California Wildfire Attorneys

Smoke, Soot, and Ash Damage from a Wildfire

During the summer, fire season takes place in California, heat dries up many acres of land and can set fire to brush and trees. These fires can burn for days, consuming large sections of forests and wooded areas, and neighboring residents can suffer both direct and indirect effects. Their homes can easily be damaged by falling soot and ash, and smoke may cause physical problems as well as damage to personal belongings.


Where Does Smoke, Soot, and Ash Come From

Fires start in many ways, but wildfires are the most common occurrences. The heat dries everything on the ground during the fire season, leading to very flammable materials just resting in the forest. Prolonged exposure to the sun, combined with high winds can spontaneously cause fires to break out and rage for days. Those who reside near wildfire-prone areas often suffer residual effects from them, including smoke and ash damage to their property, soot damage to their lawns, and cinder damage to their roofs.

Those who file claims in the aftermath of fires are generally more likely to get a considerable settlement from the insurance company as the harm is easily evident and can be checked by firefighters and other professionals.

For more information, consult with an experienced wildfire attorney with knowledge in lawsuits for smoke, soot, and ash claims.


What Can Be Damaged by Fire Smoke, Soot, and Ash?

Although a fire may not damage your home with its flames, it can wreak havoc with the smoke, soot, ash, and cinder it gives off, and many times the damage is not easily noticed.

These materials can cause problems with many components of your home, including:

  • Heating and Air Conditioning Systems: Your heating system regulates many things in your home, such as providing warm water and so on, and usually shares ventilation ducts with your central air conditioning system if you have one. Ash and soot can block the vents and stop the systems from functioning correctly.
  • Lawn and Gardens: If you have a garden or lawn, the stray ash, soot, and cinder can cause damage to the plant life you have on your property. The grass may die out or the vegetables and fruits you grow may suffocate and not grow. Shrubbery and other plants that are loaded with ash and soot or burned by falling cinders and embers may not come back or bloom again. It can be costly to replace all these crops and takes a lot of time to remove and replant.
  • Personal Belongings: Smoke and ash that flows through open or cracked windows or ventilation openings into homes can damage the homeowner’s personal property, such as curtains, paintings, clothing, and rugs. It can damage the walls, rugs, and support as well.
  • Plumbing Systems: Ash can be thick when a lot of it collects together in one location. It can slide into pipes rather easily, especially if it can enter your home straight through open windows. The plumbing can be compromised by ash build-up and would require a professional plumber’s services to fix the issue.
  • Pools and Hot Tubs: Pools, whether above ground or in-ground, have water pumps and filters that keep the water clean and sanitary. If enough ash and soot come in with the water, the filter may get clogged or be unable to operate.

If any of these belongings were damaged by smoke, soot, and ash, contact an experienced wildfire attorney today.


Steps to Filing Smoke, Soot, and Ash Claims

It is essential to have as much documented proof as possible of smoke, soot, and ash harm to your yard and home. If you are in possession of pictures taken before the damage or if you have a video of the affected areas before the fire happened, it would be useful to your claim. If you have sufficient proof, you’re in a better position than most individuals when you file a claim for smoke, soot, and ash compensation with your insurance company.

An insurance claims adjuster will typically visit your home and perform an inspection. You should have conducted a preliminary examination yourself, but the claims adjuster will check for more damage. After the adjuster gives the company the necessary information, an insurance agent will usually offer you an amount of money to cover the damages. It is crucial that you do not accept a low offer, as it may not be enough to cover many cleaning costs. Furthermore, if you do accept an offer, you do not have the ability to sue later.

It is recommended that if you have any doubts you contact a skilled attorney experienced in smoke, soot, and ash cases to help you with your claim and lawsuit.

Learn more about Smoke Damage.


We Can Help You Seek Compensation for Your Loss

Our California Wildfire Attorneys will assist you in receiving compensation from your insurance company. With over 20 years of litigation experience, we will represent those families who have suffered any damage from a wildfire.

Call (800) 383-7027 or email us to schedule a free, confidential consultation.