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 doors.
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.