No doubt, rising damp is a scenario no homeowner wants to experience ever. Though it’s relatively rare, you will need to pay a hefty cost for treating this headache.
Given that, many people wonder, ‘Is rising damp covered by home insurance?’. If you’re one of them, don’t worry; we’re here for your guidance.
In this article, we will explore whether rising damp is covered by insurance or not, along with some valuable information you must know before making a claim.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
What is Rising Damp?
Rising damp is a concerning issue in buildings, especially structures with inadequate damp-proof course. This phenomenon occurs when groundwater, typically from the soil beneath the structure, is drawn up through porous building materials like bricks, mortar, or masonry.
While moving up, the water also carries various types of salts, including nitrates, sulfates, chlorates, etc. The presence of powdery salt deposits could lead to several structural and aesthetic issues within your property.
How to Identify Rising Damp?
Since rising damp is often associated with water leakage, it’s a bit tricky to identify it. So, we’ve outlined some valuable tips below to help you spot damp issues and address them before it’s too late.
Damp Patches: Begin by visually inspecting the walls of your home. Look for any unusual patches or watermarks, especially near the base of the walls. Rising damp often manifests as damp patches on both internal and external walls.
Paint and Wallpaper Issues: As you inspect the affected areas, pay close attention to any problems with paint or wallpaper. If you notice plaster bubbling, peeling, or blistering, it’s a potential indicator that moisture is seeping through the wall.
Unpleasant Odors: Don’t forget to use your sense of smell during your inspection. If you detect a musty or earthy odour in your home, this can be a strong clue of dampness.
Salt Deposits (Efflorescence): Look for white, powdery residue on the surface of walls. These salt deposits, known as efflorescence, can crystallize and indicate moisture-related issues associated with rising damp.
The Impact of Rising Damp on Your Home Walls
Rising damp can have a significant detrimental impact on your home’s walls. It’s essential to understand these effects, as they can help you figure out whether your home insurance covers damages related to wall damp or not:
Here are a few major impacts of rising damp on your home walls:
Deterioration of Wall Materials
One of the major consequences of rising damp is the deterioration of wall materials. It happens when groundwater, carrying soluble salts, ascends through porous materials such as bricks or mortar.
Over a period of time, this saltiness accumulates within the wall, gradually degrading the materials. This may result in cracks, mortar crumbling, and even damage to load-bearing parts, compromising the building’s overall stability.
Interior Stains & Mold Growth
As moisture seeps into the wall, it often leaves visible stains and damp patches on internal surfaces. These visually unappealing blemishes could be tough to eliminate and require costly redecoration.
Additionally, the presence of moisture creates an environment which promotes the growth of mould. This, as a result, poses several health concerns, such as respiratory problems and allergies among occupants.
Financial & Aesthetic Implications
Apart from structural concerns, damp can also have aesthetic and financial consequences. For instance, uneven stains and damaged walls can diminish your property’s curb appeal and reduce its resale value.
Is Rising Damp Covered by Insurance?
If your property has been affected by rising damp, you might be wondering, ‘Is rising damp backed by insurance?’. Unfortunately, the answer to this question is “No”.
Standard home insurance policies do not cover damages related to rising damp. But, of course, there may be exceptions or optional coverage available. So, it’s wise to review and discuss your concerns with your insurance provider to understand the specifics of coverage.
Why Home Insurance Doesn’t Cover Rising Damp?
As mentioned, home insurance policies typically don’t cover charges for damp-proof treatment. This lack of coverage can be attributed to several reasons, including:
Gradual Damage: Home insurance is designed to cover sudden and unexpected events, such as fires, storms, or burglaries. Rising damp, on the other hand, is considered a gradual issue that occurs over time due to water infiltration and damaged damp-proof course. Thus, insurance providers do not view it as an insurable event.
Maintenance Responsibility: Insurers expect homeowners to take reasonable steps to maintain their properties. This includes preventing and addressing issues like rising damp through regular maintenance and proper care of the property. Since rising damp is often attributed to neglect or poor property upkeep, it is usually not eligible for coverage.
Specific Exclusions: Most home insurance policies have specific exclusions for issues related to dampness, mould, and mildew. These exclusions further clarify that rising damp-related damage is not covered.
Exploring Indemnity Insurance for Rising Damp
Worried about your home insurance policy not covering rising damp? Well, don’t worry, as we have found a great alternative for you, and that’s Indemnity Insurance.
Basically, an Indemnity Policy is an agreement where the insurer guarantees to compensate for damages sustained by the policyholder. The rising damp is often associated with a lack of responsibility from the owner, and this insurance is designed to facilitate such concerns.
5 Practical Tips to Prevent Rising Damp
The cost for treatment of rising damp is too expensive. And the worst part is that home insurance policies don’t cover this issue. Fortunately, following a few strategies can save you a lot of money and hassle in the long run. Here are a few practical ways to prevent rising damp:
1. Maintain Proper Ventilation
Ensure that your home is well-ventilated, especially in areas prone to moisture buildup, like bathrooms, kitchens, and basements.
An effective way to improve home ventilation is to install exhaust fans or open windows regularly. This way, you can reduce the chances of the rising damp occurrence.
2. Build Effective Drainage Systems
Poor drainage around your home’s foundation can contribute to rising damp, damaging the damp-proof membrane.
For that reason, you must regularly inspect your roof, gutters, and downspouts for any drainage faults. If found, be sure to get it repaired as soon as possible.
3. Install a Damp-Proof Course (DPC)
A damp-proofing course is a physical barrier that prevents moisture from rising through the walls of your home. If your property doesn’t have an existing damp course or if it’s compromised, consider having one installed by a professional. This can be a more significant investment but can save you substantial repair costs in the long run.
4. Monitor Indoor Humidity Levels
Invest in a hygrometer to monitor the humidity levels inside your home. Ideally, indoor relative humidity should be kept between 30% and 50%. If levels consistently exceed this range, consider using dehumidifiers to lower humidity and reduce the risk of damp walls.
5. Use Waterproof Paint or Coatings
Consider applying waterproof paint or coatings specifically designed for interior walls in areas prone to rising damp. These products create a barrier on the interior surface of your walls, preventing moisture from infiltrating.
Advanced Damp – The Leading Rising Damp Solution Providers
Dealing with the challenges of rising damp? Advanced Damp can be your trusted partner in treating rising damp once and for all. With a track record of almost three decades, we have solidified our reputation as the industry’s leading damp solution provider.
Our commitment to delivering high-quality, long-lasting solutions has made us the trusted choice for property owners and managers seeking effective ways to fix rising damp.
Moreover, our team of experts comprises experienced professionals, including specialists in damp surveys, who possess an in-depth understanding of the complexities of damp. We employ modern technology and innovative techniques to accurately diagnose and address damp issues, ensuring the preservation of your property’s structural integrity.
So, call us for a free quote now and take a step forward to making your home damp-free. Also, if you need any kind of assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach us for help at:
Call: 0208 629 1517
Frequently Asked Questions – (FAQs)
How much does rising damp treatment cost?
Rising damp treatment costs can vary widely depending on the extent of the issue and the chosen method. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from £400 to £4000 for professional assessment and treatment.
Can you get indemnity insurance for damp?
Indemnity insurance for damps is available, but it’s often excluded or offered as an add-on in property insurance policies. Therefore, you should review your policy and discuss options with your insurer or broker to ensure adequate protection.
How much does rising damp devalue a house?
Wall damp can significantly devalue a house, potentially reducing its market price by up to 5-10%. It can vary depending on the severity of the issue and the local property market conditions.
What happens if you ignore rising damp?
Ignoring rising damp can lead to serious structural damage and health hazards. It may weaken walls, promote mould growth, and affect your well-being due to poor indoor air quality. That said, you must seek professional help against rising damp without any delay.
Can I claim for rising damp on my landlord’s insurance policy?
It depends on your specific policy terms. Some landlord insurance policies offer coverage for certain types of property damage, while others may require additional coverage or exclude damp-related issues. So, it’s best to consult the insurer for guidance.