photo of fire and flood damage work

Fire and Flood Damage

Fire Damage

Several million homes are affected by fire damage evey year, resulting in millions of pounds in insurance claims. Today, many goods and materials can be effectively restored, usually on location, which in the past would have been discarded and replaced.

What we can offer

After a fire, your damaged property should be surveyed to minimize the chance of problems during the restoration process and to ensure that you are in compliance with the terms of your insurance policy. All the damage you have sustained must also be accounted for so you have confidence that everything is returned to you in its pre loss condition.

After the fire has been extinguished, and your building deemed safe to enter, a very important step is to instruct an inspection to determine if any Asbestos Containing Materials are present or not. If they are present, have they been damaged in any way leading to possible contamination of the contents? If the all clear is given following this Asbestos survey, inspect your building and contents right away. Delaying this could cause further damage to certain items as the soot from the fire will cause more damage over time to surfaces that may have been able to be restored. Certain items in your home have sentimental value; quickly identifying those items which can be restored may save those items from being lost forever.

It is of the upmost importance that the damaged items in your home or business be inspected by a trained and certified professional firm such as Intona who know the effects of fire and smoke to your building components, furniture and personal items. Those items, once inspected will be documented along with photo evidence and a professional report written.

If making an insurance claim, the burden of proof (the proof of what was damaged and how much it costs to repair or replace it) falls on the policy holder, not the insurance company. Having an accurate report of all the damages is invaluable; all concerned parties must be held accountable in your effort to get your life back to the way it was before the fire. Many home owners do not understand this important principle, and they simply wait to let their insurance adjuster or the insurance companies “preferred contractor” to tell them what their home and items are worth. The best practice is to have a professional restoration contractor who is certified in fire damage to assess your loss, one that is completely independent from your insurance company, meaning they don’t obtain work, past present or future, from the insurance companies. That way you can rest assured there is no conflict of interest, and you have a damage survey and a report from a contractor who represents your best interest, not the insurance companies.

A fire in your home or business is a major disaster, a large amount of items need to be repaired and replaced, without an accurate report, it would be next to impossible to know what will be repaired and how it will be repaired. At Intona we have experts that are not only certified in fire and smoke damage restoration, but are experts in fire damage documentation.

Flood Damage

At Intona, we specialize in the repair and reinstatement of flood damaged properties. Floods are typically either from an external source such as a river or heavy rainfall or from an internal source, commonly termed an escape of water.The different sources of water in a flood demand different repair methods. Intona are familiar with all types of flooding and the appropriate building repair methods required.

You will be in safe hands by appointing Intona. Although we are completely independent, we will work with your Loss Assessor if you have appointed one and your insurers appointed Loss Adjuster to ensure your property is properly reinstated, many of whom we will already have a good working relationship with. We will work with you throughout the entire claim.

We take away the stress of dealing with the repair of your property. We will liaise with the loss adjuster, monitor the drying works and sort out all contractor matters from the day the flood occurred right through to moving back into your property.

We work for you. We do not work for your insurer, nor the loss adjuster. The loss adjuster works for the insurer, not you, and many will try to get you to appoint their in house surveyor who also work on behalf of the loss adjuster so are not truly independent. Simply tell the loss adjuster you have privately appointed your own surveyor. Some of our clients even do this before they have told us we have been appointed.

Click here to learn more about Fire and Flood damage.

photo of damage by Extreme Weather

Burst Pipes

Freezing water exerts incredibly powerful pressures which can burst and block pipes, whether plastic, copper, concrete or steel.

It’s one of the most common causes of claims on home insurance, but many people fail to take preventative measures, or know what to do if it happens.

To ensure that water flows freely through your pipes in the winter, consider the following:

Insulate your loft and the sides of your water tanks. To prevent your pipes bursting, wrap them in lagging (a foam material that insulates and reinforces them). You'll be able to buy this from most DIY stores

Most modern boilers have a frost protection thermostat which turns on automatically if the temperature drops to a level that will cause your pipes to freeze. Check that this is working properly. As added protection, it's a good idea to open your loft trap door and any sink cupboards on cold days, to let in heat. In very cold weather, you'll need to leave your heating on a low setting (or set it to come on a couple of times a day), especially if you're going on holiday for longer than a day or two

Make sure you know where your home's stopcock is. Check regularly that you can turn it off easily in an emergency. You may find it helpful to label the stopcock, so you can easily locate it if you're in a panic.

If you're going away for a while, ask a friend or relative to check your home regularly to make sure that your pipes haven't burst or frozen.

Maintenance is vital. Make sure to fix any dripping taps; if they freeze, they'll block your pipes

photo of damage by Burst Tanks

Domestic Fires

Electricity is used to power just about everything in today’s modern home. However, plugging your television, games console and mobile phones into one socket is simply asking for trouble. Overloading the socket will cause the cables to overheat which will damage the insulation over time. The best way to avoid electrical fires is by not overloading plug sockets and keeping the use of extension packs to an absolute minimum.

Kitchen fires are without doubt the most common cause of domestic fires. With electricity, fats, gas, wood and a number of chemicals to be found in your kitchen, you need to make sure you take every precaution possible to minimise the chances of a fire occurring. Never overheat or overfill chip pans (having a deep fat fryer with a thermostat is even better). Furthermore, avoid storing oily or chemical stained rags under the sink; instead wash them thoroughly or keep them outside. Along with heat alarms, fire blankets and fire extinguishers are an essential purchase for any kitchen as they can enable you to quickly deal with any small fires that might flare up on hobs and grill pans.

photo of damage by Burst Pipes

River Flooding

Flooding occurs when a river’s discharge exceeds its channel’s volume causing the river to overflow onto the area surrounding the channel known as the floodplain. The increase in discharge can be triggered by several events. The most common cause of flooding is prolonged rainfall. If it rains for a long time, the ground will become saturated and the soil will no longer be able to store water leading to increased surface runoff. Rainwater will enter the river much faster than it would if the ground wasn’t saturated leading to higher discharge levels and floods.

As well as prolonged rainfall, brief periods of heavy rain can also lead to floods. If there’s a sudden “burst” of heavy rain, the rainwater won’t be able to infiltrate fast enough and the water will instead enter the river via surface runoff. This leads to a sudden and large increase in the river’s discharge which can result in a flash flood.

We will be delighted to consider tendering for any contract. Clients can be assured of a competitive package.

Contact Intona today for a competitive quotation