When you first become a homeowner, you don't want to think about all the things that could go wrong—although there are plenty of things that fall under that category. As a new homeowner, you want to think about how you'll position your personal belongings within the space, and what color you'll be painting the accent wall in the living room. You and your family members are busy imagining how you'll make this new house into a home, and all the beautiful memories you'll be making in the space.
Nonetheless, disaster strikes many homeowners sooner or later, and owning a home also means looking out for signs of deterioration or necessary maintenance. Rising damp is one of those signs that something has gone awry with your structure and that whatever it is should be addressed sooner rather than later. It's this type of issue that has many new homeowners shopping for homeowners insurance options and comparing various home insurer options.
With that being said, let's take a look at exactly what rising damp even is, and how you can protect your personal property from being harmed by this insidious enemy.
What is rising damp?
Rising damp is a process by which groundwater makes its way into the structure of a building, usually by creeping up through the masonry and plaster. Basically, any water (and salt) in the ground has the potential to leech up into the brickwork if the masonry wasn't properly put together. This is rare, and shouldn't be confused with other types of damp. It's more common for a home to experience water damages as a result of flooding or condensation entering the walls by way of other cracks and leaks. Nonetheless, this type of property damage should be assessed and treated by professionals quickly. Left untreated, it can lead to the rotting of structural beams and can actually damage the structural integrity of the whole house.
Does homeowners insurance cover property damage of this sort?
The answer here is complicated, as all home insurance policies are different. One insurance company may offer insurance products that consider property damage as a result of rising damp a covered loss, while others do not. There's a great deal of regionality that comes into play when it comes to what insurers consider a covered loss. In an area that sees many natural disasters of a particular sort (like floods due to monsoons or hurricanes), insurers are more likely to offer flood insurance as a regular part of their insurance products. The best thing to do if you want to ensure you're getting the insurance coverage you need for the best rate is to head online and use a home insurance compare tool. These advanced comparison tools can provide all the information you need about various types of coverage in your region and how much various insurance add-ons will impact your monthly premium payment.
What can you do to avoid structural damage?
First and foremost, the most important thing you can do to be responsible about your home's upkeep is to be vigilant. That means taking a walk around the property every once in a while to look for outside signs of salt accumulation or brickwork that seems a bit saggier than it should. Once the rising damp is causing paint to crack and wallpaper to peel, it's already farther inside the walls, which means it has access to the beams. While it's also good to keep an eye out for signs of dampness indoors, being vigilant about your home's exterior will help you diagnose the problem more quickly. Beyond simply staying aware, you can call professionals in to perform an assessment on an annual basis. This will give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your home, and all the personal belongings inside, are safe and sound.