9 Ways You Can Prevent Mold in Your Home

Mold can arise from a variety of sources, but most mold incidents stem from a failure to prevent or reduce excess moisture in your home. Dealing with mold issues is never an easy or inexpensive task, so the key is to stop mold growth before it begins.

While there is no foolproof method of preventing all moisture in your home, every mold issue begins with moisture buildup or water intrusion. With small leaks or overflows, homeowners can simply mop and clean with disinfectants, which will usually solve the problem. However, when larger areas of water damage soak carpets and drywall, or a leak involves sewage, it is important to bring in a trained professional in water remediation.

Because of the cost to remediate water leaks, homeowners often scrimp on hiring a professional remediation firm when water damage occurs. However, do-it-yourself cleanups may cost you much more in the end because of health related issues that stem from the mold spores. Some insurance companies may offer higher limits of mold coverage. However, they may require an interior inspection of your property if you wish to purchase the higher limits of coverage to be sure no pre-existing evidence of mold exists in your home.

According to the US Environmental Protection Association, the key to protecting your family from mold is to act immediately any time you have water intrusion in your home. Remediation by a professional should occur within 24 to 48 hours of water damage. If you wait longer, mold can begin to grow. Especially in states with high humidity, like homes in the Southeast, mold is a likely result of water damage.

Here are helpful tips to help you reduce mold claims in your home. If you leave home for an extended period, turn off the main water valve when you go.

  1. Returning from a trip to a flooded home is not only heartbreaking, it is expensive to repair.
  2. Check your home regularly for plumbing leaks. Repairing leaks and patching problem areas right away will help alleviate a water claim from occurring and subsequent mold growth.
  3. Water leaks often begin on the roof or at flashing around windows. It’s suggested to have your roof inspected every few years for lifting or missing shingles and making sure the caulking around your windows is not cracking or pulled away; allowing water to seep in.
  4. Try to reduce indoor humidity to 30-60 percent to decrease mold growth. You can do this by venting bathrooms, dryers, and other m>oisture-generating sources to the outside. When possible, use exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing and cleaning.
  5. Watch your water bill. If it is unusually high, you might have a leak. Leaks in the slab or under sinks may go long periods without discovery and cause significant damage.
  6. Properly maintain the gutters framing the exterior of your home. Make sure runoff moves away from your home’s foundation. If you have low spots around your home where water drains toward your house, angle the soil down and away from your foundation.
  7. Never simply close your home and leave. Consider how long you will be gone and how moisture may accumulate in your absence. Increase ventilation in your home and lower humidity by running air conditioners, de-humidifiers and fans even if you are not home.
  8. Do not install carpeting in areas where there is a continuous moisture problem. For example, in laundry rooms, by sinks or in bathrooms.
  9. Avoid insulation and carpeting in basements, where moisture may appear first. Work to reduce condensation in your home near windows, on floors or near piping by adding insulation where possible.

Due to the natural weather patterns of dampness and humidity in the Southeast, homeowners must take special precautions to avoid mold growth and its damaging effects. Relying on your homeowners coverage to remediate water damage should be your last resort because your deductible will apply and coverage limitations are likely. However, if you do need assistance after a water damage event in your home, your insurance agent can recommend a reputable remediation company.

If you experience water damage, please visit our list of preferred Emergency Services Vendors or call our Claims Department at (800) 675-0415 to find a water remediation vendor in your area.

Please remember that the comments contained in this blog are general in nature and that coverage under any specific policy of insurance will depend upon the terms and conditions of such policy.