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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Buying a Fire Damaged Home? What to Check For First.

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

House on fire in garage fully engulfed Understanding when a home goes through a fire damage.

Buying a Fire Damaged Home? What to Check for First.

With home prices skyrocketing, people are willing to do almost anything to get a good deal, including buying a house that has had a fire. That could be a good investment because they cost less and may even be negotiated to a lower price. But the following are things you need to know before buying a fire damaged home in the Palm Desert area.

How Deep Was the Damage?

How much damage a house has suffered can determine whether it’s worth purchasing and/or flipping. If the damage was only cosmetic where just the carpet and walls were scorched, that wouldn’t be too big of a deal. But if the damage is deeper and affects the sub-floors, joists, plumbing or the HVAC, then you’re talking serious money and it might not be worth your time or effort.

How Long Since the Fire?

Do you know how long it’s been since the fire occurred? If the house has sat for a while needing fire damage cleanup without any repairs done on it, then you might want to pass. The longer fire damage is unattended, the more deterioration will take place. Soot and ash are acidic and can cause irreversible property damage if not treated immediately. Soot can cause the metal in plumbing fixtures, lights, etc., to pit or corrode. Glass in windows and mirrors can be etched by soot residue, making them look cloudy and soiled. Plastics, appliances, vinyl windows and fabrics can be permanently discolored by soot residue.

Fire damage and water damage are almost always linked because firefighters extinguish flames with water. And many times, a fire will open a house up to the elements. If that water isn’t immediately removed or dried up, it can cause severe problems with mold and may weaken the foundation. And since water is a solvent, it will slowly dissolve, break apart and destroy most of the materials in a home if not dealt with promptly. These problems must be handled by restoration professionals that have the needed equipment.

What About Hidden Damage?

It can be difficult to see if a home has structural damage from a fire when you’re doing a walk-through. That’s why you should not only get a home inspected before buying, but you should also contact SERVPRO of Palm Desert to do a walk through and consultation. If you have a better idea of how much structural damage exists and a rough estimate of what it will cost, you’ll be able to negotiate a deal to ensure a higher return on your investment.

Home shows on TV make flipping a house look fun, quick, and profitable. But the true reality is that those with fire and water damage can be a lot of work if you don’t know what you’re doing. The best way to buy a house with fire damage is to have SERVPRO of Palm Desert on your team to do the work needed to once again make it a livable home. 

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