Is Mold Covered by Property Insurance?
Call SERVPRO of Hollywood Hills/Los Feliz at 323-667-3100 for a free mold inspection!
Homeowners insurance covers mold damage if it was caused by a "covered peril." Otherwise, an insurance company will likely not cover mold damage. There are exceptions, which we will get into later. Home insurance policies usually don't cover mold that resulted from a preventable water leak, flooding, or high humidity.
Home insurance covers mold if a "covered peril" caused the mold. In that case, your home insurance policy will likely pay for repairs and clean-up.
Here are some of home insurance's covered perils:
- Vandalism or malicious mischief
- Damage caused by vehicles
- Falling objects
- Weight of ice, snow, or sleet
- Accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam from plumbing, heating, air conditioners, sprinkler systems, or household appliances
- Frozen pipes
Let's take a look at some real world examples. When home insurance will likely cover you:
- An ice dam forms in a roof gutter during a rough winter and water backs up under your shingles. The water leaks into your attic, soaks your attic floor and insulation, and creates mold.
- A pipe bursts in your home and dumps gallons of water on the floor and saturates drywall while you're at work. Mold begins to form before you call.
- A washer hose springs a leak and damages behind your washer. The washer hose isn't old, you stop the leak, and report the damage immediately, but not before mold forms.
These are "sudden and accidental" incidents. Insurance companies typically cover this type of damage. In fact, non-weather-related water damage is one of the most common home insurance claims and one of the most expensive.
When home insurance will likely NOT cover you:
Your basement pipes freeze and burst. You don't notice it for a few weeks. Now, you have a few inches of water on your floor and mold growing.
Broken shingles on your 40-year-old roof allows water into the attic. Water saturates wood and insulation and leads to mold in the attic.
Mold forms in your shower. You don't think much about it until one day you notice that it's really unsightly and you're concerned about whether it's making your family sick.
In these cases, an insurer will likely not cover the damage. Why? An insurance company expects you to take care of your house. That means properly ventilating the bathroom, replacing an old roof, and checking your basement regularly. An important reason to stay on top of home maintenance.
Also, the standard homeowners insurance policy does not cover water damage caused by a flood. Thus if a flood causes water damage that leads to mold, the resulting mold issue would not be covered by your home policy.
A separate flood policy, will cover mold and mildew, as long as it’s not caused by the homeowner’s failure to inspect and maintain the property after the flood. That means, once you can get back into your home, you need to start trying to clean up and keep mold from growing or spreading.
How do I know if my home insurance policy covers mold?
As mentioned earlier, home insurance companies usually don't cover mold damage unless it's directly related to a "covered peril." The good news -- there are exceptions.
Check your homeowners insurance policy to see if there is any language about mold claims. Some insurers offer limited coverage for mold claims. This may mean limiting how much the insurer will pay for a mold-related claim. Or an insurer may increase the cost of a home insurance policy if you have mold-related coverage.
If you don't have mold coverage, you can buy an endorsement to your insurance policy that adds mold coverage. An endorsement is when an insurance company adds additional coverage to a regular home insurance policy, for an additional fee.
Does your Home Insurance Cover Weather & Storm Water Damage?
SERVPRO of Hollywood Hills/Los Feliz will work with your insurance to facilitate the restoration process & get your home in its original condition
Winter Storms, spring thaws, water damage and other losses caused by weather variations are often covered by your home insurance. Fortunately, many homeowners are insured and can make a claim if they sustain damage from a winter storm, spring thaw or cold snap. Depending on the type of policy you have, several types of risks and damage arising from weather may be covered and you may be able to get help and compensation for losses from your insurance company.
What Kind of Weather Related Damage Is Covered by Insurance?
The most common causes of winter storm or weather damage include:
- Hail Damage
- Roof Damage
- Water Damage
- Sewer Back Up
- Freezing Pipes
- Fallen Trees - There are many reasons a tree might fall, and whether or not it caused damage to property becomes important for the purpose of paying a claim. Different policies offer different types of coverage.
- Ice dams forming on the roof
- Weight of snow and ice on the roof causing damage
- Wind damage (Which can include fallen trees and shingles or bricks flying off buildings and roofs)
- Loss or displacement due to power failure (which may include food loss, depending on your type of policy)
- Flooding due to melting snow, a sudden thaw, or excessive rainfall
- Water infiltration into the home. This may or may not be covered depending on how the damage is happening. Always call to find out what you might be eligible for.
Although not all damages are covered by standard insurance, most of the above items are.
The major exception to most policies is flood damage. Flood damage is not usually covered by the home insurance company in the United States; you can find out more about flood insurance frequently asked questions here.
Storm Water Damage Emergency Tips
Regardless of the amount of storm damage caused to your property, SERVPRO of Hollywood Hills/Los Feliz can help!
What you can do until help arrives
After any water damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:
- Is it safe to stay in the house?
- Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
- Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
- Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!
What To Do After Flooding
- Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
- Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
- Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
- Gather loose items from floors.
What NOT To Do After Flooding
- Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
- Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
- Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
- Don't use television or other household appliances.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.
Water Damage from Dishwashers: Causes & Solutions
Let the experts at SERVPRO of Hollywood Hills/Los Feliz assist you with your water damage!
How long before dishwasher water damage occurs?
Dishwasher water damage can occur within just a couple of hours. You get home, turn on the dishwasher, walk away and watch TV for a while, or run a few errands, only to come home and find a pool of water on the kitchen floor. The first reaction should be to soak up as much of the water as you can, because the longer it sits there, the more likely it will cause permanent damage.
Some flooring materials are more susceptible to dishwasher water damage than others, such as wood or bamboo. Wood will absorb water quickly, causing your flooring to warp and crack. Make sure to effectively dry out the area ASAP so you can avoid as much damage as possible.
Dishwasher water damage and what to expect
If you’ve never experienced dishwasher leaks or water damage before, you might not even know what you’re in for. Here’s what to expect when you’re dealing with water damage from dishwashers, including the common causes of leaks as well as what elements of your kitchen are most vulnerable after a leak.
What would cause a dishwasher to leak?
Common causes of dishwasher leaks include:
- Worn gaskets
- Dishwasher not level
- Wrong dishwashing soap used
- Broken door
- Defective dishwasher tub
Your dishwasher leak can cause water damage in a variety of ways to a variety of different elements of your kitchen. The below are all susceptible to damage after a dishwasher leak:
- Electrical wiring
Prevent Water Damage from Water Heaters
Call SERVPRO of Hollywood Hills/Los at 323-667-3100 for a free water damage inspection!
Water heater failure is a common issue. But you can help prevent hot water heater problems, including a leaking water heater, with these 4 steps for water heater maintenance.
Avoid Water Heater Failure With These 4 Steps
- Check your water heater’s age. If your water heater reaches its life expectancy, the risk of a slow leak or sudden burst increases. Consequently, your efforts to inspect and maintain the water heater should increase.
- What is an anode rod and why should you care? A “sacrificial” anode rod is installed in water heaters to avoid corrosion of the tank. To determine if your anode rod needs to be replaced, it should be inspected once every two years and at least annually once the warranty has expired.
- Clean out your water heater regularly. Regular water heater maintenance should include removing sediment by flushing the tank every six months. Water heaters can be flushed by attaching a garden hose to the valve at the base of the water heater. Note: Turn off the power and run hot water until it cools before you try to flush the tank since the heated water may be 130 to 140 degrees or more.
- Get an inspection annually. Don’t forget to have a plumbing professional inspect your water heater’s shut-off valve and all piping annually. Signs of broken valves and loose or wet joints and rust are a signal that more severe damage is coming.
Water heater failure is one of the top five sources of residential water damage, according to an IBHS study. In fact, water heater failures cost an average of $4,444 per incident after the deductible was paid. If you think your water heater is not in risk, keep in mind that 69 percent of all water heater failures result from a slow leak or sudden burst. Don’t get stuck with cold showers and costly water damage repairs due to water heater failure. Reduce your risk with these steps for avoiding water heater failure.
Restoring Your Business After a Flood
When a Disaster Hits your Business call SERVPRO of Hollywood Hills/Los Feliz at 323-667-3100
Floods can be miserable ordeals, even with extensive preparation. They can spring up with little to no warning and saddle you with the responsibility of a lengthy, expensive restoration period. Your business could be underwater in a flash, and you could be faced with mounting repair bills and extended interruption to your business. But floods can also be regenerative. Large-scale damage to your business is an opportunity to rebuild and minimize potential damage and disruption that could be caused by future floods. If your business has sustained flood damage, do not panic. Think of it as a chance to fortify your business against future flood damage rather than nothing but a ruinous misfortune.
All in all, it is important to remember that water damage to commercial locations can be excessively harmful because it can quickly not only damage the building but also the contents inside. Even minor water damage can impact a business’s productivity. Depending on the magnitude of water damage, the water must be removed, the infiltrated areas cleared, and an inventory of losses drawn out. To minimize the extent of the leak, contact SERVPRO of Hollywood Hills/Los Feliz. With our professional expertise our SERVPRO team can look after all your water damage restoration needs. We possess the essential manpower and technology to correct problems associated with water damage on commercial and business properties
How to Get Rid of Fire Smoke Smell
After your home is affected by smoke, contact SERVPRO of Hollywood Hills/Los Feliz for smoke odor removal services to return your home back to normal!
After a fire, the cleanup can seem like a never-ending process. Beyond repairs for items burnt, soot-covered or damaged by water from firefighting efforts, there's the question of how to get smoke smell out of the house. Whether your home has suffered smoke damage from a house fire or from the effects of a wildfire, SERVPRO professionals have the expertise and know-how to get rid of smoke smell in the house quickly and effectively.
Fire smoke infiltrates all areas of a home. It can seep into carpeting, furniture, clothing, draperies, books and even woodwork. Removing fire smoke smell from a home is a process best left to the professionals with the expertise, specialized equipment, and ability to work safely within your home without causing further damage. Often homeowners attempt to dissipate smoke smell with spray deodorizers and scented candles. These tactics only mask the odor of smoke and won't remove it from the home. Smoke particles bury themselves into fabrics, fibers, and other porous surfaces. In order to remove smoke smell completely, items need to be deeply cleaned.
Essentially everything in a home affected by fire smoke needs to be cleaned. Some items may only require thorough airing to remove smoke smell, but most items like carpeting, rugs, curtains, upholstery, and clothing will need a thorough cleaning and possible sanitization. If the items also are soot-covered, we recommend to handle the item as little as possible and trust it’s cleaning to a professional to prevent further damage. When working out how to get fire smoke smell out of house carpets and upholstery, trust the cleaning experts at SERVPRO for the job. We'll make sure the smoke smell and ash residue are completely removed from deep within the fibers and fabrics. Wash down all hard surfaces with a mild detergent and water — this includes painted surfaces, baseboards, doors, window frames/sills and the outside and interiors of all cabinets and drawers.
Safety Tip: Never eat any food or allow pets to eat food that has been exposed to fire smoke.
Fire Smoke Smell and your HVAC System
The science of identifying & eliminating odors can be tricky, so give SERVPRO of Hollywood Hills/Los Feliz a call, and leave the restoration to us!
Fire smoke removal from a home or building requires a thorough inspection and cleaning of the HVAC system. Fire smoke can permeate ductwork and linger in the ventilation system long after the fire has passed. The HVAC filter(s) need to be changed and the system should be inspected by a HVAC professional to ensure there has been no damage incurred during the fire.
SERVPRO professionals are IICRC certified in the proper removal of odors. Masking and other short cuts don't work when your odor problem is serious or persistent.
Your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional has the training and equipment to identify and eliminate these offensive odors. By identifying the cause of the odor and determining the conditions in which it contacts any surfaces, the odor can often be removed over time without a trace.
SERVPRO Offers Content Pack Out, Pack Back, & Storage Services to Your Commercial Property
For more info & to verify that content cleaning and restoration services are offered in your area, contact SERVPRO of Hollywood Hills/Los Feliz
If your business suffers water, fire, smoke or mold damage, the cleanup and restoration experts at SERVPRO are the premier choice for content restoration and pack-out.
There are scenarios that require business content removal and relocation for prompt and thorough cleaning and restoration. If a business suffers fire and smoke damage, for example, it is often easier, more secure and cost-efficient to take certain contents to another location for restoration work.
SERVPRO of Hollywood Hills/Los Feliz provides complete pack-out services. We will carefully and respectfully take the contents of your home or business to be restored, packed, and delivered to an off-site facility. The pack-out process involves meticulous documentation to ensure your items receive the best possible care, including photo documentation, identification numbers and detailed lists.
- VHS and DVD media
- Electronics (televisions, computers, stereos, etc.)
- Retail Inventory
Meanwhile at a SERVPRO restoration location, your items are stored in a secure, climate-controlled environment. They remain there until the cleaning and restoration process is complete.
Content Pack Back
After content cleaning and restoration, items are returned to your business using the same inventory procedures and documentation employed in the pack-out process. Your items are loaded, transported and delivered with great care and then reconciled with original pack-out inventories.
Content cleaning and restoration is offered at SERVPRO locations and on select jobs and services performed. The availability and scope of content cleaning and restoration varies by location, job, insurance provider (if applicable) and other factors.
The Relationship Between Carpets & Mold
To schedule mold remediation, please contact SERVPRO of Hollywood Hills/Los Feliz today at 323-667-3100
No one wants mold growing in their home. If you suspect mold is present in your home, apartment, or commercial building, the wall-to-wall carpeting should be the first place you check. Learn what to look for, how to get mold out of carpet, and how to prevent future mold problems.
Why Is Carpet at Risk for Mold Growth?
Mold needs four things to grow: moisture, an organic food source, oxygen, and a surface to grow on. Damp wall-to-wall carpeting and rugs meet these criteria perfectly. After all, the dirt, dust, pet dander, and microorganisms that settle in your carpet provide ample organic material for mold to feed on. Add a little water to the mix, and you have a recipe for mold growth.
Carpet Mold Symptoms
Just because you can’t see mold on the carpet fibers doesn’t mean there’s not mold under the carpet pad. In fact, the only time you can see mold growing on the surface of the carpet is if you have unusually severe contamination. This means you need to dig a little deeper to find evidence of carpet mold. Here are the symptoms to watch for:
- Wet or water-damaged carpet: Flooding or a plumbing leak can result in standing water in carpeted areas. Unless you remove, clean, and dry the carpet within 24 to 48 hours, mold growth is very likely.
- Wet carpet padding: Even minimal moisture caused by high humidity or condensation beneath the carpet pad is enough for mold to grow.
- Odors and stains: Any discoloration or musty odor is a sign of carpet mildew or mold.
How to Get Mold Out of Carpet
Many times, once you discover carpet mold, it’s too late to salvage it. If the mold has spread several square feet, the carpet will likely need to be replaced.
Still, if you act quickly enough and the contamination hasn’t spread, it may be possible to get mold out of the carpet. Start by cleaning the carpet thoroughly with detergent and water in a steam-cleaning machine. Dry the carpet thoroughly to ensure mold doesn’t grow again. If detergent doesn’t work and you decide to try something stronger, test an inconspicuous area of the carpet first to ensure it doesn’t damage the fibers.
How to Prevent Mold in Carpet
Once the existing mold is cleaned up, avoid a recurrence with these tips:
- Avoid laying carpet in high-humidity areas: Basements, bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms are often inappropriate for carpeting. Stick to tile floors and area rugs to avoid the need to rip out contaminated wall-to-wall carpeting.
- Reduce indoor humidity: Run a dehumidifier to keep the relative humidity between 30 and 60 percent.
- Clean up water damage quickly: Remove, clean, and dry water-damaged carpet within 24 to 48 hours to prevent mold growth. Also, dry the carpet thoroughly after having it professionally steam cleaned.
Hire a Professional Mold Remediation Company
If you find mold growing under your carpet, it probably covers an extensive area. This means you should schedule professional mold remediation as quickly as possible. The longer you ignore the problem, the more you put your family, employees, or tenants at risk of adverse health effects.
Count on SERVPRO of Hollywood Hills/Los Feliz for mold remediation services. We assess the damage, address the source of moisture, remove contaminated items, and clean up salvageable belongings. Our goal is to restore a clean, safe, mold-free environment.