Posted: 9 October 2019

Background:

A ninth-floor flat in a tower block had been subjected to a fire which started in the entrance hall. The cause of the fire was under investigation by the authorities at the time the claim was being processed.

The fire damage extended from the entrance hallway to the bathroom, living/dining area and kitchen. There was also smoke damage to the communal hallway which was being repaired by others at the time of the survey.

Challenges:

TSS Survey managed the repair works to the property; carrying out an initial survey, providing reports and estimates to the insurance company, and managing the construction work, which was carried out by our nominated supplier.

This repair presented some unique challenges in returning the property to a “pre-loss” condition including:

  • Unusual electrical installation

Repairing the damage to the electrical installation was more complex than normal due to the nature of the property. The tower block is fully constructed from reinforced concrete with all electrics either contained within conduit inside the concrete frame or surface mounted. This was an unusual installation compared to a typical domestic property of brick/block construction.

  • Access restrictions

The primary access to this ninth-floor flat was via a small lift of only 1.4m x 1.1m. The lift was used by all residents of the flats and there was no service lift available. Our surveyors and tradespeople needed to be mindful of other lift users and consider the lift dimensions when transporting materials to the property.

  • Protecting communal areas

We ensured that care was taken to protect the floor in the communal corridor between the lift and the flat on a daily basis.

  • Limited vehicle parking

All parking had to be arranged with the security team and was only available for vehicles no larger than a transit van. We needed to allow additional cost in the schedule for time taken to enter and leave the property each day and for taking materials in and out of the flat in a manner that didn’t compromise health and safety.

  • Damaged window

The UPVC-faced lounge window had suffered smoke damage. Replacement would have been costly; access would have been very difficult and there would have been issues matching the window with the others on the block of flats. We ensured that this window was correctly and thoroughly cleaned and avoided the need for replacement.

Our team ensured the policy holder was up to speed with the process from the outset. Communication was critical to making the process as smooth as possible at what could be a traumatic time for the policy holder. We made sure they knew what to expect from the repair works, answering any questions in a timely fashion and managing the repair works to a quality standard.

 

 

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