Mold is a general word used to describe many types of fungi. If you’ve seen black, damp patches or pink spots on the walls, ceilings, tiles, or windowsills of your home, you may have mold. You may also have mold if you notice peeling wallpaper, musty odors, and dampness in your home.
Mold can be a serious problem. It can cause illness and medical complications, including breathing difficulties, and can especially affect the elderly, children, and those with compromised immune systems. Mold can also cause property damage and can be costly to fix.
What Causes Mold in Your Home?
In Miami-Dade County and across South Florida, mold is unfortunately quite common because of the subtropical climate, the frequent rainfalls, and the heat. Mold can grow especially easily in dark, warm, damp environments.
In many cases, poor building construction and maintenance can contribute to the problem. When a home is not correctly ventilated or when plumbing is not correctly installed or maintained, condensation and leaks can cause excess moisture that can lead to mold.
Mold grows everywhere, including outside, but indoors it can spread and affect large areas of your home. It can also grow undetected inside walls, in attics, under floors, and in less-visible spaces, which can make it hard to detect and address.
What Can I Do About Mold?
If you suspect you have mold, it’s important to check. A mold remediation expert can evaluate the situation and tell you whether you have mold and what can be done to fix it. In most cases, mold permanently changes the material it grows on, so it can’t just be washed away. It will continue to grow in the same spot and cause additional damage. In most cases, you will need to replace the ceiling panels, flooring, or other materials that have been affected and will need to fix the plumbing issue or other issue that allowed mold to happen.
If you live in an apartment, you will need to contact your landlord or property owner to hire a mold remediation contractor to diagnose and correct the problem. Mold can make your rented home dangerous to live in and it is the landlord’s obligation, under Florida statutes, to make a rental property habitable. It is important that the landlord and his or her contractor address all mold. Even if small amounts of mold spores remain, mold will return.
After mold is gone, you will want to stake steps to reduce the chance it will return. This may mean installing new ventilation to reduce condensation or using fans, vents, and dehumidifiers to ensure a dryer, well-aired home.
How Can an Attorney Help?
Mold is a serious problem and while it is naturally occurring in some cases, in homes it can occur due to poor construction or faulty remodeling or renovations. If a plumber or other contractor did poor work and this resulted in mold in your home, you may have a legal claim. Speaking to an attorney can be useful to launch a claim so you can seek compensation for mold remediation and the other expenses related to your property damage.
If you’re renting, it’s not unusual for mold issues to cause tenant-landlord disputes. Landlords are sometimes unwilling to spend the considerable money it takes to fix a mold issue. Working with an experienced attorney ensures landlords act in good faith.
In other cases, you may want to speak to an attorney if you have homeowners insurance and are worried about your insurer covering the costs of mold remediation. If your insurance carrier is delaying covering your costs, is offering less than you need to fix mold, or claiming that your mold damage is not a covered event, you may wish to speak to an experienced property damage claims attorney to explore your options.
If you find yourself in any of these situations, contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free consultation with a property damage lawyer serving Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. In a free, confidential consultation, we can discuss your situation and help you understand whether you have a claim.