Creating a Home Inventory List in the Event of a Loss

Damage caused by water and fire can be traumatic. Natural disasters are something that can be planned for, but you’re never fully prepared. In the unfortunate scenario of a water or fire loss, it is most important to stay calm. There are many professionals who are ready to help. The first step is to call your insurance company and open a claim. If an asbestos or microbial disturbance has occurred, your personal property has been contaminated. Alliance Environmental Group can assist by providing your insurance company a prompt, detailed total loss inventory list including photo documentation.

This compilation of inventory is a comprehensive list of the contaminated items in your home. During a claim, the homeowner is to organize a list of their property, however, in the event of a contamination, a non-certified person who lacks proper safety training can be put in extreme danger. Additionally, an individual who attempts to go into a contaminated area and handle or throw away the effected materials can potentially be cited for improper disposal. In order to avoid liability issues, a third-party professional is often hired.

Initial testing of the property will be done to confirm the presence of hazardous materials. The laboratory will provide what is called a “Procedure 5” report. This report will dictate, room by room, the scope of work for the specialty contractor. The protocol might read something such as “bedroom one: remove drywall; total loss of contents” or “all porous items lost.” Hiring a third-party professional ensures the inventory list is generated in a timely manner: the faster the list is compiled, the sooner you can replace your belongings and return to everyday life.

Typical losses include hundreds, even thousands, of items. The licensed and trained third-party contractor enters the affected area(s) and takes pictures of the items. The pictures will show every single item, and even details of the items for reimbursement purposes. The inventory list is then generated based on those photos.

At Alliance Environmental Group, our total loss inventory division project manager, Lorna Hawthorne-Sly, is an expert at creating inventory lists. Previously an insurance adjuster, she knows what to look for in these situations. The inventory is excruciatingly detailed to provide the most accurate information for fair reimbursement. A detailed inventory list may sound like the following: women’s sheath dress, black A-line skirt, coffee table with nail-head detailing. It is important to note: women’s jeans – are they True Religion jeans? Is it a silk blouse? Lorna not only has an eye for these types of important details, but she will also document it. She will take pictures of the tags, inside purse pockets, pictures of the stitching, etc. The pictures are always submitted as well, as a picture tells a thousand words. After the list is complete, it will be sent promptly to the insurance adjuster or property manager, followed by a thumb drive with all the pictures. The thumb drive will contain the pictures cataloged into folders (typically organized by room), a copy of the inventory list, and the invoice. The thumb drive is labeled with the job name/number and either mailed or personally dropped off.

Creating a total loss inventory list is paid at an hourly rate. The hours associated with creating the list depends on the size of the affected area(s). A complete house may contain up to 3,500 items and take eight days to document the inventory, whereas only one room of effected materials may take a few hours.

One thing to note, is what type of inventory will be documented. Alliance Environmental Group is only responsible for creating the inventory list for the contaminated items that will be disposed. The key is to document what items will need to be reimbursed by the insurance company. Therefore, salvageable items will not be documented. Our crews are trained to clean the salvageable items and put them aside in a safe area. They are disciplined to only include the items that have been contaminated to such a degree that it cannot be cleaned or is isn’t cost effective to clean.

In the unfortunate event of a loss, it is important to remain calm. Professional companies, such as Alliance Environmental Group, are happy to help piece everything together again. For further questions on the contents division at Alliance, please call (877) 858-6220 today.

About Alliance Environmental

With more than 75 years of experience, Alliance Environmental Group, Inc. is one of the leading environmental contractors in California. Alliance Environmental provides innovative solutions in the areas of asbestos, lead, and mold abatement; air and HVAC duct cleaning; heat treatment for pest control; structural pasteurization; demolition and emergency response. The company has successfully completed more than 120,000 remediation projects in California and surrounding areas. For more information, go to

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