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Can I Sell a Home with Smoke and Fire Damage?

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House fires happen too frequently and even if they don’t leave your home in ashes, they can cause expensive smoke damage. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that in 2017, the latest year for fire statistics, the United States had:

  • More than 1.3 million fires
  • $23 billion (estimated) in property damage due to fire
  • 72 percent of all structure fires were homes

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Fire damage to a house can cause physical, emotional, and financial problems for a homeowner and family. Your world becomes turned upside down; it’s traumatic.

There may be physical injuries that have to heal as well as emotional and mental trauma that needs treatment.

For many, staying in a home after a fire has serious drawbacks. Some home fires may only need minor repairs, but others require complete fire damage restoration. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to choose to sell the house because fire damage repair can be expensive and time-consuming.

Fire Damage Repair: Is It Cost-Effective Before Selling a Home?

Any time you decide to put your house on the market, certain preparations are needed. General cleanup, minor repairs, and staging (making it look more like something from an HGTV photo versus the aftermath of your Super Bowl party) typically are recommended by real estate professionals.

However, fire damage cleanup and repair is more than a DIY project. It can require help from remediation teams for cleaning smoke damage and contractor consultations for structural issues.

fire damage

It’s important to create a list of necessary cleaning/repair costs. Depending on the fire damage severity, it may not be cost-effective to invest in repairs. When that happens, you’re not stuck. You can still sell the house. HomeGo is there for you, even when a home has fire damage and needs repairs.

Safety First

When assessing a home with fire damage, safety has to come first. Never reenter a structure after a fire until given the okay from the fire department or Fire Marshal. You don’t know if the structure has suffered damage. Be aware that everyday cleaning products and other items can become toxic after heat and fire exposure, making it dangerous for humans and pets.

Fire Damage + Water Removal and Cleanup

On average, it takes one gallon of water to extinguish about three square feet of materials that are on fire. Depending on the hydrant pump, a fire hose can spray anywhere from 300 gallons of water per minute (GPM) to about 1,500 GPM. That’s a lot of water! When your home suffers a fire, it’s likely to also become water damaged from the firefighting efforts.

fire damage house

Water can be as damaging as fire, destroying personal items and building materials like drywall, carpet, insulation, and even creating foundation problems. If water removal/drying out isn’t done swiftly, you increase the risk for mold.

Once mold develops, it’s another long list of issues that must be dealt with as well. Not only can water lead to mold, but so can the residue from fire extinguisher foam.

Smoke Damage and Soot Removal

Removing the smoke smell and soot residue after a fire is another chore that’s typically difficult for homeowners. Ventilation by opening windows and airing out personal items can help, but if the damage is heavy, it may require professional know-how and equipment.

Any lingering smoke smell can make the home unattractive to potential buyers. For soot, you can try vacuuming and using a soot cleaner and removal product, but this process may need to be repeated several times to fully remove all traces.

Fire damage repair may sound like a lot of work—and it is. Even seasoned DIYers can find fire damage repair too much, especially as it’s time-consuming and expensive.

Many factors affect whether you’ll be able to continue to live in the home after a fire. Money may be one of the biggest. Because homeowners need to disclose information regarding fires, this can make it more difficult to sell.

The good news is you can contact HomeGo. Skip the repairs and rely on the professionals at HomeGo to buy your house as-is, even after fire damage.

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.

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