Mold damage is NOT COVERED by our property insurance policy regardless of any other cause or event that contributes to the loss. We have experienced several water damage claims where steps were not take to prevent mold growth. When this occurs, clean-up costs in the tens of thousands of dollars are not uncommon. For this reason, all claims that may lead to conditions where mold could grow must be carefully handled so that mold growth does not occur. Water damage claims, like any other property damage, should be called into Risk Management immediately (800/825-2806 x1493).
Mold can grow very rapidly in warm and humid conditions, so it is imperative that emergency mitigation steps be taken as soon as any water problem is discovered. Mold can also grow unseen in walls or under carpet, so LOOK THOROUGHLY.
When a water leak or other claim that may lead to mold growth is discovered, it is the congregation's responsibility to perform the following steps:
- Stop the flow of water.
- Assess the scope of damage to determine if a professional mitigation company is needed.
- Remove water and dry out all wet areas.
- If ceiling tile/insulation gets wet, it must be removed.
- If carpets are wet, pull carpet back (or out, if necessary) and thoroughly dry out or replace. Wet carpet pad should be discarded and replaced.
- If the water level reached more than a few inches deep, attention must be given to the interior and exterior walls. If the drywall is soaked, remove it by cutting it well above the water line. (Be sure to cut it at intervals that make replacement and patching easier, such as 2 or 4 feet above the floor.) Any wet insulation in the walls must be removed as well.
- Any hard surface walls and floors should be treated with a fungicide or bleach to prevent mold growth.
- Mold can grow on contents as well. Maintain a low-humidity environment by using dehumidifiers, fans and running the building's central air conditioning system.
The cost of the preventative steps will be covered by a water damage claim. If these steps are taken, the possibility of mold growth is drastically reduced.