Is Mold Damage Covered by Home Insurance?

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While mold won’t set off an alarm like fire or carbon monoxide would, it is almost as perilous. As a homeowner, learning you have a mold problem can be a shocking experience. Exposure to mold, as you probably know, can cause property damage as well as a several health hazards.

What’s worse is that your home insurance policy may not be able to cover its removal or the ensuing damages.

So, back to the original question, will your home insurance cover mold damage? In a word, yes! In this case, it will only cover damage caused by a “covered peril.” Otherwise, your insurer will likely not cover it. There is good news, though – exceptions do exist!

Check your home policy to see whether it talks about mold. Some insurers may cover mold-related problems to some extent. This may mean limiting how much the insurer will pay in the event you have a mold problem.

If your homeowner’s insurance policy doesn’t have any language about mold claims, you may ask your insurance agent to amend your existing policy to include it. Of course, this will mean additional fees for you.

Some insurance policies provide limited coverage for mold problems. This is usually done in two ways. One, by limiting or capping how much the insurer will pay. Or two, by stating that the insurer will only pay for certain services and excluding others.

What Can Cause Mold to Grow in Your Home?

Mold growth can happen in any home, under a myriad of conditions. The following are some of the common contributing factors:

  • Heat: Mold doesn’t grow in cold environments, typically. Most molds need at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit to grow.
  • Darkness: Mold often grows in dark areas. But while mold can also grow in light environments, dark areas usually provide the ideal growing conditions for mold. In fact, mold tends to grow faster in a dark environment. It can, for example, grow much quickly on a soggy cloth in a drawer.
  • Lack of airflow: Areas with poor ventilation are often hot spots for mold growth.
  • Moisture: Molds require water to grow, without water mold cannot grow. Soggy clothes lying around, leaks, and exceptionally humid weather can all contribute to the growth of mold in your home.

How Can You Protect Your Home from Mold?

When it comes to mold, it’s important to take your health and your home care into your own hands. You don’t just want to rely on your insurance to make you whole. With that in mind, here is what you can do to avoid mold problems.

  • Watch out for those leaks. If you’re getting an unusually high water bill, find out the root cause as quickly as you can.
  • Make sure your yard slopes away from your foundation. In other words, make sure you have proper yard grading.
  • Avoid installing carpet in wet areas such as kitchens, basements, and bathrooms.
  • Routinely check indoor sources of moisture (toilets, faucets, appliance hoses, leaky pipes).
  • Insulate floors, roofs, pipes, walls, windows, and other cold surfaces to reduce condensation.
  • Use exhaust fans when dishwashing, cooking and using any other appliance that creates moisture.
  • Keep the humidity level in your home. Ideally, keep it below 50%.

How Much Does It Cost to Remove Mold?

Mold can spread like wildfire if you leave it untreated. As such, if you notice it growing in your home, take care of it as quickly as you can. Now, how much it takes to remove it depends on how severe the problem is.

According to HomeGuide.Com, the average cost of mold remediation is $2,325, with the majority of homeowners spending anywhere between $15 to $31 per sq. ft. A small remediation project can cost you up to $1,500, while a larger job will cost you up to $6,000.

What Do Mold Remediation Professionals Do?

Obviously, the time it takes to remove the mold issue will depend on how severe it is. If just some washing and removing the carpet is involved, then a mold remediation company can clean up the mold in a matter of days.

However, if demolition and rebuilding are required, then a few weeks may be required.

Broadly speaking, a mold remediation process entails doing the following:

  • Getting rid of any materials that have been damaged by water or infested with mold.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting the carpet, walls, and personal items.
  • Removing the drywall if the mold problem is widespread.
  • Vacuuming your home using HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters.

You may need to live elsewhere during the mold remediation process. This is especially true if the mold infestation is severe.

So, is mold damage covered by home insurance? Yes and no! ‘Yes’ – when the mold damage was caused by a “covered peril” and ‘No’ if the damage was caused by problems that you could’ve prevented. 

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