Evaluating Damage to Your Home After a Wildfire

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Evaluating damage to your home after a wildfire should be done at the first opportunity. Your insurance agent should be the first person you contact. The agent will be able to tell you how to proceed with a claim. Do not start to clean up or throw away anything until your agent has inspected the damage. Do start taking pictures and video as soon as you arrive back home.

It may be necessary for a construction professional to come and evaluate the structural damage to your home. Your insurance agent may arrange for one come out, or you may need to contact one yourself.

Trees and other vegetation, including the landscaping in the immediate vicinity of the home, are evaluated as landscaping. (If the home is located on acreage, usually one acre is considered to be the immediate home site.) You may need to consult a landscaping professional, especially for an insurance claim.

When hiring any sort of contractor, building, or landscape professional, you should always ask for and check references, and make sure that they are licensed and bonded.

Article Written by:
Yvonne Barkley, University of Idaho Extension, Moscow, ID and
Ronald L. Mahoney, University of Idaho Extension, Moscow, ID