Mold is the ultimate unwanted house guest with a nasty habit of turning up in tricky areas- especially when water and moisture are present. Getting rid of it usually involves a professional inspection and remediation- but who is left holding the bill?
If your home requires an inspection by a professional mold remediation team, you need to know whether or not you are responsible for paying for it- and if your homeowners’ insurance will cover you.
Here is all the information you need.
What Is Mold Remediation?
First things first: what is mold remediation? In short, mold remediation removes harmful mold spores, finds the cause of the problem, and restores a natural level of natural mold spores in a property.
There are five crucial steps in the mold remediation process:
- Identifying the indoor areas that have mold growth
- Testing the materials for the types of mold- and testing the air to determine the contamination levels
- Containing the affected areas to prevent further damage
- Removing damaged materials and bringing back the natural spore levels
- Preventing future mold growth by eliminating the root of the spread and addressing the reasons it began in the first place
Who Pays for Mold Remediation?
Determining who pays for mold remediation is fairly simple: if you own and are solely responsible for the property, then it most likely falls to you- but there are some cases where you are covered by homeowners insurance.
It gets a little more complicated if a property is rented or managed by someone else- and if the mold was caused by something someone did or failed to do.
When Are Homeowners Responsible for Mold Remediation Costs?
It is almost always the homeowner’s responsibility to pay for mold remediation services in their properties- but they may be able to claim back some or all of the cost from their insurance company.
You will likely have to pay for the services yourself if the mold appeared because of something you did- or in an area you knew was damaged and didn’t fix on time. Insurance covers mold remediation after accidents or unavoidable water damage- except storm or flood damage.
If you are the owner but somebody else manages your property and is responsible for monitoring these issues, they could be liable for the costs if they fail to act quickly enough or properly report problems to you.
When Are Landlords Responsible for Mold Remediation Costs?
Unless you can prove that a tenant’s negligence directly caused mold to spread, then- as the landlord- you are responsible for the costs. Keeping a property safe and habitable is a landlord’s core care duty to their renters. That includes the removal of mold.
Sometimes, landlord insurance provides coverage for mold remediation- but it depends on policy details.
When Are Renting Tenants Responsible for Mold Remediation Costs?
A renter is generally not responsible for mold remediation costs in the property they live in. The only exceptions would be:
If they have signed a legally-binding lease agreement that states their responsibility
If the most occurred as a direct result of their negligence or mistreatment of the property
Examples of when a tenant would be at fault- and ultimately responsible for the ensuing costs- include:
Failure to report potential problems to their landlord promptly
Leaving spills and extra water lying around for too long
Improperly ventilating areas with moisture and humidity
The landlord would need to be able to prove this negligence to enforce payment from their tenants.
Why are Professional Mold Remediation Services Important?
Facing a bill for mold remediation may put some people off having their properties inspected- but it is vitally important not to ignore mold growth in your house. The cost is nothing compared to the potential health risks and safety violations- not to mention potential structural damage if it is left for too long.
Mold is not something you should ever attempt to remove yourself past simple clean-ups- it is a dangerous pathogen that can irritate skin and aggravate health conditions- and spreads easily through the air when disturbed.
A professional mold remediation company provides trained experts with specialist equipment for safely handling and removing mold. They can contain and eliminate the spread of spores without creating more problems.
Here are some other reasons for hiring a professional mold remediation team.
- You gain peace of mind that everything is handled safely.
- They can find the root of the problem to avoid fast-returning mold issues.
- Professional inspections uncover all hidden mold-affected areas you might miss if you do it yourself.
- Using the right tools and materials is far more efficient for completely removing mold.
- Remediation goes beyond a simple clean and clear- it restores safe, natural mold levels and identifies potential problem areas in your home.
Depending on the circumstances and lease conditions, either the homeowner, landlord, or tenant is responsible for the cost of mold remediation services. Sometimes, all or part of the cost may be covered by your insurance company, but it is not guaranteed.
If you are looking for a competitively-priced, reliable, and professional mold remediation company to help with mold damage in your property- Water Damage Restoration of Austin has the people for the job. Contact the team today for a quote and to arrange a mold inspection.
Don’t let potentially dangerous mold linger in your home- find out who is responsible for covering the cost, and act quickly to get your mold problem under control.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does insurance cover Mold?
Mold coverage varies between policies- and it is also dependent on the circumstances that caused it. You may be able to claim back the costs of a mold inspection and remediation if actions beyond your control lead to the problem.
It also depends if your homeowners’ insurance includes mold damage coverage- not all of them do, and you may need to take out a separate policy.
If you believe you have a mold claim, check the details of your homeowners’ insurance policy as soon as possible, and report the problem quickly before it can worsen.
Does home insurance cover mold from water damage?
Most homeowners insurance policies cover mold caused by water damage in situations classed as a covered peril. It means sudden events or accidents that lead to water damage- and eventually mold.
These are not always the same, but certain circumstances are usually included. Some examples include:
- Burst pipes
- Roof leaks
- Water damage from a fire extinguisher used in an emergency
- Plumbing problems
- Clogged sewer line
You may require a separate flood insurance policy to cover mold damage after flooding.
Other water damage-related circumstances that your insurance company may not cover include:
- Storm damage (usually covered by flood insurance)
- Leaks from old appliances, baths, and sinks that were not fixed
- Poorly sealed doors or old windows that are not of a high enough standard to protect
Why is mold excluded from insurance?
Some homeowner insurance policies exclude mold remediation services if the damage results from your actions- or inactions. If you should have fixed something but didn’t, and it leads to leaks, excess moisture, or other mold growth, then you will probably be liable to pay the expenses yourself.
Storm or flood-related mold damage is also generally excluded from a standard homeowners insurance policy- since it is covered separately.
What is the difference between mold remediation and mold removal?
The key differences between mold remediation and mold removal services are the depth of the investigation and the process of tackling the damage.
With mold removal- as the name suggests- the idea is to remove damaged materials and replace them with fresh ones. On the other hand, mold remediation services look for the source of the problem and take steps to prevent mold from coming back.
The remediation process restores mold spores to the expected levels that should be present in a house- making it harder for growth to spread again. Although a removal service removes everything there, it doesn’t look for what brought it there so that it may return faster.
Can you stay in your home during mold remediation?
There is no definitive answer to whether or not you can stay in your home during mold remediation- it depends on the circumstances. Bear in mind that the process can take between a few hours and a few days- so there is much to consider before making your decision.
It may be safe to stay at home if the mold is isolated to one area of the property- in which case the professional team can seal the area to protect your safety.
If the problem is more widespread- or in an area that cannot be blocked off- you should stay elsewhere until it is finished.
Mold spores harm your health- especially if you have asthma or other respiratory issues. The remediation process disturbs these spores before removing them, so you don’t want to be around to breathe in the air during that time. It is also not advisable for children, pets, or older adults to stay in their homes during mold remediation.