Homeowners Risk Lower Resale Values and Insurance Claim Denials If They Don’t Have The Papers To Prove All The Mold Is Gone
As thousands of residents of New York and New Jersey are struggling to rebuild their devastated homes after Superstorm Sandy, another problem looms on the horizon. Hasty repairs could come back to haunt them. “You need to be sure your home is free from mold before and after you repair it,” warns Robert Weitz, a certified microbial investigator and principal at RTK Environmental Group. ”You have to document that your home is mold-free after it’s been repaired or it will hurt your resale value and jeopardize future insurance claims.”
Sandy’s widespread damage means that future home buyers will be asking tough questions about whether your home was flooded or struck by falling trees. You’ll want to be able to prove that your home was properly repaired afterwards. Otherwise, it may scare off buyers and force you to accept a significantly lower sale price. There’s even the risk of a potential lawsuit from a new owner who claims you knowingly sold them a home with post-Sandy mold.
What’s more, if your home floods again and mold returns, your insurance company may question whether the mold was caused by the new event and not from Sandy. Without proof your home was mold-free after repairs were made, you may be told that the damage can’t be counted toward a new claim or that you have or met your policy limit.
To protect yourself, you should take the following actions:
- Test for mold prior to repairs so that it is removed, and test for mold after repairs are done.
- Make sure your mold inspector provides you with a detailed written report on its methodology and findings.
- Hire an independent testing company that does not do remediation to avoid any conflict of interest, and be sure the company uses certified microbial investigators.
Your home is likely to be your single largest asset. Preserve its value through proper environmental inspection. Call RTK today to set up an inspection.