Can a damp proofing course be claimed on house insurance?
Rising damp has been a common issue. It has been addressed by the home insurance policies for many years now. However, things aren’t clear enough of what exactly is covered. That is why we need to go back to basics and learn more about rising damp.
What is rising damp?
Dampness in your home can be due to several reasons. If the water tends to come from the sides or above the building, that’s a penetrating kind of damp. Condensation is yet another damp type basically from poor ventilation systems. Rising damp is the third type that is triggered when water from the subsoil through capillarity find its way into the walls. If the walls are faulty, the moisture will continue climbing upwards to higher levels. You will detect presence of rising damp with decaying skirting boards and tidemarks.
Preventing rising damp
Building contractors are aware of capillarity action in their building process. That’s why they include a preventative precaution. A damp proof course is a membrane usually waterproof laid below the walls to prevent the capillary action. In most houses, the membrane tends to work effectively. In others that suffer rising damp, there seem to be problems down there.
2 sides of the argument for claiming
One side of the argument when it comes to home insurance is already covered. It’s the scenario where there is an effective damp proof course or DPC as popularly known. Capillary action does not make it and hence a third party force causes the rising damp. The water having failed to go through the DPC finds its way round the membrane and into the walls. It is possible where there is constant flooding or the DPC is covered by the soil.
The second reason for rising damp to occur where DPC exist is the DPC itself getting compromised. If a membrane is torn or damaged, it seizes to be waterproof. The presence of a damaged DPC is as good as none existing. The very thing that is made to prevent will surely happen.
Having understood the causes of rising damp, we have to ask whether the problem can be covered by home insurance policies. We expect that whenever there are issues with your home, the insurance will step in and take care of the treatment bill. It however seems that most of the insurance companies are yet to define what type of rising damp they are willing to cover. Where a defective DPC causes the rising damp issue, the insurance company can be excused as that is the problem of the contractor. However, if the DPC is intact and working but water still finds its way up, then the insurance company should consider covering that.
Either way, you should consult your insurer at an early stage to understand whether your kind of rising damp will be covered, Abbey Damp Proofing offer professional diagnosis services for damp proofing with full written reports which can be sent direct to your insurance provider for review.
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