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Mold & Mildew

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Mold is a serious problem and a likely occurrence when there is water damage.

While mold may be hard to detect following water damage, if you wait too long, the consequences can be disastrous. Mold can damage building structure and also cause serious health problems for those who come into contact with the mold or those who breathe in even small amounts of the minute airborne spores.

According to FEMA, signs there may be mold are:

  • Moisture condensation on windows

  • Cracking of plasterboard

  • Drywall tape loosening

  • Wood warping and musty odor

Mold typically occurs where there is water…

While mold needs a place to grow, often one that is fairly dark, the key ingredient needed is water—whether from humidity, flooding, moisture. When floors, crevasses, drywall, air ducts, or wood panels absorb water during a flood or storm disaster, the water can literally be absorbed into the structure of the substance of which they are made. Another leading cause is a pipe burst or a roof leak. Another cause is standing water located under the home. Yet another place where mold may form is from humidity condensing onto a cool surface.

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Other than flooding, some of the leading causes of mold include: backed-up sewers, leaky roofs, humidifiers, mud or ice dams, damp basement or crawl spaces, constant plumbing leaks, house plants — watering can generate large amounts of moisture, steam from cooking, shower/bath steam and leaks, wet clothes on indoor drying lines, clothes dryers vented indoors, and combustion appliances (e.g. stoves) not exhausted to the outdoors.

Mold color:

The color of mold can range from many colors including white mold, orange mold, green mold, brown mold and black mold. The scent of mold is often described as “musty”, “smelling like mildew” or “earthy”. But sometimes there can be mold somewhere in your home, yet you detect no scent.

If you have found mold, there are some steps
you can take to mitigate damage.

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Clean the area thoroughly.

Use disinfectant. Dry the area completely. There may be an underlying problem causing the mold to grow, namely a hidden source of water or moisture. If so, you need to eliminate the source of the moisture. If you clean up the open and obvious mold area and then afterwards remove the moisture source, you will undoubtedly have to clean up again. Mold is indeed likely to return if the moisture source is not fully removed from the area.

Generally speaking, you can use household cleaners mixed in warm water with a mild abrasive such as a brush to scrub away the mold. Never mix bleach with ammonia, however, because this produces toxic fumes. Be sure to rinse away the chemicals with fresh water and then dry the affected areas.

You should bag and dispose of any material that has moldy residues, such as rags, paper, leaves, or debris. Harder materials such as glass, plastic, or metal can be kept after they are cleaned and disinfected.

Carpeting can be a difficult problem.

Drying does not remove the dead spores. If there is heavy mold, consider replacing the carpet. If flooded, remove all drywall to at least 12 inches above the high water mark. Try cleaning a small test patch of mold first. If you feel that this adversely affects your health, you should consider paying a licensed contractor or professional to carry out the work. Air your house out well during and after the work.

Insurance coverage and mold damage:

Mold damage is covered under many insurance policies.

Be sure you document everything.

Do so with photographs, save all receipts, and contact your insurance company.

A licensed Public Adjuster can help you too.

Just call 1 800 ADJUSTERS to speak with a professional Adjuster to be on your side.

And at all times know that you are not alone.

There are also professional licensed public adjusters who are ready to help you find all the hidden damage, document everything, and help you deal with the Insurance Company.

1-800-ADJUSTERS is a valuable resource to get the help you need for your mold or water damage insurance claim.