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Insurance Claim Advice

Is Rising Damp Covered by House Insurance?

Discovering damp patches climbing your walls can be a homeowner’s nightmare. Rising damp is a stealthy intruder, often slipping past building insurance policies. Our comprehensive guide tackles the headache of rising dampness and dives into its causes, remedies, and the crucial insurance coverage question: Can you make a rising damp water damage claim, and is rising dampness covered by house insurance?

Rising Damp

Rising damp occurs when moisture from the ground moves up through the walls of a house by capillary action.

Imagine water being sucked up through tiny tubes in your bricks and mortar, much like how a sponge soaks up liquid.

This unwanted guest can climb high as it seeps into masonry and plasterwork, sometimes visible as a tide-like stain on your walls. A key shield against this is an effective damp-proof course or membrane that blocks moisture from rising further.

rising damp on a wall peeling

If you spot signs of rising damp, quick action is vital to halt its upward journey before serious damage sets in.

Picture untreated rising damp as an invisible force slowly compromising the structural integrity of your home while setting off alarm bells for potential health hazards.

Main Causes of Rising Damp

Older homes often face the challenge of rising damp due to their lack of a damp-proof course.

Ground moisture finds its way into the bricks and mortar, climbing up through capillary action.

This is particularly troublesome for those living in historical buildings where modern damp prevention techniques were not originally included.

Faulty or non-existent damp-proof courses allow moisture ingress, leading to potential structural damage.

Poor property maintenance exacerbates the problem.

Blocked gutters and downpipes contribute significantly as they can cause water to overflow and saturate walls.

If your home has cavity walls, it’s critical to check that the insulation has been installed correctly; otherwise, penetrating damp may occur.

Leaking pipes, cracked renderings or damaged roofing can also be culprits in letting water enter your home unchecked.

Taking steps toward regular inspections might save you from dealing with severe issues later on.

Effectively managing these causes requires understanding how they affect your house’s well-being – this leads us into exploring ‘Effects of Rising Damp on a House’.

Effects of Rising Damp on a House

Rising damp can wreak havoc on your house, attacking the integrity of building materials. As it creeps up from the ground, moisture damages walls and internal finishes, often leading to a musty smell that signifies deeper problems.

Left unchecked, it leads to structural damage as timbers rot and brickwork deteriorates; this not only threatens the stability of your home but also makes it less appealing should you decide to sell.

Damp areas become breeding grounds for mould and mildew, contributing to poor indoor air quality. Your family’s health could be at risk with potential respiratory issues and allergic reactions occurring more frequently in these conditions.

Such implications make treating rising damp a priority for homeowners. Moving forward, let’s explore how such challenges influence your well-being further under ‘Health Implications of Rising Damp’.

Health Implications of Rising Damp

Rising Damp can lead to serious health implications, including respiratory issues and allergies due to the growth of mould and mildew.

Prolonged exposure to damp conditions can also worsen health conditions such as asthma.

Dangers of Rising Damp

Rising damp can wreak havoc on your home, causing serious damage to the structure and timbers. If left untreated, it can lead to decay and even compromise the integrity of your property.

The presence of moisture allows fungi such as dry rot to thrive, which can result in costly repairs down the line. It’s not just about the building either—your health is at risk too.

Living with rising damp creates an ideal environment for mould and mildew, which are known triggers for respiratory issues like asthma and allergies.

Continual exposure to mold may weaken your immune system over time, making you more susceptible to infections.

As a homeowner, it’s crucial to address any signs of dampness promptly before these dangers escalate into more significant problems impacting both your home’s safety and your wellbeing.

Impact on Health from Prolonged Exposure

Living in a house afflicted by rising damp is not just uncomfortable; it can harm your health. Moisture and mould build up over time, and exposure to these conditions often triggers respiratory infections, allergies and asthma attacks.

If you continuously breathe in damp air inside your home, you might notice that colds linger longer or asthma symptoms worsen.

This environment also weakens the immune system overall, making it harder for your body to fight off other illnesses.

A significant number of people are dealing with these health issues due to inadequate living conditions.

Research shows that over one-eighth of renters face problems caused by damp and mould in their homes.

It’s clear: the effects of long-term exposure aren’t just minor inconveniences but serious concerns that demand prompt attention. To ensure the wellbeing of yourself and your family, treating rising damp should be a priority – because healthy homes support healthy lives.

Solutions for Rising Damp

To address rising damp in your home, there are various treatment options available such as installing a damp-proof membrane and implementing preventative measures like improving ventilation and ensuring proper drainage around the property.

It is important to consult with a professional to determine the best solution for your specific situation.

Treatment Options for Rising Damp

rising damp on a wall

Professional damp-proofing methods tackle rising damp effectively. One common technique involves installing a new damp-proof course, which acts as a barrier to prevent moisture from traveling up your walls.

Specialists might also inject water-repellent chemicals into the wall to stop the dampness. This process requires drilling holes at various points along the mortar course and filling them with a special solution that repels water.

After addressing the cause, damaged plasterwork needs replacing because it can contain salts drawn up by the moisture. Workers will strip off the old plaster and apply fresh, waterproof render and finish with suitable plaster to ensure no further damage occurs.

Regular checks and maintenance of your home’s exterior can help ward off future instances of rising damp, potentially saving you significant expense down the line.

Preventative Measures for Rising Damp


Check your home for signs of rising damp regularly, especially if you live in an older property without a damp-proof course. Early detection can save you time and money by avoiding more serious damage that could escalate costs drastically.

Ensure the lower sections of your walls are properly inspected for telltale moist patches or a white salt residue which often indicates moisture is being drawn up through the building materials.

Invest in preventative measures such as installing or repairing an existing damp proof course to act as a barrier against moisture. Consider fitting cavity wall insulation if appropriate, ensuring it’s done correctly to prevent creating conditions conducive to dampness.

Keep gutters clean and maintain roofing; defective drainage systems often contribute to excess moisture build-up around foundations leading to potential problems with rising damp. Regular property maintenance isn’t just about aesthetics – it’s essential in safeguarding your home against the creeping menace of rising damp.

Financial and Legal Aspects

– Impact of Rising Damp on Property Value

– Selling a House Affected by Rising Damp

Impact of Rising Damp on Property Value

Rising damp can drastically reduce your property’s market value. Potential buyers often view it as a sign of neglect and an immediate red flag, wary of the potential repair costs and health risks.

Homes plagued with rising dampness often linger on the market for longer periods, driving down their selling price even further.

If you’re looking to sell your home, be aware that surveys conducted by chartered surveyors will likely highlight any damp issues. This becomes a sticking point during negotiations, giving buyers leverage to push for a lower price.

Regular maintenance and addressing rising damp promptly can safeguard your investment and help retain the value of your property in the competitive housing market.

Selling a House Affected by Rising Damp

Selling a house affected by rising damp can present challenges, as potential buyers may be deterred by the presence of this issue. It’s important to disclose the problem upfront and be transparent about any treatments or preventative measures taken.

Highlighting regular maintenance and treatment efforts can provide reassurance to prospective buyers regarding the condition of the property.

To mitigate concerns, consider obtaining a damp survey and consulting with a damp proofing specialist to rectify the issue before listing your property. Emphasise how addressing rising damp can enhance the overall value and appeal of your home, instilling confidence in potential buyers.

Rising Damp and House Insurance

Home insurance coverage for a rising damp claim varies depending on the policy and the specific circumstances of the issue. It’s important to understand what your insurance covers and how to claim for damage from rising damp.

Coverage of Rising Damp by Home Insurance

Home insurance typically does not cover rising damp, as it is considered gradual deterioration rather than sudden damage.

This means that policies for buildings, contents, and landlord insurance generally do not include coverage for the effects of rising damp.

It’s essential to disclose any existing rising damp when taking out an insurance policy to avoid potential issues with claim settlements in the future.

Non-disclosure of rising dampness at the time of obtaining home insurance can lead to policy cancellation if discovered later.

As such, it’s crucial to be upfront about any existing issues related to rising damp when purchasing or renewing your home insurance policy.

Claiming for Damage from Rising Damp

If you discover rising dampness in your home, taking quick action is essential. Contact your insurance provider promptly to file a claim for the damage caused by rising dampness and or get help from a loss assessor.

Be prepared with evidence such as photographs and professional assessments of the affected areas.

Submit all necessary documentation to support your claim for coverage under your homeowner’s insurance policy. Check if there are specific requirements or exclusions related to rising damp in your policy documents, as this can affect the success of your claim.

It’s important to note that claiming for damage from rising damp may not always be straightforward, as many insurance policies consider it gradual deterioration rather than sudden damage.

Therefore, being transparent about any prior knowledge of rising damp when purchasing or renewing your insurance can help prevent disputes if you need to make a claim in the future.


In conclusion, rising damp is typically not covered by house insurance. It’s essential for homeowners to be aware of this limitation and take preventive measures to protect their property against rising damp.

Consulting with a reputable damp specialist and conducting regular property maintenance can help in identifying and addressing rising damp issues before they become extensive and costly problems.

Being proactive about rising damp can ultimately save homeowners from financial strain caused by potential damage that isn’t covered by insurance.