Is An Inspection Necessary When Filing A Fire Damage Claim in Texas?
If your house or business was severely damaged by fire, you must get a thorough fire damage inspection of your property before accepting any settlement offer. As to who pays for a thorough inspection, you need to talk to an insurer representative. If they refuse to pay and argue there’s no need for such a fire damage inspection, you should reach out to an experienced commercial or homeowners insurance claim lawyer in Houston.
Inspections Are the Key to Commercial and Residential Fire Claims
Even small fires can have a devastating impact on your home or business. Extreme heat, soot, smoke, and ash can all result in structural or aesthetic damage. To ensure you get the most out of your residential or commercial property insurance claim, schedule a fire damage inspection as soon as possible.
When there’s a major fire, the extent of the damage is hard to gauge. You’re not a fire expert, nor is the insurance adjuster who will be inspecting the property. There may be hidden damage, so it’s best to bring in various licensed professionals for a thorough inspection.
What Should a Fire Damage Inspection Include?
Here are the areas of the building that require a thorough inspection after a serious fire event.
If enough time has passed, you can probably eliminate the problem of burning embers. However, if the fire generated a lot of heat, there’s a strong possibility the roof sustained structural damage. It might look okay at first sight, but if there’s structural damage, your house might flood during the next storm.
Additionally, you should get a professional roofer to examine if there’s any mold under the shingles. The water used to extinguish the fire may have penetrated the roof’s wooden structure. If water and mold damage develops, all the rooms on the upper floor may soon be affected. If you discover the problem only months after settling the claim, you won’t be able to get more money for mold removal. Speak with the Houston roof damage claim lawyers at MMA Law Firm to learn more.
If your property is built on a steel or iron structure, the extreme heat may have been transferred to the foundation or the walls. If the structure is compromised in any way, you shouldn’t be living there until the damage is fixed.
Plumbing, Electrical Wiring, and Heating Systems
A thorough fire damage inspection must include plumbing, electrical wiring as well as the whole heating system. In many cases, the electrical wiring will have to be redone. Simply put, a quick fix is not good enough when it comes to electric wires.
Also, all pipes and connectors should be checked to prevent additional damage. Keep in mind that if a pipe starts leaking, that sort of damage is not covered under a standard homeowners insurance policy. Seasoned Texas insurance claims lawyers can put you in touch with reliable professionals.
Concrete and Stucco Elements
The heat from a major fire can damage the concrete structures of the building. Unfortunately, such a problem cannot be detected during a cursory inspection of the home or business. Instead, you’ll have to look up licensed structural engineers in your area. They should carry out X-ray tests to determine if the concrete is cracked or damaged in any way. At the same time, intense heat can bake stucco and melt sidings.
Have a professional examine the window frames, as well as the glass. If the frame is partially melted or blistered, it must be replaced to prevent damp seeping in and mold smudges. Also, if the glass gets discolored and loses transparency, your insurance carrier should cover the replacement cost. When you file a claim, the whole point is to bring the property to the state it was before the damage event, including the windows.
Speak with the Fire Damage Lawyers at MMA Law Firm
Experienced Houston fire damage claim lawyers are instrumental in streamlining the insurance claims process throughout Texas. If you are having trouble getting fair payment under your insurance policy or have general questions about fire damage in Texas, the seasoned lawyers at MMA Law Firm can help.
Please contact our firm for a free, no-obligation, confidential consultation with one of our qualified attorneys.
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