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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold in a Crawl Space?

By Teri Dormer

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Mold comes in several varieties (often categorized as pathogenic, allergenic, or toxigenic) that all love damp and warm environments, which makes your crawl space an easy target if there’s moisture build-up over time.

If you’ve got a water build-up or a drain pipe leaking in crawl spaces, not catching it in time can trigger mold growth in these hard-to-reach spaces. You might think mold in your crawl spaces is an out-of-sight, out-of-mind kind of problem, but the reality is that mold can be dangerous, even if it’s in a part of your home you wouldn’t consider “liveable.” 

Finding standing water in a crawl space under the house already sounds like enough of a nightmare, but what happens when you have to navigate the scenarios of whether your homeowners insurance covers mold or water in crawl spaces?

Don’t panic, we’ve got the answers you’re looking for here!

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold In Crawl Spaces?

When mold growth is tied to an insurance claim that was previously covered (like a ruptured water heater, or other major appliance), your insurance provider may also cover the cost of treating and removing the mold. Your policy (probably) doesn’t include coverage if the mold wasn’t due to a previous claim.

Insurance companies often treat mold as a maintenance issue because it takes time for mold to occur, even though the reality is mold can form in as little as 24 to 48 hours under the right conditions. 

Let’s break it down even further with some real-world examples.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water In Crawl Spaces?

In most cases, the following instances would be covered by your homeowners insurance policy. 

  • The standing water is a result of a pipe bursting unexpectedly. 
  • The standing water is a result of a broken or faulty appliance that leaked into the crawl space. 
  • Your air conditioning unit malfunctions, causing a sudden flood of water that’s trapped in your crawl space. 

You can’t have mold without water, and water damage is one area where your homeowners insurance can start to get a little fuzzy. If there’s standing water in the crawl space under your house, whether or not your homeowners insurance covers the cost of the damages or the repairs depends entirely on how the water got there in the first place.

To understand what your homeowners policy covers, it might be easier to start with the perils that are excluded from basic coverage. The easiest peril to write off is flooding, which is excluded from conventional coverage by virtually all policies.

Here are some other examples of standing water in your crawl space that aren’t covered by most policies: 

  • A small leak in the roof caused water to pool in your crawl space over time.
  • Standing water was left behind after a sudden rainstorm that caused flooding in your neighborhood. 
  • A pipe in your home bursts as a result of negligence or poor upkeep. 

Drain Pipe Leaking In Crawl Space

If you have a drain pipe leaking in your crawl space, don’t wait for standing water to also end up in the crawl space under your house. 

Rainwater and groundwater are the most common causes of standing water in crawl spaces, but a leaking pipe can cause the same issues and may not be protected by your homeowners insurance. You may not spend a lot of time in your crawl space, but you’ll want to be mindful of cracks that can form there and fill them immediately to avoid standing water triggering mold. 

How To Dry Out Your Crawl Space After a Flood 

So you’ve had a storm or a flood and you need to drain your crawl space before the water becomes stagnant and leads to mold?

You have a few options, including using a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air, or a sump pump, which are used to help pump out groundwater from the foundation and crawl spaces in your home. 

When it comes to protecting your home from water damage that won’t be covered by your homeowners insurance, your best bet is always to take a proactive approach. Be mindful of your crawl space, inspect it from time to time, and make the necessary adjustments to ensure you won’t get caught with standing water in your crawl spaces. 

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Crawl Space Encapsulation?

Even though crawl space encapsulation isn’t covered by your homeowners insurance, it can still be a worthwhile investment. It’s a measure that can make it more difficult for standing water to build up in the first place and it also makes it easier to remove water that does pool in the foundation of your home. 

Because the most common causes of standing water in crawl spaces are also excluded from coverage, investing in a crawl space encapsulation can help you avoid the thousands of dollars that mold removal or water extraction could cost you out of pocket.

Get a Quote Compare multiple policies to get the coverage you need at the price you want.

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