Florida Smoke Damage Claims
Every 24 seconds, a fire department in the United States responds to a fire. One of the ugly side effects after a fire takes place is smoke. Smoke is composed of a complex mixture of gasses and fine particles that are produced when organic materials burn. Smoke is essentially fuel that did not burn during a fire.
Unfortunately, even if a fire did not occur within a specific room, that room can still suffer from smoke damage. Smoke can creep into HVAC vents, electrical sockets, furnishings, and insulation, among other things.
If your house has suffered smoke damage, you need a trusted smoke damage claim attorney on your side. Contact the Law Offices of Tragos, Sartes & Tragos today to discuss your case.
Types of Smoke
Smoke damage can ruin your home’s market value instantly. The smoke that is created from burned items can cause a thick residue and tarnish fixtures.
Smoke can be classified into four categories:
- Wet smoke: produced from a slow-burning, low-temperature fire; it is the most difficult to remediate since it results in a sticky, thick residue
- Dry smoke: comes in a powder-like form; can easily be cleaned off of solid surfaces with an all-purpose cleaner
- Oil/fuel residue: also known as “petroleum smoke,” this is normally very dark in color and can stain any surface or material it touches; it can easily be removed with a degreaser product; this type of residue can also result when a furnace does not ignite properly
- Protein residue: smoke that is emitted from burned food; it can cause permanent discoloration to painted surfaces
Depending on what type of smoke damage has plagued your home, you will either need items to be replaced, professionally cleaned, and/or resurfaced.
Damage Smoke Can Create
Smoke can cause a myriad of damage in your home, depending on the type of fire that occurred.
Smoke damage can manifest itself as:
- Soot or a sticky residue
- Unpleasant odor that can get ingrained in upholstery and curtains
- Discoloration of varnished or finished surfaces
- Tarnished door knobs and stainless-steel appliances
- Stripping the varnish from wooden floors
Is Smoke Damage Covered by my Insurance Company?
Most standard homeowners insurance policies cover claims made for smoke damage. In many policies, this is coupled with fire damage coverage. Luckily, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation enforces statutes to regulate the insurance business in Florida. This department allows consumers to file insurance-related complaints for claim denials.
In order for your homeowners insurance to cover the costs associated with remediating smoke residue, the following items must be in order:
- Date of loss
- Type of loss
- Location of damage
- Current condition of your home
- Description of any damaged items
A key element to keep in mind is that different insurance policies will specify whether your insurance will cover the actual or the replacement cost of an item. Actual cost value references a policy that will cover the cost of the item at the time it was destroyed, while replacement cost references the cost to replace an item, regardless of its age. Both types of coverage are available in Florida, so you will want to reference your specific policy.
Trusted Attorneys Serving Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater
If your domicile has sustained smoke damage, you need a law firm that has experience handling smoke damage claims in Florida. Our firm has proudly served Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater for over 40 years. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.