Am I Responsible for Seepage?
Discovering a leak somewhere in your home, whether you’re renting or are the homeowner, can be stressful and worrying. Leaks can happen for many different reasons but the main culprit is after a heavy rainstorm. The rain can cause water levels to rise, which can be damaging to the home’s foundation. The pressure on the foundation will then create cracks, which will in turn create a leak. It’s key that when you notice seepage happening, you act on it right away. But who is responsible for it? Keep reading to learn more.
What is Seepage?
Seepage is when gas or liquid escapes and flows into another space through tiny holes, cracks, or porous materials. This issue, if not found early enough, will result in your basement flooding.
Tenants vs. Homeowners
Seepage is something that happens often, especially if you live in a wet area. While it’s hard to control seepage when it’s happening, renters and homeowners have different responsibilities.
A tenant who is renting from a landlord would not be responsible for seepage. If the landlord chooses not to fix the issue, the tenant can refuse to pay rent or move out without notice. In a case where the tenant knew of the damage or created the damage and did not disclose this to the landlord, the tenant would be responsible.
As a homeowner, you have multiple duties when it comes to protecting your home. A major responsibility is to have an annual inspection on your property to make sure that the ground levels, foundation, and gutters are cleared so you don’t have to worry about seepage. This process will allow you to have proof that you are taking care of your home, therefore the insurance company will cover the damage if seepage occurs.
Forgoing the maintenance process, such as waterproofing your basement, will cause you to pay out of pocket for the damages. As the owner of the home, insurance is there to cover you if something out of your control happens. Seepage, while detrimental, will only be covered if you were up to date on the upkeep of your basement and surrounding areas.
Tiny cracks letting in water don’t always result in a flood. There are other signs that can lead you to believe that water seepage is an issue in your home. You will notice a musty smell that is accompanied by humidity. Changes in your walls such as water marks and peeling paint or wallpaper can also be signs of seepage damage.
General upkeep on your home is the number one way to prevent seepage. If you need to find out whether or not your situation will be covered by insurance, contact our team at Rowat Insurance.