Canadian Contractor

Alec Caldwell   

Mold and contractor liability

Canadian Contractor canada Insurance Liability

Most contractors' general liability insurance policies do not normally cover them for mold issues.

It seems mold issues are a serious concern to contractors in Canada, yet currently there are no national standards that specify the rights or responsibilities of contractors with respect to mold.

The most common types of mold are generally not harmful to healthy individuals, yet some molds may be hazardous indeed, causing health issues that range from allergic reactions, to toxic effects, to, in the most extreme cases, death.

Undisturbed mold is a problem, but disturbed, stirred up mold is even worse. Contractors disturb mold while breaking down bathroom walls or when working in leaky or wet basements: mold spores are released and can be breathed in by workers, homeowners and their families.

Homeowners and building owners can pursue legal action against contractors and other parties when mold is discovered down the road, if it’s deemed that poor construction practices have created the conditions for mold to take hold. Making a bad situation worse, most contractors’ standard general liability insurance policies do not normally cover them for mold issues.  

I suggest contractors do two things: Firstly, if you discover mold on a job, get as much information about the type of mold you are dealing with as possible, and disseminate that information as widely as you can (to workers, to the homeowner, to anyone else on the site) if the mold is of a dangerous type. Secondly, take time out to review your general contractors’ liability insurance policy to make sure it covers you for mold issues.

For information on mold  

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2 Comments » for Mold and contractor liability
  1. Ralph Carnovale says:

    I think the most information and policy is too be found in the WorkSafe B.C. web site. They seem to be the most advanced on most issues.

  2. James Fuchs says:

    Most contractors should do everything possibe to educate themselves and employees on mold issues. Be aware that missing one small detail can lead to mold in the future or worse yet- omitting items (that lead to moisture intrusion or buildup) due to budget or cost restraints, can have serious results.
    Simply cleaning existing mold is not good enough if the source of the problem is not addressed. Proper techniques and application of them will ensure or diminish a contractors liability.

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