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Why is smoke damage so serious?

On Behalf of | Apr 22, 2024 | Homeowner Claims

If someone experiences a house fire, you may hear them talk about how some items were ruined by the fire itself and others were ruined by smoke damage. Even if the fire was relatively small and contained quickly, the smoke damage could be found all throughout the house. It may add tens of thousands of dollars in damage to the total costs of the house fire.

But those items haven’t been entirely destroyed, as they would’ve been if they burned up in the fire. So why is smoke damage so serious and why does it increase the costs that homeowners are facing so dramatically?

It can still cause long-term damage

The issue is that smoke damage can happen quickly and may not be fixable. It can lead to discoloration, health concerns, unwanted odors, and even corrosion or issues with structural weakness in the home.

Many items that are ruined by smoke could technically still fulfill their physical purpose, but they can’t be used because of the discoloration and the odor. For instance, if smoke filled the living room, the fire may never have even reached that room. But all of the carpeting, furniture and window treatments in the living room may have to be replaced anyway. Without doing so, there’s just no way to get the smell of smoke out of the house.

Why can this make your claim complicated?

Smoke damage can sometimes make your insurance claim a bit more complicated. It’s easier to prove that items need to be replaced when they’ve clearly been physically destroyed, but there could be disputes over whether or not certain items need to be replaced due to smoke damage. When working with the insurance company or providing evidence of the costs that you face, be sure you understand all of your legal options.