Smoke Damage
Smoke that occurs as part of a fire can cause significant damage to your inventory and property. Metal objects such as appliances or piping can rust, pit or corrode due to smoke. Electronic components, in particular, are very vulnerable to the effects of smoke. Smoke also leaves behind an odor that is very strong and difficult to eliminate without a professional cleaning service. This odor alone can ruin any products it clings to. Smoke also causes damage to wood flooring and furniture in your property. Your flooring and furniture might also need to be refinished, the process of which could include re-sanding and re-staining. In some cases, your flooring and furniture might need to be replaced altogether. Smoke can also cause discoloration to your walls and stains on any fabric items.
Smoke may also incur several health hazards. If smoke and soot get into your ductwork, this can cause lung irritation and other issues. It is important that these issues be handled by a professional cleaning service so that you are sure that all smoke has been completely removed before you move back into your business.
Smoke and Soot Damage
Soot contains a variety of harmful chemical compounds. Soot lingers on surfaces and invades the insides of furniture, electronics, appliances, and more. Since soot is so difficult to clean, it might be best to replace the items that have been affected by it. The longer soot sticks to a surface, the more difficult it becomes to eliminate.
Water damage occurs when structures are left open to the elements after a fire. It can also occur during firefighting efforts. Either way, water can ruin the various components of your building in addition to your inventory.
A side effect of water damage is mold, which may develop 24-48 hours after a fire should the property be inadequately cleaned. Mold is harmful to health, especially for those with issues such as asthma or other allergies.
Thermal Distortion Damage
The high levels of heat caused by a fire can compromise steel and iron structures. After a fire, it is important to engage a professional engineer to check if the structural integrity of your property is sound. Other structures in your building, such as window frames, doors, and glass, could have also been blistered or distorted by the fire.
Assessing Fire Damage Properly
In addition to direct damage, fire causes a lot of ancillary damage. Having an expert inspect the damages done to your property after a fire will help in assessing the depth of these damages. This way, you know clearly what you have to do to mitigate them.
At Stone Claims Group, our public adjusters are with clients all the way. From faciliating property inspections to documenting claims to maximizing claim settlements, we ensure that your fire damage claims do not get denied.