Imagine this scenario, you pull up to the job site and from the initial conversation with the homeowner and the adjuster you understand that this is a Protein fire that occurred in the kitchen from cooking oil. The homeowner has told you that smoke billowed through the home and upstairs until all the bedrooms. They mentioned that they did the best they could to clean everything up the smell is still really irritating to their nose and lungs.
You enter into the home, do a site walk through with the homeowner and listen to their concerns. You see their helpless feeling of what to do next. You proceed to explain what has occurred because of the protein and what protein smoke can do to certain building materials as well as fabrics and electronics.
The explanation that you give is very extensive and you see overwhelm in their eyes but a little bit of calmness as well because they know that you understand wants to be done to their home.
You go to all the necessary paperwork and acquiring a work authorization form to be signed, contact dispatch to send out the crew to set up HEPA air scrubbers to help filter the air to make the indoor air quality just a little bit better until you get your cleaning crew to the site.
You contact all the sub trades with regards to having the electronics cleaned, you organize your contents division to come out and start structural cleaning and processing of soft contents, window coverings, bedding as well as dry-cleaning of specialty clothing. You also call out the HVAC company to arrange for deodorizing and cleaning of the furnace and ductwork.
Four or five hours later you received a text saying that the homeowner does not want to go through with the claim because their deductible is too high. Your first thoughts are.... Oh my word!! I just spent all this time organizing all the sub trades and explaining what needs to be done for the homeowner. So what do you do?
Well... Yes it is absolutely true that the homeowner has a decision to make with regards to putting a claim in or not. But you also as a trained professional have a responsibility to educate the homeowner not to convince the homeowner of what has been done to their home and the extent of the damage it has created. You have to make them fully aware of the process that's involved in that you are the right person to do the job and that you have high respect for their home and will treat it as your own.
I personally feel that if you did not take the time to explain to the homeowner during the situation as this, you are doing a disservice to them as well as to the adjuster who called you out because they rely on your professional recommendations and training to guide people who have gone through dramatic situations as of this to get to pre-loss condition.
So if you run into a situation like this which I'm sure many of you have for you definitely will in the future, think of this as you educating the homeowner and not convincing them to put a claim in. This is why you go to specialty training and spend a lot of money to gain the required knowledge needed to be a professional in the disaster restoration industry.