It's important to have a plan and routine in order
to protect a home from mold. This involves constantly looking for watermarks on
ceilings or walls, signs of mold growth and musty smells. If mold is caught
early enough, it can be removed with a simple cleaning solution of bleach and
water. However, preventing mold from growing again requires that the source of
moisture be eliminated. The area where the mold started growing must also be
dried properly. In some cases, the surface or area may simply need to be
replaced. After cleaning the mold and attacking the source, be sure to place
all rags, clothing, materials, paper and other debris affected in a plastic bag
to be thrown in the garbage.
Mold is similar to insect infestations and rot in
the respect that it is usually not covered under a homeowners insurance policy.
Standard policies afford coverage for sudden or accidental disasters. However,
they don't offer coverage for cleaning or maintaining a home. If the mold is a
direct result of a burst pipe or other covered peril, the insurance company may
cover the cost to eliminate the mold.
Since mold is also dangerous, it's important to
tackle the problem immediately if it arises. Mold can cause family members in
the home to become sick. Symptoms are usually similar to allergic reactions or
hay fever. The best way to avoid all of these problems is to take steps to
prevent mold. The following steps can be taken to prevent mold from growing.
Reduce Humidity Level
It's best to keep the humidity level between 30 percent and 60 percent by
utilizing dehumidifiers and air conditioners. Be sure to place exhaust fans in
all bathrooms and kitchens. If carpet is desired, avoid installing it in
bathrooms or kitchens. It's best to have carpet only in rooms that aren't
exposed to moisture on a regular basis. Another important thing to remember is
to avoid letting water pool and collect under house plants.
Check & Replace Hoses
Be sure to regularly inspect pipes, fittings and hoses. It's best to replace
hoses to appliances that use water every five years.
Use Mold-Reducing Products
clean all bathrooms in the home with bleach and water regularly. There are also
several other cleaning products available that are designed to kill mold. It's
a good idea to add mold inhibitors to paint before applying it to the walls or
Exercise Caution After Water Damage
If at any time a large amount of water comes into contact with the home's
interior, it's important to ensure that carpets, upholstery and any other
surfaces that hold water are dried thoroughly and promptly. Everything should
completely dry within 24 to 48 hours following the initial water contact. Items
that can't be dried should be discarded. If there is standing water, remove it
promptly. In addition to promoting mold growth, standing water is a prime
breeding ground for microorganisms. After all areas have been dried, wash and
disinfect them well. This includes the surfaces of appliances, closets, walls,
shelves, floors, heating systems and cooling systems.
Check The Roof & Gutters
Another way to prevent mold is to check the roof and gutters frequently. Clear
the gutters of any debris. If there are any leaks in the roof, have them
repaired immediately to avoid water seeping into the home.
While mold is problematic, it can be prevented with
proper care. For any questions about mold and the specific terms of an
individual homeowners insurance policy, contact your agent.