After a hurricane has swept through a community, there is water and flood damage of course, and perhaps fire damage, but after the water has receded and mud has been removed, mold may grow. Mold is a fungus, also known as mildew, and it thrives in moist places. It especially does well in warmer climates and wherever there is decaying matter and darkness.
You can recognize its presence by discolored areas on the walls or ceiling, and around tiles and plumbing – blue, green or black most often, but sometimes also orange or brown. There is also a characteristic musty smell.
How Does Mold Spread?
It is not washed in by the flood waters. The spores are airborne and cling to such things as:
- Animal fur
The spores can be blown in through a window or doorway, or through a ventilating system, heating system or air conditioning duct. It needs moisture to survive and is very common after a hurricane. You might find mold behind wallpaper, under a moist carpet, in the ceiling, on leaky pipes, and on any wood surface.
If you find that you or anyone in your family have an allergy that persists in spite of treatment, the culprit could be mold. There are several types of toxic mold with medical names such as Cladosporium, Fusarium, Aspergillus and Alternaria.
Black mold is another type, also called Stachybotrys Chartarum. It produces a toxin called mycotoxin which presents danger to both humans and animals. It grows in fiberboard, paper, and wood and is readily visible because of the black discoloration. It can cause:
- Sore throat
- Breathing problems
- Flu-like symptoms
Toxic Mold Damages
If the moisture in a building is not dried out promptly after a flood or hurricane, toxic molds will take hold and spread. If you have contacted your landlord or rental manager about the moisture and mold and failed to receive any response, you may have a valid legal claim. If you are a property owner and have not received appropriate action from suppliers or distributors of building materials, or manufacturers of construction materials, you also may have a legal claim. Damages may include:
- Depreciation in property value
- Loss of use of the property or of personal items
- Relocation costs
- Repair and remediation costs
- Loss of wages
- Medical costs
If you are having difficulty with appraisal of your property damage, we can help you deal with it. Sometimes the insurance companies are so overworked after a hurricane that their adjusters rush through the workday, overlooking important facts or misrepresenting situations. Instead of trying to solve appraisal problems by yourself, why not have an experienced hurricane attorney representing you? You can then direct your energies to more personal situations with your work or family which only you can deal with.
Please see our Hurricane Glossary and our Hurricane Questions and Answers pages for more information. On the Hurricane Information Resources page there are links to other sites that may be of help in your situation.
We can help you resolve any disputes or problems in restoring your property to full use. If your complaints are being ignored or claims denied, please contact us for a free consultation. Our toxic mold attorneys are very familiar with the complexities of such situations and can represent you to insurance companies and if necessary, take your claim to court. Please call or email our Orlando, Florida office today. From Orlando, we serve all of Florida. Se habla español.
Suite 830 Top Floor
Orlando, FL 32801