Mold isn’t just unsightly, it’s unhealthy and exposure can lead to a variety of medical conditions. Mold is insidious, often growing behind walls, under floors and in attics for a significant amount of time before it’s detected.
Homes in humid climates and situated along the ocean or bodies of water are at additional risk for mold. Many homeowner policies don’t cover mold damage, or only under specific circumstances, since its expensive to remediate. There are some measures homeowners can take when filing a claim for mold damage.
Review the Policy
Mold may or may not be covered, depending on the circumstances. Homeowners need to review their policy to determine if mold is a covered peril and learn about any specific exclusions.
As soon as the damage is discovered, file a claim. The longer mold has been growing, the more opportunity it has to cause damage, destroy possessions, and contaminate the premises.
The first inclination is to throw away damaged items. Don’t do it. The insurer will send an adjuster out to inspect the premises and damage. It’s imperative that the adjuster be able to see the full extent of the mold, along with its impact on the home and its contents. The adjuster may want to send a sample, or a moldy item, to a lab to determine what type of mold is present.
Don’t Try to Clean
Without the appropriate tools, knowledge and precautions, homeowners will succeed in contaminating other areas of the home. Cleaning the surface where mold is growing only succeeds in removing the visible signs – not the roots – that are embedded in the material on which its proliferating.
Engage a Public Adjuster
The expert works for the homeowner, not the insurance company. He or she will examine the homeowner’s policy, contact the insurance company when applicable, and negotiate for compensation to address the problem by professionals that specialize in mold remediation.