Sometimes it is painfully obvious that an item is destroyed and you cannot clean it. But for the times that it’s not quite so obvious you really need to apply some common sense here and ask yourself a few questions.
First and foremost you need to know if this item is even something that the homeowner wants to keep. Quite often we hold onto things with the thought that one day we may use them and want to keep them around the house just in case. And when there is a fire in the home suddenly homeowners realize that those things they were holding onto are just collecting dust and not something that they have even been using so they are happy to use the fire damage as a reason to chuck these items in the garbage and call it good. Generally these items may not be logged on the destroyed that goes to the adjuster. But be sure to discuss this with your homeowner and be sure to get them to sign off that the items are not to be logged to the insurance company for payment.
The next thing to think about is the value of the item. And when I say value I don’t just mean monetary but emotional value for the homeowner as well. You need to think about whether or not the item’s value makes cleaning cost prohibitive or if the emotional value makes it a must to restore regardless.
There is a very delicate balance needed here so you keep both your adjuster as well as your homeowner happy with your bottom line results.
Remember to always have your homeowner sign off on all destroyed items before they are disposed of or taken off the premises if possible and get approvals from your adjuster on all electronics or any items over $500.(this may vary depending on your demographics)
Whatever you decide it is very important for the success of the job that you be in constant contact with all parties involved so everyone is on the same page and understanding exactly what is being destroyed and why.
Here is a video from our Youtube Channel that I thought you may find helpful when deciding what call to make when it comes to food that has been potentially affected by smoke or soot. Let me know what you think by commenting below.