Mold Avoidance or: How I learned to stop worrying… (A tip of the hat to Dr. Strangelove and Stanley Kubrick.)

There are some societies that encourage the avoidance of eye contact. Here, it would seem that we are all about mold avoidance. According to the Tilex website, mold can grow anywhere there is a food source. “All it takes is a moist environment, room temperature conditions, and an organic food source for mold to feed….” With this in mind, A University of Arizona study examined 160 homes and found mold in 100% of these homes. So, no matter what we do, mold will exist in our homes.

Unfortunately, home insurance excludes any coverage for cleaning up mold, unless it stems from a covered loss. Even if there is coverage, there is generally a small amount of coverage. In most instances, the coverage available for cleaning up mold is about $5,000.

So, now that we know it is everywhere, and we know there is generally no coverage under a home policy, how do we control mold? First, let’s review some of the most common causes of mold. A leaky roof offers a constant supply of moisture. Plumbing leaks offer the same environment as the leaky roof. Damp basements and crawl spaces pose a special challenge.  Incorrectly vented dryers and even firewood stored inside can fuel the growth of mold.

 Again, using the Tilex website as a resource, they suggest to leave basements carpet free, to vacuum regularly, assure adequate ventilation and use exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms. Questions about your coverage? Consult your professional insurance advisor.