rising damp stain on wall

Is Rising Damp Covered By Home Insurance?

10 August 2020

Damp can affect any property of any age and there are many different types and causes of damp but ordinarily, the costliest to resolve is rising damp.

Whilst rising damp is a problem that can affect any property it is the least common form of dampness found in properties compared to the other types of damp (penetrating and condensation).

While rising damp can affect any property, it is more commonly found to affect older properties that do not have a damp-proof course in place or has one that has become damaged over time. In this article, we will explain if home insurance covers rising damp?

Unfortunately, the simple answer is that it is more than likely that your home insurance will not cover rising damp. The reason for this is that when you sign onto the insurance policy you have agreed that the property is already in good condition.

The real issue is that if information relating to rising damp is not provided when taking out home insurance that it can result in the policy being cancelled and the invalidation of the agreement.

Having a damp survey carried out on the property is the best solution to sorting out the problem. It is recommended that the survey is carried out by a damp proofing specialist. Having a specialist carry out a survey will ensure the house is inspected properly to see what damp problems your property is affected by, and if any treatments will need to be carried out.

This could potentially save you expensive costs in the future if the damp problem worsens as these will not be covered by the home insurance company.

What is Rising Damp?

Rising damp is the movement of moisture up the walls of the building through the process of a “capillary action”. Bricks and cement are porous which means they will absorb the moisture and it will move upwards.

If the property does not have any damp proofing in place, such as a damp proof course for the walls and a damp proof membrane for the concrete floors, then this will leave the property vulnerable to moisture rising up from the ground. Another cause of rising damp is if the ground around the house has been raised, this will then act as a “bridge” for rising groundwater to bypass the damp course. For more information about rising damp visit our “what is rising damp?” page.

What Damage Can Rising Damp Cause to Your House?

Rising damp cannot only provide you with an unsightly stain on the wall but if left untreated for a long period of time can lead to serious structural damage. This can occur if the dampness affects the timbers of the property which can lead to dry rot and wet rot problems. If you are looking to sell the property, then this is going to deter any potential buyers.

Not only does having rising damp cause problems to your property but living in damp and mould conditions can also have an impact on your health as well. People with underlying health problems, such as the elderly or children could be impacted by asthma or allergies.

Claiming for Damage from Rising Damp on Home Insurance

To claim costs for repairs at your house then the damage needs to be caused by one specific event. Rising damp is caused by a defect at the property that will not be covered by an insurance company. The likely cause of rising damp is from the damp proof course being damaged. This damage will possibly have occurred over a number of years, so it is not defined as a specific event.

There are a few insurers who do offer specific cover for rising damp, however, it is always best to carry out regular property maintenance to ensure that there are no expensive costs for treating rising damp in the future.

How to fix your Rising Damp Problem

If your home has signs of rising damp, then it is best to contact a damp proofing specialist who is fully qualified. In most cases, when our surveyor conducts a damp survey and identifies that the house is suffering from rising damp, the root cause is a problem with the damp-proof course.

This can easily be fixed by inserting a chemical damp proof course by into the brickwork that will stop the moisture from rising up the wall. As the plaster will be contaminated from the salts left by the moisture then replastering will need to be undertaken as well.

Fixing the root cause of the rising damp problem is the only the true way of getting rid of the issue so as not incur expensive costs in the future, which cannot be claimed through home insurance.

Contact Our Rising Damp Experts

For more information on treating rising damp or other damp related problems then contact one of our professionals at Timberwise today via request a survey page or calling 0800 288 8660.