Here in South Florida, mold is something we deal with constantly. As Miami insurance lawyers, we have advised many homeowners about mold growth in their homes. Especially after our rainy summer afternoons, tropical storms, and hurricanes seasons, mold growth should be on everyone’s radar, But it’s important to note that your home may be subject to mold growth even if you haven’t experienced any water intrusion.
The truth is that mold exists everywhere in South Florida and is impossible to eradicate entirely. But once it comes indoors, it can reproduce in areas that hold moisture and begin to grow. Mold has been around for eons and is a master at reproducing.
Most Common Household Molds
According to the CDC, the most common molds that grow indoors are Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Alternaria. Stachybotrys chartarum, also known as black mold, can also be found in our homes. Black mold is able to flourish inside walls, particularly in areas that may have experienced water damage.
Not all molds will trigger health problems. But many household molds produce toxic chemicals and mycotoxins. Those who are sensitive to molds are likely to suffer more than others as well as those who have asthma, weakened immune systems, and chronic pulmonary illnesses.
What Are the Long-Term Effects of Mold?
Even if you aren’t able to physically see the infected area, mold will have a damp and musty aroma, although the smell will differ from mold to mold and depending on what surface it’s on. Often, it will have no detectable smell at all. This smell is caused by mVOCs, microbial volatile organic compounds, and currently, long-term health effects of inhaling these are largely unknown for healthy individuals.
Although much of what is known about the health effects of mold exposure is the result of studies on lab animals, history is riddled with instances where humans and animals have suffered toxic reactions as a result of being exposed to toxic mold growth. In 2004, the Institute of Medicine concluded that even those without pre-existing health and lung conditions are subject to symptoms from mold growth.
Call a Professional
When you suspect a mold growth, you can call in professionals. The CDC recommends finding someone who is certified with the National Environmental Health Association, the American Industrial Hygiene Association, the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification, or the American Council for Accredited Certification.
Are You Covered?
The next question should be if your homeowners’ policy covers you for a mold infestation. Unfortunately, it may not. Even if it is, your policy may have exceptions and exclusions that make it difficult to get resolution. In most cases, mold damage will be covered as an effect of water damage. In order to understand your coverage or get assistance, call the Miami property damage lawyers at Korin Law, P.A.