Home Damage: Mold
Residents living in Florida can expect to expose their properties to more than just hurricanes and floods. Sustained high humidity means even the smallest water leak damage can sneak in one of nature’s stealthiest and most unwelcome culprits: mold. Mold is a fungus that spreads undetected behind walls and in ceilings. Not only does it deteriorate a property’s structure and cause damage to possessions, but the spores it produces expose residents to serious threats to their respiratory health. Some people have died due to mold exposure. Property owners in mold-prevalent areas must know how to protect themselves from its invasion, what to do when mold appears, and when to call a public adjuster.
Prevention Is Possible
The key to preventing mold is proactively monitoring where water could be coming into the property and taking some extra steps to remove any moisture build-up.
- Check gutters regularly to make sure they are clear of debris. Rain that can’t flow freely through the gutters creeps back underneath shingles or into small cracks, drips into attics and insulation, and becomes an easy breeding ground for mold.
- Install vents in bathrooms and make sure they are cleaned regularly to keep air flowing and moisture out.
- When remodeling, use mold-resistant paints, drywall, and flooring. Opt for tile and water-resistant laminate rather than carpeting.
- Check waterline connections to refrigerators, sinks, dishwashers, washing machines, and other appliances. Sometimes, a small leak under a fridge or a cabinet can go undetected for weeks, giving the mold ample time to grow.
- Use a solution of 50 percent water and 50 percent bleach to clean surfaces in your home. The bleach will kill unseen mold spores and prevent their spread.
- Use a dehumidifier in especially humid rooms.
Be Picky about Property Insurance
Not all property insurance policies cover mold damage. Because of the increased cost of safely removing mold, most insurance companies now only offer mold damage coverage at an additional premium. If you live in a humid area of Florida or are in a flood plain, ensure your policy contains mold damage coverage. Ask your agent how many claims of that kind are made in the area and what the extra costs would be to cover any mold clean-up or removal.
When Mold Appears
Even the best vigilance can’t prevent every outbreak of mold in a home. Residents who return to flood- or hurricane-damaged homes may have been away too long to have prevented the mold from moving in. It only takes 24 to 48 hours for mold to take hold, spread, and grow. There are a few steps residents can take or not take at the first appearance of mold:
- If the mold is covering a large portion of a room, do not attempt to clean it up yourself. Professionals are trained to remove the mold with proper equipment that protects their health.
- Do not open windows. Bringing in more humid air from the outside will do more to foster mold growth than dry things out.
- Do not spend any time in the room or vicinity. Children under the age of 12 and those with weak immune systems should keep out of mold-infected rooms.
- Locate your property insurance policy so you are clear about what kind of water leak and mold damage coverage you may have.
- Even if you don’t know if you are covered, call LMR Public Adjusters to begin the claim process. LMR Public will be able to tell you what is covered, and also tell you what kind of service providers you will need to contact and how many bids you will need to receive before they approve the clean-up or repair.
If You Don’t Think You Have Coverage
Even if you don’t think you are covered for your water leak damage insurance claim. It will be advantageous to hire a professional public adjuster who will work for you and not your insurance company. LMR Public Adjusters will be able to effectively assess the damage and make sure you receive all the benefits of your property insurance policy, you are entitled to.
At LMR Public Adjusters, we provide our clients with a professional evaluation from a trusted and experienced adjuster so you can continue to live worry-free with personalized customer service for residents of Florida. With 15 years of experience as a qualified public adjuster we are leading experts in flood, hurricane, water leak, and mold damage for residential and commercial properties.
Mold Doesn’t Have to Win
Even though its mode of operation is a sneak attack, mold can be caught and stopped with some simple preventative measures. For those living in humid, flood-prone, or hurricane zones, it is important to carry extra mold damage insurance. Remember, you don’t have to take no as an answer from your insurance company. If they say your mold damage isn’t covered, LMR Public Adjusters can get you the financial assistance needed to stop and remove the mold.