Does your home's foundation need repairs? If it does, can you rely on your Homeowners Insurance to foot the repair bills? This is one of the many questions that many homeowners often find themselves asking.
For most of them, taking up an insurance claim is often the best way to cushion against costly and unprecedented home repair expenses. But, does a homeowners insurance fully apply to all kinds of damages on a home's foundation?
Understanding Foundation Damages
When it comes to foundation repairs, the insurance play becomes a bit tricky. That's because an insurance policy is only applicable if your foundation is affected by specific factors, or due to a fault in a covered element of your home.
In most cases, home insurance applies to a number of damage-causing factors. They include things like plumbing issues, fire, wind damage, explosions, and vandalism.
But, when the damages are a result of general wear and tear, soil expansion/contraction, tree roots among other factors, even an extended insurance cover won't be of help.
To fully grasp how much your homeowner's insurance covers, you must first learn a few things.
For instance, which factors harm or weakens your foundation? Are these factors covered by your insurance terms? If they are not, what can you do to save yourself from the massive repair costs that ensue after damages?
A Few Common Causes of Foundation Failure and Damage
1. Plumbing Issues - Broken and leaking pipes often form small pockets of water eventually weakening the soil's stability around your foundation.
2. Drought - That's because it leads to excessive evaporation. When the soil around your foundation loses a lot of water, it's bound to shrink. This occurrence later leads to the formation of cracks on a home's foundation.
3. Trees - They affect the stability of your foundation in two ways: transpiration and root penetration. Transpiration may desiccate the soil beneath your home causing it to shrink. Root penetration is a well-known cause of foundation failure.
4. Poor Drainage - While too little moisture in your soil may be bad for your foundation, too much of it is also a cause for concern. Poor drainage may lead to the formation of pools of water around your home. This may lead to erosion or consolidation to cause soil settlement.
5. Defective Construction - A poorly constructed foundation is definitely bound to fail sooner or later.
6. Aging - Like most things on this earth, wear and tear is also a common cause of failure.
7. Poor Soil Conditions - Houses built on unstable soil types that often expand or contract are most likely to have foundation issues.
8. Other Factors - They include things like fires, explosions, wind damage (insurable) and natural events like earthquakes and floods (require supplemental coverage).
Which of These Factors are Covered by Your Homeowners Insurance?
From the list of causes above, generally only a few are covered by your home insurance policy. As mentioned earlier, they include broken plumbing, fires, explosions, and wind damage.
And with extended coverage, you can also insure your home against ground cover collapse, earthquakes, and floods.
The main reason why insurance providers shy away from offering coverage on these is mainly that these factors are avoidable. Yes, with a little bit of home maintenance, most of these damage-causing factors can be curtailed.
Plan B: How to Save Yourself from the Massive Repair Costs That Ensue After Foundation Damages
We always say, "prevention is better than cure." The best way to avoid these kinds of expenses is by doing everything possible to prevent damages from occurring in the first place. To achieve this, you should:
· Read the Policy's Fine Print
The terms and language used in an insurance agreement are always very straightforward. Therefore, you need to read them through to get a clearer understanding of how much cover you have on your home.
· Monitor Your Foundation
Regular checks help you to keep tabs on the health and strength of your foundation. It allows you to detect and fix issues before they worsen. Obviously, it's easier to fit minor repair costs into your budget than when you are dealing with extensive damages.
· Be Proactive
This helps you to maintain a sturdy foundation. This means watering the soil during dry seasons, building an efficient drainage system, ensuring your gutters pour water at least five feet away from your foundation, controlling root penetration by planting trees away from your house or installing a root guard, and so on. There are many ways to keep your foundation in tip-top shape, you just have to take the initiative.
From the text above, it's easy to see why insurance cover in terms of foundation repairs is a tricky subject. But, it's also clear that most of the damages often occur due to negligence.
Therefore, the best way to avoid foundation repair expenses is to put a little effort into maintenance. If your foundation suffers damages, let it be because of an insurable event and not something you can avoid.
Granite Foundation Repair, Dallas TX