Mold Damage Lawyer in Pembroke Pines
According to the Insurance Information Institute, about one in fifty insured homes have a property damage claim caused by water damage or freezing each year, a category which includes damage caused by water-related mold. Ruptured pipes, malfunctioning appliances, leaky windows, and rain-driven storms in Florida can cause damp, wet, or even flooded conditions in the homes of residents, which can lead to severe mold damage. With losses for such water and mold damages averaging at almost $11,000, many Pembroke Pines property holders rely on their landlords or homeowners’ insurance companies to help pay for water cleanup and mold remediation. 
Unfortunately, insurance companies are notorious for denying and minimizing settlements for mold damage claims, even when the water event that led to the mold contamination was covered by the insurer. Luckily, the mold damage lawyers at Schlacter Law can help. The team at Schlacter Law has been helping Pembroke Pines residents fight for toxic mold damage coverage for years. We understand that insurance coverage for mold damage can be tricky, and insurance companies often take advantage of loose policy terms and complex jargon to confuse policyholders and deny claims. We use our industry expertise to fight back against the insurers to make sure you get the coverage you need. For more information you can speak with one of our lawyers at 305-999-1111 or find out more information at thehurricanedamage.com.
Mold is a term used for unwanted patches of black, brown, yellow, pink, or green fungi that grows both indoors and outdoors. Actively growing mold damages the material it lives on. Outdoors, fungi break down dead and decaying organic matter including leaves, grasses, and trees. Indoors, mold acts in a similar manner, damaging materials as it grows and thereby impairing the structural integrity of homes. The most common types of household molds are Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Stachybotrys atra (also known as black mold). 
Mold spreads by releasing spores that can easily float through air or water. Mold requires moisture to grow, and indoor mold can be found in areas of excessive dampness or water such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, seepage through foundation walls or cellar floors, damp bathrooms, leaking air conditioning units, or where there has been flooding. Mold can spread throughout a Pembroke Pines property in as little as twenty-four to forty-eight hours in moist conditions. Mold can commonly be found growing on:
- Paper and paper products
- Ceiling tiles
- Wood products
- Insulation materials
In addition to its unsightly appearance and musky odor, mold is associated with adverse health effects in humans including allergies and infections.
Symptoms of Mold Exposure
While a large mold infestation can often be seen or smelt, many Pembroke Pines homeowners may experience symptoms of toxic mold exposure from unseen mold ravaging deep within the walls or in attic crawl spaces out of plain sight. In addition to visible or hidden mold, damp spaces likely contain mold break-down products, dust mites, bacteria, and chemicals, gasses, and particulate matter released from the materials on which mold is growing and breaking down. 
Mold exposure may cause a variety of health effects that can range from hay fever-like symptoms to no symptoms at all. Regardless, prolonged exposure to damp and moldy environments or large areas of mold growth are likely to make anyone sick. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, common symptoms of mold exposure include:
- Stuffy nose
- Red or itchy eyes
- Skin irritation
In addition, some Pembroke Pines residents are more sensitive to molds including people with allergies, asthma, other chronic respiratory diseases, and people with weakened or suppressed immune systems. For these people, exposure to mold can cause more severe reactions including:
- Shortness of breath
- Fungal infections 
If you or a family member is experiencing symptoms of mold exposure, you should consult your physician to determine the appropriate action to take. You should also contact a Pembroke Pines mold damage removal and remediation specialist or your insurer to begin the mold cleanup process. For more information, you can speak with one of our lawyers at 305-999-1111 or find out more information at thehurricanedamage.com. We can help.
Mold Removal and Remediation
Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. If the mold in your home was due to flooding or pipe burst, remove any standing water and thoroughly dry the area. If the mold was caused by a continuous drip or repeated leak from a compromised structure or plumbing, fix the problem at the source to prevent further water seepage. Mold caused by excess moisture or humidity can be aided with proper ventilation and dehumidifiers.
Small areas of mold within the home can be removed and cleaned with standard household products including soapy water, dish detergent, or bleach solutions. For larger mold infestations (areas of 10 square feet or more) it is recommended that you consult a Florida-certified Pembroke Pines mold removal company. Many professional mold removal companies follow a similar process for residential and commercial cleanup that includes:
- Inspecting and assessing visible and hidden mold damage and possible water sources
- Employing various mold containment procedures to prevent the spread of mold to unaffected areas
- Using specialized air filtration equipment to capture microscopic mold spores out of the air
- Removing and disposing of mold and mold-infested porous materials like drywall and carpeting
- Professionally cleaning and sanitizing salvageable contents and belongings like furniture, decorative items, curtains, and clothing
- Restoring and reconstructing damaged areas of the home which may include drywall, subfloors, or other building materials
Depending on if you live in a rented property such as an apartment or condominium, or if you own your home, mold removal and remediation may be covered by your landlord’s or homeowners insurance policy. Contact a mold damage attorney for more information about toxic mold insurance claims. For more information you can speak with one of our lawyers at 305-999-1111 or find out more information at thehurricanedamage.com.
Mold Damage Insurance
For residences of live apartments or condominiums, the landlord or property manager is responsible for providing a safe and habitable living environment for tenants, in accordance with Florida law. As such, Pembroke Pines landlords are almost always liable for dealing with mold removal, remediation, and subsequent repairs. An optional additional renters insurance policy may also protect tenants’ personal belongings if affected by mold damage. If the landlord or property manager fails to address a mold issue promptly after notification of the issue, and a tenant was made sick as a result of toxic mold exposure, there is cause for a potential mold lawsuit. Contact a mold damage lawyer today to discuss your case.
When it comes to mold in your home, your homeowners insurance company will only cover mold damage if it was caused by a “covered peril.” As almost all mold is the result of some sort of water issue, this generally means that the mold needs to be a result of a sudden or accidental water problem such as a burst pipe or unexpected discharge from your home appliances. Insurance companies expect you to perform regular home inspection and maintenance. As such, home insurance policies usually do not cover mold that resulted from a preventable water leak or recurrent high humidity. In Florida, standard homeowners insurance policies also do not cover water damage or mold caused by a flood. Instead, Florida homeowners need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy that may cover mold damage.
Common Mold Insurance Claim Issues in Pembroke Pines
Even if your homeowner’s policy covers for mold damage related to a covered water event, you may still have trouble getting compensated for mold removal and remediation. Common tactics that insurance companies and adjusters use to avoid paying out for mold damage claims include:
- Using complex jargon and policy terminology to purposefully confuse policyholders and get them to accept a settlement offer that does not even cover the cost of mold remediation
- Alleging that the mold existed prior to the covered loss (water damage peril)
- Argue that the mold was the result of an improper loss mitigation technique– that the mold became a problem or was made worse by the homeowners failure to act properly in containing the water/mold event
- Saying that the mold resulted from a prior defect in construction unrelated to any water/mold damage claims
- Flat out denying that the mold exists and is a problem when it is obviously an issue
For homeowners dealing with a mold damage claim denial or an insurance company making a lowball settlement offer, a mold damage lawyer can help. The reputable team at Schlacter Law has been helping the residents of Pembroke Pines with mold damage claims for years. We are well-versed in Florida’s mold damage laws and are experienced dealing with deceitful insurance companies. We have access to industry experts in mold detection and remediation and use our extensive resources to build the best case possible for your mold damage claim. Schlacter Law mold damage attorneys will ensure you get the maximum settlement possible for your claim and will fight to make sure your case is handled quickly and completely.
- https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-homeowners-and-renters-insurance ↩
- https://www.hgtv.com/design/remodel/interior-remodel/common-types-of-mold-in-homes ↩
- https://www.poison.org/articles/2011-oct/mold-101-effects-on-human-health ↩
- https://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm ↩
- https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323419#how-dangerous-is-it ↩
How We Handle Cases
- Your attorney will aggressively investigate your case. Schlacter Law will compile all necessary evidence needed to maximize the value of your case. Which includes but is not limited to photographs, police reports, security camera footage, witness statements, medical bills and medical records.
- You will remain in constant contact with Schlacter Law about the progression of your case.
- Your attorney will present your case to the insurance company and will attempt to resolve your case before the case goes to court for maximum compensation.
- Your attorney will make every effort possible to resolve the case as quickly as possible for the most amount of money you may be entitled to. You will be actively involved in the negotiation process with your attorney. Schlacter Law understands that this is your one opportunity to get justice for your loss.
- If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, Schlacter Law will be fully prepared to bring your case to court to fight for the justice you deserve.
- At no cost to you, Schlacter Law will hire any experts and professionals needed to maximize your recovery and present your case in the strongest form possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is most at risk for mold exposure-related illness?
Prolonged exposure and large infestations of mold in the home have the potential to make anyone sick. However, the people who are most at-risk of the symptoms of mold exposure are:
- Infants and children
- Older adults
- People with allergies or asthma
- People with weakened immune systems
- People who are exposed to large amounts of mold in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay
What is black mold and is it more dangerous than other types of mold?
Black mold is a common type of mold found in Pembroke Pines homes and, despite its reputation, is no more dangerous than any other type of molds. Mold comes in a variety of colors including green, yellow, brown, pink and, most infamously, black. There is no single type of mold called “black mold,” but the term is commonly used to refer to a type of mold called Stachybotrys chartarum (S. chartarum), also known as Stachybotrys atra. Black mold is also referred to as “toxic mold” because it has the potential to produce and release mycotoxins–toxic substances produced by fungi that may cause negative health effects including mycotoxicosis or mold poisoning. However, black mold is no more dangerous than any other type of mold, as all molds are capable of producing these mycotoxins. It is important to note that the mere presence of mold does not indicate that these toxins are being produced. According to Medical News Today, most cases of mycotoxicosis result from eating moldy food rather than from inhaling fungal spores in the home or outdoors.  Nonetheless, the presence of any mold in the home may cause illness and should be addressed promptly.
How do you keep mold out of homes and buildings?
The first step in controlling mold indoor Pembroke Pines homes and buildings is to control humidity and moisture within homes and buildings. Periodically inspect buildings for evidence of water damage and visible mold as part of routine maintenance and correct conditions like water leaks, condensation, infiltration, or flooding promptly. Below are some more specific recommendations you can employ to control mold growth in your residence:
- Keep humidity levels as low as you can–between thirty percent and fifty percent–using air conditioners and dehumidifiers
- Increase ventilation by keeping doors between rooms open to promote airflow, keep fans on when possible, and use exhaust fans in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry areas
- Promptly fix leaky roofs, windows, and plumbing
- Thoroughly clean and dry affected areas after flooding
- Ventilate shower, laundry, and cooking areas
- Consider not using carpet in rooms or areas prone to moisture buildup like bathrooms or basements