I said I would talk more about mold spores. I want to put this in a balanced context as much as possible. However, due to many people having sensitivities to various molds and other health factors it is a challenge.
Keep in mind mold spores are always in the air we breath since these grow outside and will naturally be inside our homes since the air outside will come inside the home.
We all breath in mold spores of various types every day. Our lungs will naturally dispose of these like it does other intruders. If we breath in too many then our aveoli (air sacs in the lungs) can be overwhelmed and it will cause us problems. Much of this depends on the person and their immune system.
I like to compare this to cooking over a grill where on occasion we may breath in a puff of smoke and be briefly affected by it. But if we are surrounded by smoke, that will naturally overwhelm our system. It is similar with mold spores. We just can't see them unless there is a large number of them. Depending on the person over time sensitivities/allergies to certain molds can develop such as breathing difficulties and more.
Most of the time we go through our day and think little to nothing of this. And many people may be affected very little by this if seemingly at all. As you may realize at this point it is important to be aware of the possible dangers involved. More on the next post
The Size of Mold Spores: Did you know the size of mold spores range from about 2 microns to about 20 microns and can be as large as 100 microns. To give you an idea how big (or small) that is it takes about 25,000 microns to equal an inch.
This is an important point. For example: Mold spores are inside the walls of your home back when it was built. They generally just stay there doing nothing until some type of moisture or water comes along.
At that point, within some 24 hours, they start to germinate or grow. The longer the moisture is present the more they grow.
This is especially important for people that are more susceptible or sensitive to various molds.
Consider this scenario: Drywall is often removed to fix a leak or to help dry an area when a leak is found. However, it is important to do this under containment so as not to let potential mold spores sitting in the walls 'out' to roam your home. Because at 2 to 20 microns they are microscopic and can't be seen with the unaided eye.
Water damage technicians may often say 'we did not find any mold'. They mean 'visible mold'. It can take several days before mold growth becomes visible.
In the mean time your home can be flooded with a large number of mold spores which can affect people adversely depending on their health.
I'll talk more about this on the next post. Stay tuned!
This can seem a little complicated the first time you go through it. Some of this I may have covered on a previous blog. But because I keep running into this when I go on inspections I want to help people understand what they need to do in this process of a potential insurance claim especially if mold may be involved.
Each insurance company has a policy on mold coverage and it it is important for you to know what that coverage is for your particular insurance company and your particular policy. Realistically, most people don't know what their coverage is until they actually have a potential claim and then they have to call their agent and investigate to find out what their coverage actually is. Keep in mind when calling your agent they are not an employee of the insurance company. Their primary job is to sell you or provide you with coverage options for your insurance. And they cannot make a decision whether you have coverage on a particular issue or not. That would be the adjuster's job.
Many times insurance companies, through their agents, will discourage making a claim so they can keep their payouts lower. They may say things like 'if you file this claim then the risk of your policy being cancelled goes up'. Although, this might be true, it does not always reflect what will actually happen. It is true the more claims that are made in a short period, say in 3 years time, will likely result in your policy being cancelled so you need to decide which claims are more important to file. Normally you want to have a larger claim filed as opposed to filing claims for smaller amounts say like 2 or $3000 depending on your particular situation.
In my experience of handling insurance claims in water damage since 2005 it is usually best to report that you have found a leak of some sort as opposed to saying 'I have mold in my house'. Insurance companies that cover mold will normally have a cap on the mold coverage. For example, State Farm has a cap of $5000 to cover anything related to mold Including repairs related to mold. Where the insurance company Farmers does not cover mold, yet they will cover any repairs related to mold after the mold remediation has been completed.
However, that is not the same as water mitigation or dry out services. Anything to do with water mitigation or dry out services is handled separately as a different expense although it may be in the same claim. And the cap on water damage services is normally the policy limit whatever that limit may be. Say, up to the value of the house.
One more point I want to make is this:
Sometimes using an approved vendor or a vendor Of a particular insurance company is not always the best way to go. There are several reasons for this to consider In your particular situation.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.