house insurance documents

Is Rising Damp Covered By Insurance?

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Key Takeaways:

  • Exclusion of Rising Damp in Home Insurance: Rising damp is not covered by standard home insurance due to its gradual nature, contrasting with sudden, accidental events like fires or burst pipes that insurance typically covers. 

  • Importance of Property Condition in Insurance Coverage: House insurance policies may not cover rising damp if the property doesn’t meet the defined standard of “excellent condition” as per the policy agreement. 

  • Uninsurable Nature of Rising Damp: Rising damp is ineligible for insurance claims because it lacks a clearly definable event causing damage. 

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is ‘no’; rising damp is not covered by standard home insurance policies. The biggest reason behind it not being covered by the insurance companies is that it is a gradual issue that occurs over time and not a sudden or accidental event such as a fire or burst pipe.

Therefore, insurance companies only cover sudden accidental events in their insurance coverage and not slow, gradual damages that happen over time in a house – be it rising damp, rotting of the house structure, damaged brickwork, eroding paintwork, etc.

So, if rising damp and condensation is not covered in house insurance, what else is, and what’s more, that is not covered? Let’s find out!

Moisture damp on a wall

First off – Is Rising Damp Covered by Home Insurance Policies

It is possible that your house insurance policy does not cover the potential risk of rising damp on your property. It is due to the contractual commitment you made when signing the policy, in which you certify that your property is in ‘excellent condition.’

When rising damp affects your property, it is deemed to not fulfil the standards of suitable condition, and it is critical to analyse the policy’s description of what counts as such. Furthermore, failing to report this concern before acquiring house insurance may render the coverage null and void, with the insurer cancelling the arrangement.

It is for this reason that we strongly urge people to hire a damp-proofing professional to do a full damp survey. A survey of this type evaluates the general condition of the home and provides recommendations for any necessary repairs.

This preventative measure can reduce the possibility of future excessive and invasive repair costs, which would not be covered by your house insurance policy.

Penetrating damp and moisture on ceiling

Why is There No Option to Claim Insurance for Damage Due to Rising Damp?

To be eligible for a repair expenditures claim under your insurance policy, the damage must be caused by a clearly definable event. Notably, rising damp is caused by a deficiency inside the affected property—whether structural or otherwise—that is not directly related to a definable event. Therefore, it is expressly excluded from coverage.

Rising damp is frequently closely connected to Damp Proof Course (DPC) defects, as seen by the existence of fractures in the membrane or other DPC components.

This structural weakness allows moisture to gradually rise through the wall’s structural parts, eventually resulting in wet areas within the limits of the residence building. It is critical to highlight that such damage often manifests over a long period of time, often spanning many years.

Rising damp on a wall

Can You Sell a House That Has Damp Problems?

While it is lawful to sell a house with damp issues, it is critical to remember that sellers are legally required to clearly disclose such structural risks to prospective purchasers. Failure to comply with this legislative responsibility may result in severe legal penalties, emphasising the need for strict adherence to disclosure rules in real estate transactions.

Is it Possible to Treat Rising Damp?

The good thing is that the rising damp problem can be resolved. However, before taking any corrective action, you should confirm your concerns with a thorough expert evaluation. It can be performed by hiring a professional damp surveyor or a rising damp removal expert.

Is it Possible to Fix Rising Damp Permanently?

You will be able to handle and correct any issues that occur related to the onset of rising damp by implementing precise and customised actions.

A thorough expert evaluation will provide you with detailed insights into the specific difficulties affecting your property, allowing you to formulate customised suggestions for the most appropriate and advanced treatment approaches available.

What if Rising Damp is in an Old House? How to Fix it?

To prevent groundwater penetration into your walls, windows and floors, you must first check for the presence of a damp-proof course and a damp membrane. Since 1875, these elements have been required in all new homes built. If your home predates this time period, it is likely that these safeguards are missing.

A careful survey of your outside walls may reveal a modest strip just above ground level, but professional confirmation is advised.

If the aforementioned protective elements are present yet moisture concerns remain, it is possible that they have been damaged or worn over time. As a result, corrective action is required, which might be either replacement or repair.

The traditional treatment for a degraded or missing damp-proof course is drilling holes into the afflicted wall and injecting damp-proof cream into damp walls through the holes, thereby functioning as a substitute course.

A more involved method requires carving grooves into the brickwork to permit the installation of a new piece of damp-proof course. It is important to note, however, that the latter course of action is naturally more complicated and time-consuming.

Peeling plaster work due to damp

How Does Rising Damp Start?

If the architectural structure lacks an internal damp-proof course within its internal and external walls, or a damp-proof membrane beneath its concrete floors, or if these protective layers are damaged, water has the ability to ascend beyond the foundations and potentially appear within the ground-floor compartments.

Rising damp can also be caused by an elevation in ground level, such as when a mound of soil is heaped against an outside wall or roof or an area next to the structure is submitted to concrete overlay or pavement.

When the ground surface becomes closer to the walls of buildings, it acts as a route for ascending groundwater, allowing it to bypass the damp-proof course. This situation might worsen if adequate drainage measures are not in place to move rainfall away from the structure.

What Does a Rising Damp Look Like?

Rising damp is typically identified by the presence of wet patches along the base of interior and external walls, spreading up to roughly 1.2 meters, or on ground-level floors.

Concurrently, rising damp can cause the deterioration of skirting boards and floor timbers, the detachment of paint or wallpaper, the appearance of stains or tidemarks, the degradation of plaster, the sense of a musty odour, the proliferation of mould, and the accumulation of powdery salts on wall or floor surfaces as groundwater evaporates into the enclosed space.

Call Advanced Damp Ltd. Today!

Get in touch with the experienced team at Advanced Damp Ltd. for a complete grasp of practical techniques to alleviate any concerns associated with suspected rising damp within your house.

Please call us at 0300 373 7251 to arrange a complete survey customised to your individual circumstances.

Alternatively, you may contact us through our dedicated contact page. Rest assured that after we receive your message, we will attentively answer your inquiries immediately.

Picture of Jake Fitzgerald - Damp Surveyor

Jake Fitzgerald - Damp Surveyor

Surveyor of Timber & Dampness in Buildings (CSTDB) & ( MRICS ) Chartered Quantity Surveyor

Jake is a qualified chartered quantity surveyor and experienced damp specialist with a unique skill set in thermal imaging. With a focus on effective solutions, Jake combines his expertise in quantity surveying and thermal imaging to accurately assess and address damp-related issues. He utilises advanced technology to identify hidden moisture sources and develop targeted strategies, ensuring comprehensive and cost-effective solutions for his clients. With a commitment to open communication and client satisfaction, Jake delivers cutting-edge solutions that tackle damp challenges head-on.

Connect with him on Linkedin...

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