Fires can be devastating; however, the cleanup and aftermath can be even more devastating to the insured homeowner or business owner. If water removal and structure drying is delayed, the structure can be affected, even made unusable. After only 7 days, drinking water can turn into Cat 3 water, which includes sewage. Water damage throughout a house can also be extensive. Removal and replacement of the subfloor may be required.
Fire and Water Damage Expert
Steven P. Viani, PE, is an expert in helping homeowners and businesses recover from the devastating effects of fire and water damage through the application of the Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations contained in the California Insurance Code Section 2695.9. He’s an expert in leading all phases of recovery from water and fire damage — from causation and scope of repair inspections and estimate of costs. He’s also overseen construction to repair the damage for many of his clients.
Unexpected Water Damages from Fire Suppression
While not usually evaluated together, fire suppression activities using water can affect the structure and cause damage to:
- Structural framing and subfloor
- Interior furnishings such as built-in cabinets, appliances, and other attached items
Accounting for Consequential Damages After Fire and Water Damage
Another issue is consequential damages after the fire and water damage has occurred. Common construction techniques include building the framing, walls and roof supports directly on the subfloor; thereby, requiring removal all of framing if the subfloor is fire or water damaged. This constitutes direct physical damage as of consequence of the repair and replacement with like kind and quality required.
Fair Claims Settlement Practices in Fire & Water Damage Cases
In order to protect the insured, Steve applies the principles of the Fair Claims Settlement Practices in the California Insurance Code Section 2695.9 during development of his assessment work and in reports.
Water Damage Investigation and Assessment Cases
- Estimate and approach to repair fire damage and resultant water damage from Cat 3 water for a $2 million home in Alamo (prevailed in Appraisal).
- Inspection/structural evaluation of 50+ residential and commercial units damaged by a refinery explosion in Utah.
- Estimate and scope of repair for water damage caused by broken water supply line in Atherton, CA, which caused water to degrade into Cat 3 water after a week.
- Investigation and approach into residence in Concord that was extensively damaged by broken water supply line that resulted in development of Cat 3 water.
- Causation and scope of repair for a modular home in Ceres, CA, damaged by a broken toilet water line. Damage required complete reconstruction, as walls were built on subfloor.