Mold is a common problem many homeowners find difficult to manage. Not only can mold cause extensive damage to the home, but it is also a health hazard. So, before you discover mold damage in your home, you need to know whether your homeowners insurance offers coverage for mold damage.
Mold grows in any damp place and can also grow on surfaces such as ceiling tiles, wood, paper, or cardboard. It can also get into carpets, fabrics, upholstery, and insulation. If you don’t tackle the problem right away, the mold will spread and you will be faced with extensive damage.
Where to Look for Mold Damage
It can be difficult to prevent mold from entering your home because it can pass through even the tiniest opening. You will likely find it growing near doorways, vents, windows, or air conditioning systems.
Mold especially likes moist areas such as pipes, roofs, plant pots, walls, or where wetness has occurred. In most cases, you’ll be able to smell mold before you see it. For instance, you’ll notice a musty odor similar to rotting dirt or leaves before you spot visible signs of the mold.
How to Know if Mold is Toxic
Toxic mold will have a grayish color with a soot-like texture. It may also appear wet or slimy with furry brown or orange spots. Stachybotrys chartarum (black mold) produces mycotoxins that can cause moderate side effects in some people such as:
- Persistent cough or sneezing
- Chest pain, wheezing
- Burning sensation in the lungs and throat
- Migraine headache
This type of mold can also cause serious health problems including:
- Breathing problems
Not everyone is sensitive to mold, but for those that are, the symptoms can be disruptive to their daily lives. If someone in your family experiences recurring episodes of these symptoms with no obvious cause, toxic mold may be the culprit.
Tips for Preventing Mold Damage in Your Home or Other Buildings
Sometimes, getting rid of a mold infestation requires the skills of a professional and the costs can be extensive. You can take steps to help prevent mold in your home and avoid costly repairs.
Here is a checklist of things you can do to protect your home from mold:
- Fix any water leaks promptly.
- Maintain the humidity level in the home between 30 to 50 percent.
- Make sure bathroom and dryer vents lead out of the home.
- Use exhaust fans when cooking, cleaning, and washing dishes,
- Install proper ventilation systems in the attic or crawl spaces.
- Insulate cold surfaces such as walls, windows, pipes, and roofs.
- Avoid carpeting wet areas such as bathrooms and laundry rooms.
- Patch holes or cracks in the basement.
- Inspect the roof, plumbing, and walls regularly for leaks or openings.
- Use mold-killing products when cleaning wet areas.
Remember, hiring a professional mold remediation company will charge from $1,000 to $6,000, depending on the extent of the problem. The costs of these repairs may or may not be covered by your homeowner’s policy, so check it out.
Does Homeowners Insurance Provide Coverage for Mold Damage?
Standard homeowners policies cover mold damage that results from a covered peril that is accidental or sudden in nature and the mold is hidden. For example, mold resulting from the following accidents is covered:
- A pipe or drain hose attached to your sink or water heater ruptures or leaks
- Washing machine or other appliance malfunctions
- Toilet overflows
- Firefighters extinguishing a fire
- Roof damage caused by water during a storm
Mold caused by flooding is not typically covered by homeowners insurance, since flood insurance is separate. Coverage for mold can be included on your homeowners policy by adding water backup coverage or hidden water damage coverage. Talk to your agent to find out the best option for your needs.
Mold removal coverage will only cover up to a specific dollar amount, and varies by company and policy. Typically, the coverage ranges from $1,000 to $10,000 per occurrence. You may be able to increase the amount by adding a policy rider at an additional cost.
Damage from mold that begins as a result of neglect, poor ventilation, broken sump pumps, or clogged sewer lines is not covered by homeowners insurance.
Contact Sandifer Insurance to Learn More About Coverage for Mold Damage
Mold can be a costly nuisance, and it can interfere with your family’s lifestyle, cause health problems, or render your home unsellable. Don’t hesitate to do what you can to protect your home and family from these drastic consequences of mold damage.
If you are considering coverage for mold damage, contact us today. Sandifer Insurance Agency works with America’s top insurance companies to provide the best coverage for our client’s needs. One of our agents will be happy to answer your questions and recommend a policy that is best for your home and family.
Located near historic downtown Cheraw, SC, Sandifer Insurance Agency has helped local customers and those in surrounding areas choose the right coverage at an affordable price. So, reach out to us today by phone, email, or online to learn more about our services.