NEED TIPS FOR DEALING WITH HOME INSURANCE ADJUSTERS AND CLAIMS RELATED TO SMOKE DAMAGE AND FIRE RESTORATION

Yesterday my home in the Portland Oregon area had an appliance issue that resulted in a small blaze inside the home. Because I have a new - airtight house - the smoke literally fused itself into my appliances, structure, electronics everything. Even though the fire did relatively little damage the smoke finished everything else. The intense smell of smoke can be sensed outside the house!
I am not sure what the restoration crew is going to replace - but I would appreciate your suggestions on what they should. The rest of my stuff - especially electronics constitute a considerable investment. They tell me they can clean all of these things and that they will be fine. But I doubt it. If you have been a claim adjuster, a fire fighter, a restoration professional or an industry insider I desperately need your help. I have a great policy with plenty of coverage for loss of use, structure and personal property. Unfortunately, it will be my burden to see that these are addressed. The questions obviously become how high I should set my standards. Should I let them clean my stuff, smell it then demand a replacement value? I don't intend to be dishonest but too many things in my house are too damaged by acidic smoke, soot and carbon compounds to get rid of the smell much less repair the damage to sensitive electronic components. How about my mattress, couches, light fixtures.
Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated. Feel free to e-mail me at snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com. I will deal with the spam if it can give me good input! Thank you.
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"Chris" wrote

I think you're worrying too much. I used to deal with fire restoration projects. A very high percentage of the damage in restorations were caused by water, not the fire or smoke. Let them do their jobs before losing sleep. Chances are, after they clean everything, they will run ozone generators to remove the odor. I think you will pleased with the outcome.
In this state, the policy holder maintains the right to choose the construction/restoration company. If your state is the same, you should direct all concerns to the construction/restoration company. If you're not satisfied with the answers, then you get your adjuster involved again. Do not sign off until you're pleased. But, don't expect your insurance company to buy you all new everything just because you had a fire.
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I want to know how you got a new airtight house. Building code here, just north of you in Washington, requires houses to Breath...with a capital B. Tons of openings in sofits, vent holes in the windows. You name it. Especially with the moisture we get the Pac NW, I would think an air tight house would be a health hazard. What's the thinking about an airtight house?
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Bob Richardson wrote:

Hi, I am here in Calgary. Airtight house is to save energy. You bring in outside air by automated venitilation tied to house HVAC. R2000 spec'd house is airtight(like mine) and it has to to go through special building process per code, then has to pass the final test to be R2000 spec. home. If you look at the size of HVAC looking at the size of my house, you'll be pretty surprised. It's warm/cosy in winter, cool in summer with minimimal energy consumption. BTW, the holes in the soffits are for attic vent, it has nothing to do with indoor air. Vent hole in the window? Must be drain hole. Tony
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Of course, you're right about the sofits :(
Our house is only 7 years old. There is a "whole house fan" that brings in outside air 2 or 3 times a day (for 15 minutes each time). It's set on a timer.
The vents I'm talking about are in the top of our Milguard windows. They were put in one window of each bed room. My wife thinks they're for letting bad air out, e.g. CO. Can someone explain what their function is?
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Chris wrote:

First: Don't expect many E-mail responses. This news group thing works by the interchange of ideas, not just a series of two way messages. I will forward my response E-mail, but I'll bet few others will.
As for the insurance. Your rights vary from state to state. I suggest you contact a local attorney if you are worried to make sure you do not need to react early in the process. Unless the attorney suggest otherwise I suggest you let them do the job and you should pretty much stay out of the way. Then after they are done and before you sign off on anything take a look and express your concerns. Frankly I believe you are worrying too much. We hear about very few problems in this area. The professionals in the field do a good job. They know what they are doing.
--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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