A termite wanted a snack, water went where it wasn’t supposed, or your toddler got really excited playing soccer in the house; whatever the reason your drywall can very easily become damaged at some point. While drywall repairs average at a couple hundred dollars, these expenses can very quickly add up when you are financially responsible for all of the repairs in your home. Luckily, if your drywall was damaged by an abrupt and unexpected incident, you may get compensation from your homeowners insurance policy.
What is Drywall?
Drywall is the material that is used to cover your walls and ceilings. It is what you see from the interior of your home and it may also be used for certain design features. While it is not an overly expensive material, damages to drywall walls can be very visible and can be indicative of greater structural issues in your home.
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When it comes to drywall damage, the most important part of your homeowner’s policy is the dwelling coverage. This portion of your coverage is responsible for the structure of your home, including your drywall. What is covered under dwelling coverage has the same limitations and exclusions under your homeowners policy. This means that to expect compensation from this portion of the policy, any damage done to your walls should be caused by a covered event and did not occur because of a lack of maintenance.
Depending on your homeowners policy this coverage may not be included. To have better protection for your home you may want to add this clause to your policy.
Types of Damage to Drywall
The reality is that drywall is a fairly thin material, with most sheets of drywall being close to half an inch thick. If damage to your walls came from a covered peril, you should receive compensation from your policy.
To determine if you will get coverage from your policy, you should also consider the difference between an accident and negligence. Accidents are events that unintentionally happen and often result in harm, injury, damage, or loss. Negligence is seen as a lack of ordinary care or skills that lead to an issue. A prime example of negligence are the damages that result from not doing routine maintenance.
Damage done to your drywall by water may be one of the most serious issues that can arise. The structural integrity of drywall lessens when water gets into it. What can be more damaging than a weakened wall integrity is if water causes mold to begin forming in your wall. The spores from the mold can get into other areas of your home and cause further damage to your carpet and furniture. Depending on the severity you or people living in your home may become sick because of the mold.
While weakened drywall and mold spores are in no way good things, insurance may be able to provide coverage for the damage to your drywall. If the damage occurred because of a quick and abrupt incident with your water system, your homeowners insurance should cover the costs of the damage. If water damage was done by a gradual water issue your drywall will not be covered because homeowners insurance does not cover gradual home repair issues that lead to damage.
Termites and Other Pests
Damage to your drywall that is brought on by termites and other pests is very rarely covered by home insurance. Insurance agencies require that homeowners take care of responding to any infestations and routine maintenance to keep pests out of the home.
If your drywall has developed holes over time, the replacement costs will not be covered by your homeowners policy. If the damage was done by a covered peril, then your holey wall is covered.
When to File a Claim
Because homeowners insurance premiums go up with almost every claim, it may be wise not to file a claim for drywall damages. Small repairs for drywall are on average close to $100. If damage is more extensive and goes into multiple rooms, the cost to repair your drywall may be upward of $1500. Depending on the cost of your deductible, it may be cheaper for you to take care of the cost of damages yourself and not file a claim.