Mold is a common problem in many homes – especially those that are older. It can grow in any damp area at any time, and its affects can be extremely harmful to health. If you see mold in your home, ensure to take care of it as soon as possible.
Bow Valley Insurance has provided reliable group, automobile, and home insurance in Calgary and Edmonton for nearly 35 years. You can rely on our experience in many aspect of home ownership to ensure you and your family are properly covered at all times.
Throughout the industry there are several perils in property policies that are not covered. Insurance companies do not cover mold damage, just as damage from vermin and insects is not covered as well. Speak with your broker or provider to clarify your specific coverage and to discuss potential perils.
Home Insurance Calgary: What Is Mold?
Mold encompasses a range of naturally-occurring microscopic organisms. Most forms appear as spots or masses of fibrous material. Mold absorbs energy/food through long filamentous fibers, and these fibers give molds their fuzzy appearance.
To grow, mold requires:
- Warmth (temperatures between 2 – 40°C)
- An organic energy source (food)
How Does Mold Enter a Home?
Mold can easily develop on or within any organic material that remains wet for 24 – 48 hours. Mold is common outdoors and under the right conditions, will thrive indoors and within many components of your home. Molds produce airborne, water-borne, or insect-borne spores that can land on any surface, and will reproduce when they settle on any organic material. Spores can be carried into a home on shoes, clothing and pets. Mold also enters a home through cracks and crevices, open doors and windows, and even your ventilation ducts.
Mold spores often become airborne when materials are disturbed during renovation and during the rainy months, any building materials left outside are prone to mold growth. Depending on the type of mold present and the length of time materials are exposed to water or moisture, damage can occur quickly and it’s important to cleanup mold before damage occurs.
Your home contains many materials that are potential food sources:
- Ceiling tiles
- Paper products
Ways to Reduce the Risk of Mold Damage to Your Home
Increased circulation generally means less mold, and controlling moisture levels in your home is the best way to avoid a mold problem and subsequent damage.
To reduce the risk of mold damage:
- Avoid overusing humidifiers (maintain a moisture level between 30 – 50 per cent)
- Position downspouts to route water away from your home
- Use kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans whenever steam is produced
- Keep your exhaust fans clean and ensure that properly vent to the outside
- Check your home at least once a year for potential sources of water damage such as your roof, eaves, and plumbing
- Ensure repairs are made timely, by a professional with experience in correcting mold damage
*Mold growth can begin within 24 hours, so check potential sources of water damage regularly!
Other Preventative Steps You Can Take to Avoid a Mold Problem
Here are some other ways you can prevent mold damage:
- Frequently flush basement floor drains and sump pumps
- Remove moisture-trapping carpeting and wallpaper from areas of high-humidity areas (basements, bathrooms and kitchens)
- Increase ventilation to allow for sufficient airflow to prevent trapping moisture, especially in areas of high-humidity
- Clean and vacuum carpets and furniture regularly
Bow Valley Insurance: Home Insurance
Contact your insurance broker immediately if you discover a mold problem, especially if you suspect damage has occurred!
At Bow Valley Insurance, our promise is simple: we find the best insurance coverage at the lowest possible rate. Please see our Home Insurance Savings Tips where you’ll find helpful ways to save on your home insurance. Calgary and Edmonton residents can use our handy Home Evaluation Form and Bow Valley’s convenient online Home Insurance Quote to find the lowest rate!