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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Cobb County Fire Claim Step by Step Walkthrough of Scope

8/5/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of East Cobb is one of the most trusted names in the fire restoration industry. We’ve earned this status by providing our customers with top notch service for over 17 years and by standing behind our work. We pride ourselves on being faster to any size disaster, and getting the job done right the first time. Let SERVPRO of East Cobb make your home fire or water loss “Like it never even happened”!

While we won’t be disclosing any of our customer’s information, we would like to share the following account which was directly taken from one of our actual fire claims. We will walk you through this claim, start to finish, so that you will know what to expect should you require our services.

SERVPRO of East Cobb Receives Your Call!

No matter the time, day or night, SERVPRO is here to answer your call and can have technicians dispatched to your home in less than an hour in most cases. If your loss does not require immediate attention our call specialist will be able to schedule a service call at your earliest convenience. Please keep in mind that the first 24 hours in many restoration jobs are critical, so schedule an inspection as soon as possible.

“The Smiths” called us shortly after the fire trucks left their driveway in need of a fire restoration/cleanup company. She had never dealt with a home fire before and had no idea where to start. Our helpful call specialist helped “The Smiths” by providing them with a list of things to gather for the insurance company like a copy of the home policy, title or deed for the home, and personal identification. Along with a list of items to gather for the insurance company, we provided the family with a list of common items they would probably need in the event that the house would need to be vacated (Like clothing, toiletry items, prescriptions or medications, even items for pets).

Secure Customers Property

The first thing one of our technicians will do when they arrive on site is a safety check. This is to ensure that the fire is in fact extinguished and to make sure that there are no other safety concerns on site. After the property is ruled as safe our team will call in the appropriate resources to secure the property. Boarding up or tarping windows, doors, and/or holes in the structures walls or roof are some of the common measures we use to secure our customers property. We secure the property to ensure that no further damage befalls your belongings due to exposure to the elements. Before leaving the site SERVPRO professionals will confirm all of the homes access points have been secured (on this initial visit and every other visit until completion of services).

One of our fire restoration specialists arrived on site within 45 mins and immediately confirmed with a fire marshal that the house had been cleared and that property had been deemed safe for re-entry. Our fire specialist proceeded to inspect the property for safety concerns like falling ceilings, compromised flooring, and possible hazardous materials. Once satisfied that the structure was safe, he began inspecting the damaged property. In this case there was no structural damage to exterior walls or roof so securing the property was not an issue.

Estimating Scope of Work & Planning Cleaning Services

SERVPRO of East Cobb uses estimating software called Xactimate to scope and quote services on all of our fire, water, and mold claims. Xactimate is widely regarded as the industry standard when it comes to home repair estimates and is actually used by most insurance adjusters to scope residential and commercial losses. Our highly trained technician will scope the affected areas and our claims specialists will be able to provide you with an estimate with in 24-48 hours. Our technician will also start developing a restoration/cleaning plan for the property. They will make notes of services and/or trades that will be required to return the home to preloss condition.

 The scope of loss was broken down into zones or levels. The first zone being the “Main Level”, and consisting of the kitchen, family room, laundry room, living room, dining room, bathroom, two closets, powder room, pantry, foyer, and a set of stairs. The second zone was denoted as “Level 2” and consisted of a hallway, linen closet, master bedroom, two storage rooms, three additional bedrooms and several closets. This scope of loss encompassed a total of 23 scoped rooms, each of which had an individualized plan for restoration. 

The first things listed on the scope were to clean the furnace, duct-work, and heat/AC registers. Once cleaned the furnace and AC systems were sealed up at the registers to ensure soot particles didn’t re-contaminate the system or other areas. The scope for the remaining areas was pretty straight forward, listing line items like heavy clean floors, baseboards, cabinetry, light fixtures, and doors. The scope also includes less common line items that less experienced companies might not think to provide (like heavy cleaning: chandelier; window blinds; fireplace; garbage disposal; microwave; refrigerator; dishwasher) or lack equipment and/or training to provide services like deodorizing thermal fog or ultrasonic cleaning.

During the scope process our highly trained technicians documented damages to determine salvageability of the building materials and contents. The process was also used to determine the cost effectiveness of restoring, versus replacing items and determining how much demolition was required to remove fire remnants and any water damages the property suffered during extinguishing the fire.

Once documentation was completed SERVPRO of East Cobb conferred with the customer’s insurance adjuster by providing them, and the homeowner, with a copy of the scope to make sure all services were accounted for, all items were approved, and that all parties were on the same page as far as the scope and job timeline were concerned.

Preform Services & Monitor Equipment

This is the step when things really start to move, both literally and figuratively. Our technicians will swiftly and methodically pack up, move and store (if necessary) the contents of the affected area(s) such as furniture and personal items. Testing the structure and contents moisture levels as they work ensuring the drying process will work correctly. They will then further assess the affected areas determining if any additional areas/items can be restored or cleaned or need to be disposed of and added to the well documented list disposed of items. 

Demo having been completed, the next steps are to clean the affected area using specialized equipment and professional cleaning products so that drying, and air filtration equipment can be placed. Once drying equipment is place, this marks the beginning of the drying process. The moisture levels of the home and contents are manipulated to dry all materials to IICRC scientific standards in order to prevent mold growth. The drying process will take place over the course of several days. Monitoring visits will be scheduled so that our technicians can better assess the drying progress, document the progress in our “drying logs”, and can alter the drying plan if necessary (add additional equipment or move/place equipment to better facilitate drying process).

Upon completion of the drying process our technicians will remove the drying equipment and proceed with the “final cleaning”. This step is also known as a touch-up or quality assurance step, consisting mainly of HEPA vacuuming, wet mopping, and dusting of debris disturbed by drying equipment, and removing containment barriers (if advisable or needed).

Approvals from the adjuster came almost immediately, in part due to our proactive documentation process and restoration plan, but also in part due to SERVPRO’s experience and positive reputation from working with most major insurance providers and adjusters. Our Cleaning technicians went to work cleaning and restoring the property using our specialized equipment, professional cleaning products, and SERVPRO’s inside-out & top-down cleaning methods to completely rid the property of all soot and smoke particles.

The first step was to clean and isolate the air-conditioning and heating systems by sealing the air registers after cleaning the ducts, HVAC components, furnace, and replacing air filters. Then demo began by removing any materials not expected to dry, be restored, or were otherwise unsalvageable. Drying equipment was placed after all demolition was cleaned up to facilitate drying over the next 5 days. Monitoring visits took place on the second and fourth days to document the drying process in our drying logs, and the equipment was picked up on the fifth day. This allowed our fire crew to meticulously clean all surfaces and perform a complete thermal fogging of the affected areas the next day. Finally, we HEPA vacuum, wet mopped and dusted the affected areas and our workspaces as part of our “final cleaning”.

 Re-construction Services

SERVPRO of East Cobb offers full remodel or re-construction services. Our construction managers will work with customers hand in hand choosing the materials to build back your home. This is where we truly make it “Like it never even happened”! Some homeowners take this opportunity to upgrade elements of their home as well. If your going to have your home torn apart you might as well put it back the way you want it right? Why not upgrade? SERVPRO of East Cobb has the experience and know-how to make this as much of a hassle and stress free process as possible.

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