The Effect of Black Mold on Health Insurance Premiums
The Difficulties of Having Black Mold
Black mold is one of the more dangerous types of molds that one can have in the home at any given time. As with any other kind of mold or fungus, this type thrives in moist, dark places, as close to the source of moisture as possible. Most of the time, mold can grow and spread unnoticed because of the fact that they prefer dark places with unlimited access to moisture or water. There are several tell-tale signs that you may have a black mold infestation; these include, but are not limited to:
– dark spots or patches on the wall, floor, ceiling or any other part of the house.
– a musty, moldy smell
– black, fuzzy growth in areas that may have been waterlogged or flooded recently
– onset of allergy symptoms in you or other members of the household (especially off season)
– leaky faucets, drains, sinks and pipes
Possible Health Problems
There are several health problems from black mold which can severely affect a person. The problems usually start with a simple allergic reaction and can develop into issues that are often misdiagnosed and can be lethal if not found out soon enough like those on the news in Houston. These problems only highlight the importance of regular mold inspection and immediate remediation when the presence of black mold is detected. Some of the bodily functions that are initially affected by inhalation or contact with black mold spores and the toxic chemicals that they produce include respiration, blood circulation, reproduction and mental capacity and function. Aside from these, continuous inhalation and contact with the toxins can lead to depression, mental illnesses, loss of motor functions and even death. A person affected by toxic mold will always be listless, exhausted and experience a variety of aches and pains all over the body. As you can see, the symptoms are very general and can be easily misdiagnosed as something else.
Those who are more susceptible to black mold symptoms are young children and the elderly. This may be because children have immune systems which are not fully developed yet and the elderly may have compromised immune systems due to their advanced age. Both age brackets are more prone to the health problems from black mold but even healthy adults with good immune systems can fall prey to the fungus. Extended and continuous exposure will eventually break down the body’s defenses and the person may succumb to the many health issues that are brought by black mold.
Aside from health issues, this type of fungus can also have a deteriorating effect on your property. The effect will not only be physical but it can also lower the value of your property if the infestation is widespread. The material on which the mold grows on will deteriorate through the passing of time and will need to be replaced upon removal of the colony. Leaving the material in the house may lead to regrowth of the fungus if the roots are deep enough or if the clean-up was not as thorough. Experts on mold remediation will usually recommend the removal of the material on which the mold has grown to ensure a lower risk of it returning. Professional remediation and removal companies , like in Houston, have workers who are well trained and experienced in handling the different aspects of mold inspection, testing and remediation.
Another possible issue that you should be aware of regarding black mold is how difficulty it usually is to get insurance coverage once you already have it in your home or if you are already suffering from exposure to it. Many insurance companies are hesitant to insure a person who has been diagnosed with black mold or toxic mold exposure because of the arduous and expensive nature of getting better.
This difficulty is not just focused on health insurance for people but also home or building insurance. Insurance companies that focus on insuring buildings, structures and residences might have extra conditions and clauses for homes that have already been infested with black mold. The problem usually lies in the fact that toxic or black mold can spread so very easily with the right conditions. Some companies might also insist on testing for the presence of mold before approving a policy for a building or structure.
The remediation and removal process can also be an expensive one which is why insurance companies are very cautious when it comes to their coverage. Some may include mold coverage only if it is the direct result of another issue such as flooding or a botched plumbing job. The caution and hesitation is actually quite understandable because the damage brought about by the presence of black mold can include mold inspection, mold remediation and even the renovation of the area where the colony was found. Not to mention the health and medical coverage that may be included in the policy.
To lower the risk of being exposed to black or toxic mold and exposing yourself and other members of the family to serious health hazards, you should always schedule regular visits from a reliable mold inspection and remediation company. Their experts can easily pinpoint problem areas in your building that may be host to molds and other types of fungus. They can also recommend the best way to get rid of the problems in order to prevent further health issues.