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Originally Created By: Home Insurance Blog, 2/24/12
Re-posted By: Associated Insurance, 4/4/12

The first step to preventing mold growth in your home is to remove excessive moisture. Keep an eye out for musty smells and water marks on ceilings and walls.

Fortunately, mold can usually be easily removed if caught quickly with bleach, water, and good old-fashioned elbow grease. Make sure to promptly remove the source of the moisture and have that area of material dried, cleaned or possibly replaced.

Unfortunately, mold is generally not covered by a standard homeowner’s policy because home insurance is generally designed to cover sudden and accidental incidents, not cleaning and maintenance. However, if the mold, for example, was the result of a burst pipe or flood, there may be some coverage.

To prevent mold growth in your home and avoid the costly cleanup that can come along with it- our agents have compiled some tips:

  • Reduce the humidity in your home to 30-60% using air conditioners or dehumidifiers or putting exhaust fans in kitchen/bathroom areas.
  • Don't put carpet in areas that have a way of getting wet, like in bathrooms or basements.
  • Clean your house with mold-reducing products such as bleach.
  • Inspect all hoses, pipes and fittings on a regular basis. For example, change the hoses on your dishwasher every five years, at a whopping cost of $5 to $10.
  • Keep gutters clean and ensure they are unobstructed.
  • Keep an eye on your roof to prevent any water from seeping into your home.

Even after your home has been flooded or had significant water damage, there are some things you can do to alleviate future trouble.

  • Properly dry or remove soaked carpets as soon as possible. These carpets are mold and bacteria traps.
  • Rid the house of any standing water, not just because of mold growth, but also insects.

Most homeowners don’t worry about the threat of mold in and around their home until it becomes a problem. Left undetected, mold can quickly become a widespread issue and a big expense to be cleaned up.

Here’s the lowdown on what to look for around your home and what you need to know about mold remediation:

  • It is recommended that homeowners check their home regularly for mold and to have an annual mold inspection conducted by a licensed professional. This will ensure that even the smallest problem is quickly identified and resolved.
  • Key areas in your home prone to mold are anywhere that moisture exists and lingers. For example, be sure to check basements, crawl spaces, attics, bathrooms, kitchens, around window casements and anywhere else that has a chance to become damp.
  • Mold remediation is the process of removing, cleaning and treating an area that has been consumed by mold growth. Many people wonder if mold remediation is covered by a standard home insurance policy. The answer is a tricky one as it varies from policy to policy and depends on the cause of the mold. For example, if a pipe bursts in a basement and the resulting water causes mold growth, a homeowners insurance company may cover the claim. However, you really need to talk to your agent about the specifics of your policy and the situation.
  • One reason it is so important to detect mold growth in a home immediately is because the cost of cleaning it increases as the problem grows. In fact, the III reported in a recent white paper that the average mold claim ranged from $15,000 to $30,000- about five times the average cost of a non-mold claim.
  • The biggest concern with mold inside of a home is the toxic characteristics that can make it dangerous to the health of the homeowner and their family.  Children and adults can be affected by various conditions caused by mold including asthma, allergies, chronic sinus infections and other respiratory problems. Have your home checked regularly to avoid any health issues with mold.
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