A Hollywood Mold Damage Lawyer for Toxic Insurance Claims
Florida’s climate is wet, humid, and tropical, with hurricanes, storms, and rising sea waters. These conditions can cause wet, damp, and even flooded conditions in Florida’s buildings, which can lead to serious mold damage that not only puts your property at risk but also your health. The Hollywood Mold Damage Lawyer team at our firm is fully aware of just how expensive mold removal and prevention can be. If your mold damage claim has been denied, delayed, or undervalued, we can help. We’ll fight your insurance company for every penny of the financial compensation you deserve.
What Causes Mold Damage In Florida?
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), mold and mildew can start developing within 24 to 48 hours of exposure to water. Once it has begun, mold will continue to grow and thrive until the proper steps are taken to eliminate the source of the moisture.
When water intrusion occurs in your building, your insurance company should be responsible for the losses sustained by the moisture, which includes the replacement costs and cleaning process related to the damage. Common water intrusion sources that can lead to mold can include:
- Roof leaks
- Window leaks
- Plumbing leaks
- Flooding from storms and hurricanes, common in Florida
- Sewage backups in flooded areas
- Broken or ruptured pipes
- Sprinkler spray hitting a building
- A clothes dryer that exhausts air indoors
- Overflow from sinks or sewers
- A damp crawl space
- A high humidity environment
- Lack of good ventilation
Common Warning Signs of Mold
Mold in your home or business is dangerous to your health. Fortunately, it’s typically relatively easy to identify mold when you know what to look for. Some common signs of mold that our Hollywood Mold Damage Lawyer team advise you to look for include:
- Past Flooding. If your building has a history of flooding, then it’s likely that you have some form of mold growth already. It’s a good question to ask your real estate agent when considering a building purchase.
- Visible Signs of Mold Growth. Different types of mold have different appearances, but generally, mold appears white with thread-like shapes. Other types appear in clusters of small back spots. Mold might appear grayish-brown or grayish-green. The mold that grows behind vinyl and wallpaper might be purple, orange, or pink.
- Visible Signs of Water Damage. Long-term moisture will almost always result in mold. If your building has water stains, discoloration on walls, floors, or ceilings, bubbling, cracking, or peeling paint and/or wallpaper, then you’re likely dealing with mold-producing problems.
- Odor. Some molds have little or no smell at all, but many do. If you smell a persistent musty odor, you are likely smelling mold.
- Water Leaks. Mold growth from leaks isn’t always easily noticeable, especially if the leak is behind a wall or other hidden surface. If you know of a leak, then it’s important to get it repaired quickly. Areas where condensation often forms, such as windows and metal pipes, maybe conducive for mold.
Hollywood Mold Damage Lawyer Explains Consequences of Mold in Your Home or Business
Mold can cause severe damage to property, and exposure to mold can cause acute damage to your health.
Property Damage Caused by Mold
Due to the speed at which mold grows, it can infest any number of personal belongings, including furniture, beds, blankets, towels, and even clothing. Any contaminated belongings require complete replacement or immediate professional cleaning, even when the mold is discovered and removed quickly.
When flooding occurs inside your property, it can take months to identify a mold problem, by which time the property can become completely contaminated. Even when identified quickly, mold removal and damage replacement are uncommonly costly.
Mold feeds on organic materials, such as wood, paper, fabrics, and some types of glue, literally eating away at these materials and causing them to rot and fall apart. Mold can also eat away at materials like wallpaper, drywall, carpet, wooden studs in walls, ceiling tiles, floorboards, and other structures inside the home. Left unchecked, mold can cause damage severe enough to lead to collapsed ceilings, caved-in floorboards, and falling walls.
Health Damage Caused by Mold
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the failure to remove mold infestation and the contaminated materials related to its growth after flooding may lead to substantial health problems, some of which may be long-term. Common health problems associated with mold exposure include:
- Eye irritation, including burning, watering, and redness
- Skin irritations, including rashes or hives
- Nose or throat irritation
- Runny or blocked nose
- Dry, hacking cough
- Aches and pains
- Nasal and sinus congestion
- Memory loss
- Mood changes
- Respiratory problems
- Asthma attacks
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warns that if buildings are flooded or contain wet carpets, floorings, or furniture for more than 24 to 48 hours, owners should assume the existence of mold and take immediate action to remove the contamination before any reoccupation.
What If My Florida Insurance Policy Does Not Cover Mold?
Unfortunately, most insurance policies do not cover mold damage unless you ask for it, usually in the form of an optional add-on to an insurance policy known as a “rider.” This is important because some insurance policies specifically exclude it, making the financial recovery process even more difficult for Florida residents.
Nonetheless, your mold damage was almost certainly caused by water damage from rain during a storm, a busted pipe, or a sewage breach that was caused by flooding. Mold cannot exist or grow without wet conditions, arguably making the source of the mold the cause of your insurance claim.
The insurance company will certainly disagree with this logic and claim that mold is not covered in your policy. Still, there’s no reason to simply accept their denial without at least contacting an experienced Hollywood Mold Damage Lawyer at Property Damage Law Firm for help. Your insurance company may become a bit more flexible when they are facing our firm acting on your behalf.
Contact a Hollywood Mold Damage Lawyer for Help With Your Claim
Mold damage is all too common in the humid environment of Florida and can lead to serious structural and health problems. Your insurance company is not likely to simply agree to compensate you for your mold damage without denying or undervaluing your claim.
If you suspect that a structure that you’re living or working in has mold damage, contact a Hollywood Mold Damage Lawyer at Property Damage Law Firm. We work on a contingency fee basis and will give your matter our personal attention. Contact us online to learn about how we can potentially help with your mold insurance claim.