When it comes to mold, the problem can lead to much more than simply a stench-filled eyesore. Mold can cause serious problems for your house as well as much more serious health hazards for you and your family. However, some varieties of mold might be more dangerous to your house and health than others, just like any other problem. Additionally, the size of the problem can have an effect. While some varieties of household mold may spread gradually, a plumbing problem, such as a burst pipe or a malfunctioning sump pump, can cause water damage to your home and make the mold problem worse.
The easiest way to manage common mold issues in your house is frequently through routine cleaning and home maintenance. You might need to use expert mold removal services instead if your house sustains water damage or if a mold problem gets out of hand. But will the cost of mold eradication be covered by your homeowners insurance? It’s critical to comprehend your home insurance coverage before making a claim for mold damage.
Do homeowners’ policies cover mold?
The majority of the time, mold damage is not covered by homeowner’s insurance. Your insurer will list the identified dangers that are covered by your homeowners insurance policy when you buy it. Named threats including hail, fire, explosions, vandalism, theft, and falling objects are typically included. Whether your policy will cover water damage and its side effects (like mold) typically relies on the cause of the damage. Water damage and its secondary effects are a little tricky. If your insurance provider offers that coverage, buying an optional mold rider may be a wise investment given that mold cleanup can cost anywhere between $10 and $25 per square foot.
Caused by risks that aren’t mentioned
Your homeowners insurance may give coverage if mold develops in your house as a result of damage from a covered danger. For instance, your insurance might pay to repair the damage if a storm damages a window in your home, resulting in rainfall soaking your floors and walls and producing a mold outbreak because the storm was a designated risk. The removal of the mold as part of the mitigation process to recover your property may be covered by your homeowners policy if a broken pipe results in significant water damage and mold. Your deductible and any mold coverage limits imposed by your property insurance would apply to any coverage.
A result of flooding is mold
Flooding is one of the main sources of mold damage since it might take a while for remediation efforts to start after a storm. Mold development can start between 24 and 48 hours following water damage, according to the EPA. Unfortunately, a typical homeowner’s policy does not specifically cover flood damage. Through its National Flood Insurance Program, the Federal Emergency Management Agency offers flood insurance, but the coverage might not cover mold damage.
Due to a sewer backup, mold
Sewer backup water damage is not a covered danger under a typical homeowners policy. However, the majority of property insurers will provide a sewer backup endorsement as an alternative. In general, mold produced by a sewer backup is not covered, but if you have the sewer backup add-on, your policy may extend coverage to mold developing from the sewer backup through the mitigation procedure. You could wish to find out if there is a special mold rider or mold policy in this situation.
Mold brought on by carelessness
When the damage was caused by negligence, home insurance providers typically reject claims. Because negligence is not a specified risk, mold damage brought on by it is not protected by your homeowners insurance. For instance, if your dishwasher leaks and you do not fix it immediately once, your insurance may refuse to pay for any damage that results from the leak, forcing you to pay for the repairs yourself.
How to make insurance claims for mold
With a few minor modifications, you can submit a mold insurance claim in the same manner as a typical homeowners insurance claim. You must take all necessary precautions to stop mold from growing in order to increase your chances of a successful claim. In this manner, even if mold growth is unavoidable, the claims adjuster will be able to determine that you have taken reasonable steps to minimize the damage. Prior to making a claim:
- Dry any spot that has been impacted as promptly and completely as you can.
- By cutting off the water to your home, you can stop leaky pipes.
- Remove saturated furniture, beds, carpeting, and insulation.
- To encourage quicker drying, open the windows and doors and utilize fans.
- To stop the spread of bacteria, use detergent to clean any impacted areas.
- Cover harmed portions like a window that is broken or a hole in the roof.
- Take pictures of every damage, both up close and from a distance.
- Make a claim by contacting your insurance agent.
It is important to separate the mold repair costs from other repair costs if your policy does not specifically exclude mold damage for covered losses. For instance, the contractor will probably charge you a mold cleanup cost if storm damage soaks the drywall in your bedroom and mold develops. List the cost of removing the drywall separately from the mold cleanup price. You can reduce the likelihood that your claim will be denied if the insurer decides not to cover mold repair by splitting the costs.
How to keep mold out of your house
Mold can result in major health issues in addition to being a nuisance in the home. The largest health concerns associated with mold exposure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are for those who have allergies, immune-suppressing illnesses, and respiratory conditions.
Even though it’s nearly difficult to maintain your home mold-free all the time, you can stop mold from becoming out of control with regular maintenance. Frequently, mold can be detected by its musty stench before it can be seen. It can also be touched to feel sticky. Dry mold can develop around dressers, bookcases, and heating and cooling vents as well as on linens and cushions. Regularly adhere to the following lifestyle and maintenance advice to prevent mold:
- Clean up spills right away.
- Check pipes and appliance hoses frequently for leaks, and if possible, repair hoses before they spring a leak.
- Utilize mold-killing agents, like bleach, to clean surfaces like bathroom tile and ceramic floors.
- Install exhaust fans in the bathrooms and kitchen.
- Keep the humidity in your home between 30% and 60%.
- Utilize mold-inhibiting paint on the walls and ceilings.
- In damp spaces like bathrooms and basements, take out the carpeting.
- Don’t let water build up in your house plants’ water reservoirs.
- Check for water seepage in your roof and attic and make any necessary repairs right away.
- Gutter cleaning is necessary to guarantee effective water drainage.
- To stop seepage and keep moisture out, seal windows and doors.
A lot of people have questions
How much does removing mold from your home cost?
The cost to remove mold from your home will probably vary based on your location, the size of your house, the type of mold, the severity and breadth of the problem, how widespread it is, and other elements like the local average wage for labor. However, the price of mold treatment is often high nationwide, ranging from $1,108 to $3,393, or around $2,235 on average.
How much time does it take to remove mold from a home?
It varies. In general, the size of the mold outbreak and its root cause will have a significant impact on how long it takes to eliminate mold from your home. As part of your weekly home cleaning routine, you can usually get rid of the common household mold that develops around sinks and in bathrooms in a couple of minutes. However, if mold is allowed to grow, it may become a more serious problem that will probably need to be removed from your home by a professional for several hours or even days.
What should you do if your claim for mold is rejected?
You can challenge the decision with the insurer if mold isn’t specifically included as an exclusion in your homeowners insurance policy and the provider rejects your claim. You can also complain to the Better Business Bureau or the insurance department of your state if you feel that the insurer has treated you unfairly. Unfortunately, you won’t likely have any options if the insurer rejects a claim for mold damage if your house insurance policy mentions mold damage as an exclusion.
Do homeowners policies cover mold damage from flooding?
No, a flood-related mold outbreak is not covered by a typical homeowner’s insurance policy. Unfortunately, mold damage is not covered by flood insurance, which is available via the National Flood Insurance Program.