The Law Firm of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A. helps insurance policyholders recover what they are due on their insurance claims, zealously advocates on behalf of victims of catastrophic personal injuries or wrongful death and fights for the rights of consumers and small businesses in Miami and throughout Miami-Dade County, Florida.
Below are some initial questions many clients have when they first contact J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A.. The questions below may address many initial concerns you may have. If you don't find the answers here, you should contact us for answers to questions specific to your case. The consultation is free.
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What is mold?
Mold is a simple, microscopic organism, present everywhere, indoors and outdoors. Mold is a fungi and is needed to break down the environment. For mold to grow and reproduce, it needs only one food source of organic material, such as leaves, wood, paper, and moisture. Mold grows by digesting the organic material, gradually destroying whatever they grow on. Mold growth on surfaces can often be seen in the form of discoloration, frequently green, brown, gray, and black. Mold releases countless tiny, lightweight spores, which travel through the air.
How does mold grow or multiply in my home or business?
Due to Florida's humid climate, mold can grow and cause many adverse affects. Mold can grow and multiply whenever conditions are right such as where sufficient moisture is available and organic material is present. Be on the lookout in your home for sources of indoor moisture that may lead to mold growth. Moisture control is the key, inspect your home regularly for indications of potential water leaks and establish a maintenance schedule to check the following regularly:
WATER HEATERS - Check for rust and deterioration. Make sure drain lines are not clogged. Drain and clean as recommended by the manufacturer.
A/C DRAIN LINES - Drain lines can become clogged and cause overflow from the drip pan. Periodically check the drip pan and service it annually.
APPLIANCE HOSES - Regularly inspect hoses and fittings on washing machines, ice makers and dishwashers, and replace washing machine hoses every two years.
SHOWERS, TUBS, SINKS AND TOILETS - Check for a watertight seal around all bathroom fixtures. Reseal as needed.
VISIBLE PIPING - Routinely check piping under cabinets and sinks for leaks, rust and evidence of deterioration.
WASTE/GARBAGE DISPOSAL SYSTEMS - Routinely check for leaks.
CAULKING AROUND WINDOWS AND DOORS - Keep a continuous bead of caulk or weather proofing to seal the interior from the weather. Reseal as needed.
ATTICS AND CEILINGS - Routinely check for wet insulation and water stains.
WALLPAPER - Routinely check for bubbling, peeling or stains.
ROOFS - Keep roofs free of debris. Promptly repair any damage and seal cracks or replace flashing around chimneys, skylights and vents.
LANDSCAPE - Yards should slope away from the house to prevent puddles near the foundation.
SPRINKLERS AND IRRIGATION SYSTEMS - Do not allow sprinklers to soak the exterior of your home.
Should I be concerned about mold causing damage to my home or business?
Mold can cause damage. In addition to the potential health hazards of mold, mold growth can damage your personal contents such as, furnishings, carpets and paintings. In time, unchecked mold growth may cause damage to the building and structural elements of your home or business.
Where can I learn more on the health effects of mold?
To learn more about the health effects of mold, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Is "mold damage" covered under my insurance policy?
Only by reviewing your insurance policy for details of specific mold coverage and limitations can the Law Offices of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A. determine if mold damage is covered under your policy. Most insurers now offer limited levels of mold-related property damage coverage within the basic policy. Many insurers offer $10,000 of limited mold coverage with the opportunity to purchase additional coverage for an additional premium. Other insurers exclude mold related property damage entirely, but offer coverage in amounts of $10,000, $15,000, $25,000, $50,000 and policy limits for an additional premium. Any changes in mold-related property damage coverage may need to be approved by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.
What are some typical insurance company tactics for delaying or denying mold insurance claim?
Your insurance company may be stonewalling your mold claim with excuses such as :
- Our claims adjuster did not notice any mold when inspecting your property
- Construction defects caused the mold
- The mold was caused by your lack of mitigating the water intrusion or water damage
- The mold already existed prior to the effective date of the insurance policy
- The mold you see is not really mold, just clean it up with bleach and paint over it
- The mold was created over time due to unknown reasons, therefore we don't cover it under our insurance policy
If you believe your insurance company is cheating you on your mold claim, please contact Miami insurance claims attorney J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo for a free consultation.