March 10, 2021
Mold seems to love the Hudson Valley. Our cold, snowy winters can lead to burst water pipes and ice dams in our gutters, leading to water damage. Our wet springtime leads right into weeks of summer humidity that can trap moisture inside and outside our homes. And our famous fall foliage can become sludgy piles of wet leaves up against our houses and buildings. In our region of the country, it’s not uncommon to find mold in homes and businesses.
If you suspect that your home has a mold issue, you should immediately notify your insurance agent.
Generally, mold may be covered by a homeowners policy if it happened quickly as a result of a covered loss, such as a burst pipe, and the homeowner has contacted their insurance agent as soon as the mold was discovered. To discover if coverage exists, there are many questions an agent will ask, such as:
Using this information, your agent will contact the carrier’s claims department to find out whether or not the cost of removal and cleanup of the mold is covered, and possibly if the property damage caused by mold is covered.
The best defense against mold is prevention
To prevent mold, it’s important to quickly address any areas where water or humidity may lead to mold growth. This can be done by regularly checking the exterior of your house to make sure windows, doors and siding are in good shape, ensuring that gutters and downspouts properly drain water away from the structure and preventing ice damming in your gutters during the winter.
Inside your home, use dehumidifiers in damp areas such as basements and laundry areas, check throughout the structure for signs of leaky pipes, including near appliances (such as laundry machines, dishwashers, refrigerators, air conditioners, and water heaters), and even around areas where pets are active, such as water bowls, fish tanks, etc.
It is important to address mold immediately before it causes further loss to property, or becomes a health concern.