We had a home fire about a month and a half ago. Our wood furniture has been cleaned professionally using ozone but still smells like smoke. Our insurance agent is suggesting just having it sanded and refinished. We are concerned that because the wood is retaining a smoke smell simply refinishing it will not remove the smoke smell. The furniture was left in the home for about a month before it was removed for cleaning which may be contributing to the problem. Can we insist our insurance pay for us to replace the furniture instead of merely trying to refinish?
I beleive it quite reasonable for you to request that your insuracne carrier reconsider and agree to repalce the damaged furniture. Offer to give the damaged possessions to the agent/adjuster who suggested the furniture be sanded and refinished. Sanding and refinishing lessens the useful life of the furniture. Smoke, ash and soot can penetrate fabric. leather and wood – certain hard surfaces may be cleanable and won’t retain a smoke odor. Cleaining efforts have failed. You seek indemnification – and being forced to have possessions damaged in a fire with a continuing, noticeable smoke odor returned to your home is not indemnification as provided by your policy. If the smoke odor is not completely eliminated, the odor could spread to other areas, and fabrics, making a correctable situation worse. Be courteous and professional in communications with your carrier – but seeking replacement appears proper.