Living in South Florida’s temperate climate can sometimes have a negative effect on our home and business. From sensitive allergens produced by cladosporium to the deadly toxins released by stachybotrys, mold has the power to create potentially hazardous and life-threatening situations. There are multiple steps that you can take to not only prevent mold but also prepare should you have to file a claim with your insurance company if your home or office has become infected.
What are the common types of mold to form in homes and businesses?
Known for the cause of asthma attacks, cladosporium can grow on paper, textile, and also decay from woody and herbaceous plants. This type of mold will cause those sensitive to certain types of allergens to experience painful reactions in the form of wheezing or heavy coughing.
Considered the most dangerous from the mold family, stachybotrys is commonly known as black mold. Growing from the outside soil and remains from plants, this type of mold produces lethal toxins that can easily enter your home or business. When there is construction or other services being performed, it is very common for black mold to grow on supplies due to the high cellulose and low nitrogen that surrounds the objects. The only way to be certain if you or your home has been affected by black effected by mold is to have an expert examine the situation as soon as possible.
What should you do if your home or business becomes infected by mold?
Make sure to document everything for your insurance company.
While continuing to protect yourself, make sure to get pictures of the before and after scenes for your insurance claim.Your insurance company will need to be able to see the situation from all perspectives. Both still and video shots are recommended. Keep electronic and hard copies of the photos.
Make sure to constantly protect yourself when attempting to clean.
It is recommended that you wear the following items when dealing with mold:
- Long sleeve shirt to protect your arms
- Hazmat gloves
- Safety goggles
- Make sure to also have a dust filter when cleaning the area.
Eliminate and absorb any standing water.
If a situation has occurred where water has flooded a certain area of your home or business, you will need to have it cleared immediately. By not absorbing the standing water, there becomes a greater chance of new mold forming or the current mold expanding.
Check the air pressure and quality of the room.
There is a strong possibility that the mold grew or spread due to the air quality in the room. Try using an exhaust fan to eliminate the infected air along with getting rid of the mold spores that have formed. You will also need to check your AC unit to make sure the machine is still operating properly.
Water mitigation specialist, Maxine Gomez from Dry Tech 24/7, expands on the best way to keep your surroundings protected from mold. “The best way to prevent mold is to make sure you are not creating an ideal mold growing environment,” states Gomez. “Mold loves humidity, moisture, and a surface to grown on. You should always make sure to keep the humidity low with good, clean, cool air flow.
Properly dispose of the mold.
To remove the mold and properly clean your area, you will need to use a HEPA vacuum. Once you have finished cleaning, make sure to immediately take the mold and all of the tools used outside through the nearest window and not walk through any other area in the house.
Be careful when using outside sources for removing the mold.
There is a growing trend of mold removal scams spreading across the country. If you take the route of using a specialist, it is always best to do you your research. Make sure to know if your specialist is licensed and also know how long they have been in business.
Review your insurance policy to see if there is Mold Contamination Insurance in addition to your Property Coverage.
Depending on your insurer, there will be a clause that details what is specifically known as a peril situation in their eyes. Most insurance companies consider mold contamination as a perilous situation; however, the act of filing a claim can be a lengthy and complication process due to potential exclusions as to how the mold was formed.
Having the right tools and procedures in place can help resolve a potential endangering situation. Knowing what type of property coverage you have on your home or business along with keeping yourself safe are just some of the ways you can protect yourself. Contact one of our specialists today In Broward, Palm Beach or Miami-Dade counties regarding your recent mold contamination.