Does your home warranty cover mold?
You have purchased a home warranty, and now you have the peace of mind that your appliances and home systems are covered. You no longer have to worry about handling these repairs. But what about other issues in your home?
Mold is an unwanted and dangerous home issue. Mold develops slowly over time, and it can grow in places that are not visible to you and your family on a daily basis. At certain levels, it can cause structural damages and potential health issues, such as upper respiratory tract symptoms, skin irritation and worsening of asthma symptoms. Unless you are actively searching for mold or you start to recognize mold-related health issues, it can be nearly impossible to realize you have a mold problem until it is too late.
Since you want the best protection, it is wise to see if your home warranty can cover more than just your appliances and home systems. But does a home warranty offer coverage for mold-related structural repairs? Let’s find out.
What is mold?
Mold, sometimes referred to as black mold, is a type of fungus that grows and thrives in damp or wet conditions. It grows by digesting organic material, such as wood or carpet, and then releasing its spores into the air to continue to grow.
When mold digests organic material in a home, the spread can mean damage to structures, furniture, appliances and more.
Most of the mold that grows in homes is black or white in color and is often detectable by smell, if not by sight. A musty smell often indicates the presence of mold. You may also notice a wet spot on your ceiling, wall or floor. Often, mold growth can remain detected until a renovation project is started or furniture or appliances are moved.
Mold can severely damage furniture or structures, but most importantly, mold exposure can exacerbate existing conditions in people that suffer from asthma or other upper respiratory issues. This is why it is very important to prevent mold from forming in the first place.
Is mold-related damage ever covered?
The simple answer is no, not really. Most home warranty providers do not offer mold coverage or mold-damage repair. You will find the exact details of your own home warranty coverage in your contract with the home warranty company. It is a good idea to be very aware of what is in your warranty contract, anyway, in case any further issues arise. You may be surprised about what is covered.
Most often, mold grows as a result of a leaking pipe or poor ventilation that goes undetected because of its location, the use of improper materials during construction or shoddy workmanship. These things are not covered by a warranty plan, which means that the burden of replacement or repair costs falls on you, the homeowner.
Your next place to turn may be your homeowners insurance. Again, mold removal or mold damage repair is usually not covered by an insurance policy. Your homeowners insurance policy will outline your coverage, and while water damage may be covered, mold coverage is generally not included. It is best to check with your insurance company to see if mold damage is covered by your insurance.
Fortunately, your home warranty can help you even if it does not explicitly cover mold removal or mold-related damage. Your home warranty may cover the causes of the mold spread, such as plumbing issues or a leaking roof. Preventive maintenance and the repair of faulty appliances and home systems may prevent mold from growing in the first place and successfully circumvent water from pooling or leaking.
What can you do if you find mold?
If you find mold in your home and it has destroyed or damaged any part of the existing structure, it is best to research mold removal companies or professional mold remediation services to help deal with the situation.
If, indirectly, your homeowners insurance policy covers mold-related repairs, then it is also important to check the coverage offered in your insurance policy. You can work with both your insurance company and your home warranty to find the best service possible.
If you find a minor mold issue on any surface in your home that can be cleaned easily or hasn’t caused any structural damage, you can attempt to clean it yourself. However, be sure to use the following precautions:
- Wear old clothing that can be thrown into the garbage or washed immediately after you have cleaned.
- Cover your face with a mask to prevent inhaling or ingesting any microscopic mold spores.
- Remove anything that can’t be cleaned thoroughly (furniture, electronics, etc.) from the room you will be cleaning.
- Use proper ventilation, and turn off any fans or the air conditioner while you are working.
- Properly dispose of any cleaning materials you have used by sealing them in a trash bag and double-bagging them.
- Scrub the mold using bleach, a water solution and a brush that can be thrown out.
- Thoroughly clean the room after removing the mold.
- Thoroughly dry the moldy area, and use dehumidifiers to ensure that the dampness is redirected.
While you may feel confident that you can remove it yourself, disturbing mold can release mold spores into the air, coating your clothing, hair, furniture and any fibers, which will diminish the air quality and can create a hazardous environment. Mold should always be removed carefully or by professionals.
How your home warranty can help prevent mold
Once you have rid your home of the mold and mold damage — either by carefully removing it yourself or calling a mold remediation service — you need to ensure that it does not grow again. By regularly maintaining and repairing your appliances that are damaged due to wear and tear, you are helping to protect your home from water damage and mold growth.
The following steps can help prevent the buildup of moisture and wetness, which could lead to mold and mold damage:
- Bathrooms are very humid, so ensure that you have fans running while you bathe. Leave them running for a time afterward. You should also consider opening a window, if the weather allows, while you are showering.
- Use caulk around any water fixtures and windows that you have. You may have to recaulk after a period of time if you notice any cracks.
- Check around your home for leaks. Your roof, crawl space, attic and basement are all vulnerable to leaks and accumulated moisture. Any leaks should be repaired immediately.
- Make sure you are ventilating your rooms as often as possible.
- Do not allow spills to linger.
- Make sure you have proper drainage on your property. From your gutters to your basement, water should be drained away from your foundation.
- Use dehumidifiers if you know of any areas that are moisture sensitive.
Additionally, make it a priority to properly maintain your home appliances. Regularly replace the filters on your air conditioner, clothes dryer, water heater, sump pump and garbage disposal. Also, change the drip pans in your refrigerator and air conditioner to catch any plumbing issues.
While your home warranty plan and insurance coverage do not include mold growth or mold removal, your home warranty can support the prevention of mold.
If you are concerned about mold issues, consider amending your home warranty plan to include extra appliances and systems in your home, such as your pool, well or deep freezer. You may have to pay more to have them covered, but the added protection may save you money in the long run since it can help you avoid or delay paying for the exorbitant repairs or replacement costs.
How Cinch Home Services can help
Cinch Home Services can help you manage your home by being available for you when you need your appliances and home systems repaired or replaced.
We have a protection plan to help cover the cost of repairing or replacing your appliances or home systems.
We are available to help you when your appliances break down due to regular wear and tear. Simply contact us by phone, or use our online service request form to arrange a service call. For a low service fee, we will send a trusted contractor to your home to repair or replace your appliance or home system. Our customer service representatives are always available to help, so reach out today.