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Do you know if you are covered for mold damage for your home? Most standard homeowners policies exclude such claims except in cases where the mold is a result of a sudden occurrence such as a burst pipe or water damage caused extinguishing a fire. Mold caused by a slow leak or a faulty roof will not be covered.

Mold is one of those insidious types of damage that you may not even know you have for years. But the expected multiple downpours expected from El Niño has brought this to the front of many people’s minds lately. With water damage very often bringing mold, it is important that you are aware of the costs associated with mold removal and if you are covered for those costs with your homeowners policy

Most experts agree that an average mold removal can cost anywhere from around $4,000 to $15,000 or more. A lot of the cost depends on the size and scope of the damage and well as the location. Is there mold growing inside a wall or in heating and air conditioning ducts or is there just mold growing under a sink?

Mold can be prevented or at least slowed by taking a few simple steps. The Insurance Information Institute (III) recommends the following:

  • Lower indoor humidity with air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and exhaust fans.
  • Inspect hoses and fittings on appliances, sinks, and toilets.
  • Use household cleaners with mold-killing ingredients like bleach.
  • Opt for paints and primers that contain mold inhibitors.
  • Clean gutters to avoid overflow and check roof for leaks.
  • Avoid carpet in wet areas like basements and bathrooms.
  • Remove and dry carpet, padding, and upholstery within 48 hours of flooding.

Talk to your insurance professional to see which kinds of damage, especially water-related, you are covered for and what you need to do to make sure you have everything you need. Don’t take a chance on having to pay a giant bill later for something you thought your insurance would pay for.