A small leak is all it takes. Within a short amount of time, the insulation in a roof can develop mold. The interior of the roof may also have resulting structural deficiencies. When a situation like this occurs, it becomes essential to find a solution. Home insurance may not cover this type of damage. It applies only in some situations. When could home insurance help you?
When Does Home Insurance Cover It?
Mold damage occurs when surfaces remain wet for some time. In the summer months, the high heat can make this happen faster. Home insurance typically does not cover damage related to normal wear and tear. If a leak develops on your roof, it is unlikely to be the insurer’s responsibility to fix it. That is part of maintaining the home.
However, if the leak is the result of a covered incident, then the insurer may help handle the repair. In this case, the insurer would pay for the mold cleanup and insulation replacement. The question is, what caused the leak to occur?
Many factors can play a role here. Roof leaks may occur without any incident occurring. In other cases, they happen as part of a covered claim. Here are some examples.
- The roof leak developed when a storm blew shingles from the roof, exposing materials.
- The leak happened after hail hit the roof creating areas of damage. One area allowed water to enter.
- A fire developed in the home, damaging the roof. This created the roof leak.
Other claims covered by home insurance include windstorm damage falling objects. Vandalism may also play a role as well. If you recently had the roof replaced, and the mold was not discovered, it may still be possible to file a claim for the loss.
What to Do If There’s a Leak
Above All, Use Caution:
· Be careful of electrical Items: Do not plug anything into a wall that may have absorbed water. Do not turn on any lights, ceiling fans or anything else that have water running out of them.
· Be careful of slip hazards: Most injuries surrounding water damage losses are from slips and falls. Be aware that any hard surface will be much more slippery when wet.
· Protect your furniture: If there is standing water, tear off small sheets of foil or plastic food wrap. Slide this under the legs of furniture, to protect them from absorbing the water and doing permanent damage. This will not only prevent damage to the furniture, but to the flooring as well. Dye can run off wood furniture into carpet, and permanently change the color of carpet in that spot. There is no way to remove a dye transfer.
· Soak up excess water: If you have some towels, that you don’t mind putting on the floor, place them on the standing water to soak up the extra. A household shop vacuum would be even better. Water will continue to travel, until it is forcibly extracted.
· Use the weather to help start drying: If the temperatures are cool and it is not raining, open the doors and windows. This will significantly drop the humidity levels in the property and get a start on the drying process.
If you have a roof leak, contact your home insurance team. They can provide an insurance adjuster or a company to inspect the roof. This individual will look at the damage to determine what happened. If the incident has coverage under your policy, the insurance company will go to work for you to get it repaired.