All it takes is one leaking appliance to start mold growing.  Keep your home mold free by reading this article by a public adjuster in Boca Raton. 

When a homeowner needed a public adjuster in Boca Raton they called us for a free inspection.   The homeowner called us because they had a broken kitchen appliance.  The appliance leaked a lot of water on their kitchen floor.  The tile on the floor popped up and had to be replaced.  After several weeks the kitchen still smelled musty.   Not getting any results with the insurance companies preferred contractor, they called us for a free home inspection.  During the inspection we found hidden mold growing under the broken appliance and behind the kitchen cabinets. Even though the insurance company sent out their preferred water damage restoration vendor we found mold growing in hidden spots.

If you live in South Florida and are faced with water damage or suspect a mold problem, call us.  As the best Public Adjuster in Boca Raton we offer free inspections.

 If you live in South Florida and are dealing with home water or mold issues call us for a free inspection.  We are located serve all of Palm Beach County including Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Wellington, Fort Lauderdale, Jupiter, Lake Worth, Deerfield Beach and all of Martin and Broward counties.

Moldy bread in a Boca Raton home
Some mold situations are easy to fix. A plastic bag and a garbage can offers an easy solution in this case. However, when an appliance breaks and water leaks everyplace the situation becomes more dire.

We’ve all had these moments.  An unpleasant smell in the refrigerator that came from that greenish/blue loaf of bread hiding in your fridge.  Or maybe water leaking from the gaskets on your front-loading washing machine.  Of course there is the dreaded spot of water on the floor right near your refrigerator – the one with the icemaker.  Some of these moments are minor – you can throw out the bread, clean the fridge, and start life over. But what about those other moments that turn into major problems.  Often a small leak could easily be cleaned. That moldy food in the refrigerator could simply be thrown away.  The key to handling these moments is to catch them early before they turn into big problems.  A small appliance leak left unchecked could become a big mold issue.

Why do I care about mold anyway?

According to the EPA, mold can cause a series of health issues, ranging from “stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes, or skin.” If you or a member of your family has allergies, you could have intense reactions.  In fact, there may be a link between exposure to mold and the development of asthma and other illnesses in certain children. Just as mold doesn’t disappear on its own, neither do the health symptoms that go with it.

Why could my refrigerator lead to the creation of mold in my home?

Although the spoiled food is disturbing, there are a lot of potential areas where water may pool in the vicinity of your refrigerator.  If you see pools of water on a shelf or at the bottom of your refrigerator there is always a chance that mold could start growing.  Does your refrigerator have a freezer included?   Water inside your fridge may be due to the defrost drain being blocked. In fact, refrigerators with icemakers require much more attention than a bare bones model.  If you are seeing water on your kitchen floor.   Your water line may be leaking.  Remember that water supply line you had installed when you put in your new refrigerator?  That line that supplies water to the icemaker and water dispenser is sometimes the source of the leak.   The bad news is that sometimes the leaking is behind your refrigerator and is harder to see.  

Mold is great at hiding, often homeowners don’t even realize they have a mold problem brewing.

Mold loves to grow in hidden dark moist places.  As a public adjuster in Boca Raton we have seen many cases in with a kitchen smells musty.  Sometimes residents become ill with a cough or breathing problems.  The problem here is that the moisture under the refrigerator starts mold growth.  Then the mold grows against the wall, and behind the cabinets.  If you can see anything around your refrigerator, on the walls or on the ceiling. It’s a good idea to have your home inspected.

Mold hidden behind a kitchen counter in a Boca Raton home.
During this mold removal job, mold was found everyplace in this home. Check out the mold growing behind the counter top wall molding. When the molding was against the wall, the mold was not as visible. However, fold down the wall molding and you can clearly see mold growth.

What about my washing machine?

A leaking washing machine could start mold growing fast.
A washing machine leak like this could easily result in mold growth. In other the clean this mess properly the washing machine should be removed from its location and the entire area dried. As a Public adjuster in Boca Raton, we see plenty of mold growth issues that started as a washing machine leak like this one.

To prevent mold in your machine, Bob Vila the home improvement Guru has several tips.

 Number one is to regularly clean your washing machine; as noted in the introduction, you really need to pay special attention to the rubber gasket on front-load washers as well as the lip of the door on top-loaders.  You spray with an antimicrobial cleaning solution.

There is a real problem with front-loader washing machine gaskets because it “seals in the water during a wash cycle.  However, unless it is properly washed and dried, it holds that moisture for much longer than any other area on the machine.” New machines may offer new microbial defense features if you really can’t control the mold in your machine. Of course, there are always the hoses not fitting properly causing possible leaks and problems with other fittings. If water begins to seep under your machine, it can cause a serious mold issue if not attended to immediately.    How to keep your appliances healthy and mold free.

What’s different about mold and my HVAC system?

The scary thing about your HVAC system is that there are so many parts you cannot see inside your system. By the way HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air conditioning.  Of course, it is very important to maintain all the components of your heating and air conditioning system so that water related issues don’t occur.  If you have a window A/C unit that is moldy you should just replace it.  However, a centralized system is trickier.   If someone in your family is exhibiting respiratory symptoms whenever in the home checking your home for water stains on the ceiling and walls is a good idea.  

In the case you start smelling any type of unpleasant odor, you should consider water damage or mold could be the culprit. If the odor increases as you run your Air Conditioner, you may have hit on the source.  If you suspect you have mold in your HVAC system, the most important thing to do is to shut off your system. Running it could spread the mold throughout your entire home. By calling a mold removal or water damage expert the source of the smell and damage could be found and fixed.

When should you call a public adjuster?

If you have experienced water or mold damage from a broken appliance and your insurance company told you don’t have a claim, or if your insurance company adjuster tells you the claim amount would be more than the deductible then calling a public adjuster is a great idea.  Often we inspect homes in which an insurance claim has been denied only to find a wide range of missed issues.  There is no charge to have us inspect your home and determine if you really do have a valid claim.  We are based in Boynton Beach and cover the entire Palm Beach County, Broward County and Martin County areas.

Mold everyplace in this Boca Raton home.
When someone calls a Public Adjuster in Boca Raton or any place in South Florida, they often smell the mold but have no idea where the smell is coming from. Here you can see how mold hides against the walls in a kitchen.

When water sits still and contains nutrients mold starts to grow. 

When your appliances work properly water flows through a system of pipes or tubes ending the journey at a sewer line and then traveling to a waste water treatment plant.  However, when an appliance line breaks the water in the line stops flowing.  The water that escapes from a flow line results in a puddle of stagnant water.  In order for mold to start the growth cycle, the water must contain nutrients as well.  Since the water has escaped plumbing system and pooled in a part of your home, the elements of your home, such as wood, paper, flooring, become to nutrients. Once this happens the sitting water starts to grow living organisms (Mold) these organisms consume the nutrients and start to grow quickly. 

It only takes 24-48 hours for mold to grow.

Once an area becomes moist mold will start to grow in as little as 24 hours. Read our article on how mold grows here: How mold grows. Since mold is a living organism removing mold is difficult.  One common belief is that is the moldy area becomes dry the mold will die.  This is not true.  When mold dries out, the mold spores sleep, or a better way to look at it is that they become temporarily inactive.  In active mold can still produce the spores that make people sick.  The only way to get rid of the mold spores is to have a professional remove the mold entirely.

We are experts at discovering and removing mold and water damage.  If you smell something strange don’t wait, call a public adjuster or mold expert asap.

After reading this article, you may wonder how you can ever locate all these possible sources of mold.  Obviously, the best thing you could do is to properly maintain all your appliances, either yourself or through a service. The HVAC system is especially tricky, and you really do need experts to check it on a semi-annual or annual basis.  If you are vigilant, and something happens that results in mold, for example, a pipe inside a wall has a slow leak, you may be able to enter into an insurance claim under your home insurance policy.  

 If you have sudden damage due to a supply line breaking, even after regular maintenance, you may also be able file an insurance claim.  Remember, act immediately! Working as a public adjuster in Boca Raton we see appliance related mold issues all the time.  The sooner you act, the more likely you will collect from your insurer as you did not allow the situation to get worse.  

When you are dealing with such a water or mold damage situation, you will now have peace of mind. If Fox Public Insurance Adjusters can’t recover a settlement on your behalf, we will not charge you a fee!

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