I see mold in my house. Does my insurance cover mold damage?
Yes and no, you should know that your insurance policy mentions mold. However, it will likely limit what they will pay for or exclude it altogether. If you feel like your home has been affected by mold you should hire a public adjuster. Many times the mold you see is a result of a leaky plumbing or roof system. Establishing what caused the moisture usually tackles any denial or limitation your insurer may try to impose when not wanting to pay your claim. Where you see mold might actually be something actually covered by your insurance. Hidden water leaks are more likely the cause of your mold rather than random mold growth. Mold won’t just randomly grow. Be cautious in what you say when talking with your insurance company, know that using the word mold won’t help you more than hurt. A professional claim handler would understand to locate the water source and call it what it is and not highlight the consequence of mold formation. Most of the time your problem is not really mold however mold becomes the symptom.
What causes mold to grow?
Mold is a result of three elements combined. In order for mold to grow you need darkness, stagnate air, and moisture. This is what breeds the growth of mold. Eliminating one of the three will stop mold from growing and spreading.
Is mold dangerous?
Mold is very dangerous but has been around since the beginning of time. The bible references mold. The earth is full of mold and so is your home. Mold in high concentration is the real problem. If a person ingest mold or breath in the mold spores their life can be in jeopardy. Many times doctors misdiagnose the effects of mold. It’s important to tell your treating doctors if you think you may have come across mold. The doctors can run specific tests to confirm the presences of mold in your system. Keep in mind that once you eliminate any one of the three factors needed to grow mold the mold that grew will die. Unfortunately the negative effects of mold continue even after it dies. Like a dead corpse mold spores rot. Once the mold begins to rot it will off gas toxic fumes that can also make you sick.
Can my property be tested for mold?
Yes, properties can be tested for mold contamination. All properties have mold in them. The testing establishes if the mold spore count is higher indoors than outside. The danger is having elevated levels inside a property more than the outdoors. Testing involves air sampling of both inside and outside to check the balance between the two. Also swabbing can be done on specific visible mold growth. Mold species vary and some are worse than others.
How do I clean mold?
The EPA has guidelines when dealing with mold infestation and clean up. In most cases the contaminated material is simply removed and replaced. The rule of thumb is to extract contaminated material until you get three feet of clearance past where mold can be seen in any direction. There are special topical disinfectants that are made for ratifying the mold. Special equipment is used to capture the mold spores. Also special containment barriers are used to limit the travel of the spore into other areas of the property. Hiring companies whose focus is on mold clean up exist but are expensive. Property owners and their craftsmen can buy respirators to do this work to be safe. These respirators can be bought at any hardware store. Your insurance will pay in some cases limited amounts of money to address the mold portion of your problem. A public adjuster can help explain and oversee the process for you.