HOA mold problem is a tricky topic for managed communities, and it’s one that should be addressed right away. Is mold an HOA problem in the first place? Is HOA responsible for mold issues, or are they something that the owner should foot the bill for? The answer, as it turns out, depends on several factors, especially when it comes to mold in condos, where mold in condo walls can develop from building issues.
In this article, we look at the answers to some of the usual questions regarding HOA mold problems, a few suggestions on how to tackle the issues as well as some ways to prevent them from coming back.
HOA Mold Problems: The Common Questions About This Noxious Issue
Whether the properties within your managed community are old or newly built, mold can be a common problem in regions that have humid, warm months. Moisture, leaks, and mold in homeowner properties are a serious headache for their residents, and the remedy can range from a simple cleanup to major repairs.
That’s why some residents would insist that their mold issue is something that the association should fix for them. It can be a complicated issue that residents and the HOA should work together to solve, especially in regions where humidity is high.
Is an HOA Mold Problem Serious?
Mold is not something to be taken lightly. If the problem is not addressed, mold can cause serious health complications for those with allergies, asthma, or lung disease.
Mold can be especially harmful to young residents or anyone with a compromised immune system. In addition to health concerns, mold can cause problems with the stability and safety of structures as a wet environment can compromise the integrity of the building materials over time. This can lead to costly major repairs later on.
On another side of the issue, mold on properties or mold in condo walls look unsightly, and will adversely affect the value of the property. The longer that the mold is allowed to stay and spread, the worse the damage it can cause.
Is Mold an HOA Problem or the Owner’s?
The short answer is: it depends on the situation, and where the mold problem originated. If possible, this should be an issue that the HOA has already anticipated and planned for together with the homeowners, so that they have an immediate answer.
For example, some communities have a clear rule that if the mold is in a place within a homeowner’s property, then it’s the owner’s responsibility to clear it out. Likewise for a common area – if the mold settles in an area that the HOA manages, then it will be up to the HOA to repair the place.
There’s the issue, of course, of who pays for the repairs. For clear cases of neglect, this can be easy to settle. For example, if a resident leaves a faucet on before leaving their unit for a vacation, the cleanup of the resulting mold from the flood is usually paid for by the resident. That holds true for the HOA as well – if the building management failed to address a leak in time, the association could end up footing the bill.
As with many problems regarding the upkeep and maintenance of houses in an HOA, when an issue of mold arises the question likewise arises of who is responsible for the mold and who is under obligation to solve the problem. As tempting as it may be to spend more time making sure that the right party pays for the repairs, your main priority should be getting rid of the mold.
As you already know, mold can grievously affect the health and well-being of the residents and the rest of the community. Regardless of who is responsible, the mold is an urgent matter that must be eradicated, and quickly.
How to Address Mold in Condo Walls?
Mold in condo walls is a serious problem that can spread to shared ventilation systems and the rest of the building unchecked. Mold in condos can arise quickly, and it is important that the condo association is on top of their maintenance duties, even more so compared to an HOA serving a single-family home community.
Mold in condos can develop from leaks and other moisture sources, and spread along shared walls. It can also arise from neglected vacant units marked for foreclosure, as these ones may not have the air conditioning turned on for months at a time.
In the case of mold in condo walls, the source should be addressed first. Faulty plumbing, roof leaks, and window issues must be repaired first before the work starts on the interior walls.
Does Insurance Cover Mold Problems?
It depends on the insurance policy the owner and the association have bought into. There are policies that specifically cover mold damage. For the most part, however, most homeowners insurance does not cover mold damage that comes from flooding, high humidity, or a preventable water leak.
Should the Board Conduct a Mold Test?
The short answer to this question is “No.” Mold tests are time-consuming, wasting precious time that could be used in eradicating the mold. In addition, they are generally unhelpful as they are unable to show you where the problem is located and how the problem should be fixed. Finally, the results of a mold test may open the door to legal trouble with your residents.
How to Handle HOA Mold Problems:
Be Prepared: When it comes to mold, preparation is key. Before a complaint about HOA mold problems is even brought up, choose the vendor that you will use to fix the problem, evaluate and fix any ventilation problems, and establish a plan of action for when a problem arises.
Review Your Insurance Policy: Many insurance plans do not cover mold. Therefore it is important for you to review your insurance policy to see what is covered and what is not. It may be necessary to change policies, add services, or make additional preparations that will protect you for this eventuality.
Fix The Problem Fast: Mold does not go away on its own, nor does it stop growing. When HOAs drag their feet, the problem gets worse and more expensive. Contact the vendor right away and fix the problem immediately.
Find The Source: Bad ventilation, flooding, and many other causes can be the source of mold. Have a professional find where the problem is occurring and do the necessary repairs to prevent further breakouts.
HOA Mold Problems Are Complex Issues That Require Immediate Answers
Hoa mold problems can be complex and expensive issues. When the health of the community and the integrity of properties are at stake, it is best to meet these issues head-on. Preparing ahead of time, and being ready to act should a problem arise will benefit everyone in the long run. If you’re having some issues with mold, we’re here to listen.
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