How to avoid mold, minimize damage – and deal with your insurance agent!
For many homeowners, it’s their worst nightmare come true: a burst water pipe, leaky roof or heavy summer storm, and you wake up or come home to find your house flooded with water. You hope that your insurance will cover it, but you’re not sure what to do to protect your home, your pocketbook – and the health of your family.To help you minimize the damage, reduce the chances of mold – and deal effectively with your insurance agent – Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has a series of steps you can take if your home has experienced extensive water damage:

  • First, call your insurance broker or agent and report the water damage within 24 hours or less, to allow for quick drying and repairs
  • Next, hire a professional contractor to clean up the water and make repairs as soon as possible. The contractor reports to and is paid by you, but your insurance adjuster can make recommendations

As the work progresses, make sure the adjuster and contractor follow the best possible procedures to look after your concerns. A fast, thorough cleanup will help avoid mold growth and significantly reduce cleanup costs. So when selecting a contractor, look for qualities like speed, competence in water cleanup practices and certification or training in water damage restoration and mold remediation.

Make sure the moisture source is stopped, and all wet areas are completely dry. Wet items that can’t be salvaged should be removed, and what can’t be removed must be dried quickly, preferably within 48 hours to minimize the growth of mold. Be sure all cavities and crawl spaces are dry. And confirm that no refinishing is done until the entire area is thoroughly dried. If you have mold growth, make sure it is removed safely by the contractor, and that there is no remaining mold anywhere in your house, including behind wallpaper, in areas adjacent to the mold growth or where water may have seeped (such as wall cavities, basement subfloors and crawl spaces), and under carpeting.

Finally, make sure that all repairs and cleaning have been completed thoroughly and properly before you tell your adjuster that you are satisfied.

For more information or a free copy of the “About Your House” fact sheet on Water Damage, Mold and House Insurance or other fact sheets on virtually every facet of owning, maintaining or renovating your home, ask CMHC at 1 800 668-2642. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is Canada’s national housing agency and a source of objective, reliable housing expertise.

This article is brought to you by Mose Home Inspection