Having mold present in your home causes a musty odor and can be hazardous to your health.
If your home is flooded by a severe storm, a leaky roof or a broken pipe, mold spores could begin to spread due to the excessive moisture. Even though it is not visible, mold can still be lurking on certain objects within the household. Whether or not mold is covered by homeowners insurance often comes down to the source of moisture and the wording of a policy. Most basic homeowners insurance policies exclude coverage of damage caused by mold, fungi, and bacteria. Yet that doesn’t mean a mold claim will be denied automatically.
In most cases, if mold results from a sudden and accidental covered peril, such as a pipe bursting, the cost of remediation should be covered. That’s because technically the pipe burst is the reason for the claim, not the mold itself. Claims are more likely to be rejected if mold is caused by neglected home maintenance; long-term exposure to humidity, or repeated water leaks and seepage.
Moisture prevention is the key
The surest way to avoid having a claim denied is keeping mold at bay in the first place. Preventing mold and eliminating mold when it does occur are critical to protecting the value of your home.
To help prevent mold growth in your home, we suggest following these guidelines:
- Lower indoor humidity with air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and exhaust fans.
- Inspect hoses and fittings on appliances, sinks and toilets.
- Use household cleaners with mold-killing ingredients like bleach.
- Opt for paints and primers that contain mold inhibitors.
- Clean gutters to avoid overflow and check roof for leaks.
- Avoid carpet in wet areas like basements and bathrooms.
- Remove and dry carpet, padding, and upholstery within 48 hours of flooding.
Generally, if items have been wet for two days or longer, mold has had the opportunity to set in. Other items that are made of more porous material may be at risk of mold infestation sooner than two days. Remove carpet, wood or laminate flooring as mold can become trapped between the sub floor and the floor covering. Throw away sofas, chairs and mattresses that have sustained water damage. Contact a mold inspector through the help of your Insurance Advisor’s agent.
Because of the unknown effects to your health, vacate your home during the mold removal process. Never re-enter your mold-infested home without wearing a mask.