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Buildings insurance - make a claim, or not?!


LC1

Question

We've had a recurring problem with the tiling in our bathroom. Shortly after it was done, a few tiles around the window began to move and big cracks appeared in the grout. We talked with the tilers and they didn't know what had happened but thought it might have been the adhesive so agreed to knock out and replace the affected tiles (300 x 600, about 5 tiles in total).

Shortly after, it happened again. The tilers were less keen to fix them, but agreed to do it once again. In hindsight this was very good of them. Having now happened for a third time, I have concluded that it must be an issue with the building, and a missing or rotten lintel above the window is my best amateur guess as the likely culprit.

My question now is whether to go through my insurer to pay for this work, quoted at £400 for the builder to make good the lintel and then whatever the retiling costs are going to be on top, maybe the same again, if not more.  

Maybe seems like a no-brainer, but I've never claimed anything on insurance before and I don't know how to go about it, or whether they'll just hike my premiums up so I'll end up paying the same or more over future years?

Should I claim for it? If so, anything I should be careful/mindful of?

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8 answers to this question

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8 hours ago, the gardener said:

Have the tilers redo the whole bathroom. If they don't the grout will fail, water will get behind, the plaster board will turn to slurry and your tiles will fall off.

Wow, ok, that's something to think about. :/

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2 hours ago, the gardener said:

Did they use proper stuff like aquaboard given that it's in the bathroom?

No. But I don't think that's the problem, given that the area worst affected doesn't get that wet (up high).

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Any sign on the outside of the building of cracks around the lintel?  

Are the tiles bonded direct to the wall substrate or have you got something like Ditra membrane that isolates any differential movement?

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Chewing Grass

Chances are they won't pay out as it is not event related and probably due to an existing syructural fault.

If it is an older pre-1960s house chances are there is no lintel as many builders chose the cheaper option of building directly onto wooden window frames.

All is fine and dandy until it is replaced.

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the gardener
3 hours ago, LC1 said:

No. But I don't think that's the problem, given that the area worst affected doesn't get that wet (up high).

Have the tilers redo the whole bathroom. If they don't the grout will fail, water will get behind, the plaster board will turn to slurry and your tiles will fall off.

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Thanks all for the replies - I hadn't had any automatic notifications so just assumed this part of the forum was dead and nobody had replied! :)

Yes, I had wondered if they wouldn't pay on something like this. No idea what my excess is, will have to look into it. Still waiting on a builder....

And yes, I suspect no lintel. The tiles are direct onto plasterboard, which is dot/dabbed onto the original brickwork that I knocked the plaster off of myself. I didn't notice a missing lintel, and kicking myself that I didn't think to inspect when the room was stripped back, but it didn't occur to me that we'd have any problems. The plasterer boarded it out and the tiler tiled it. Then we started having problems very soon after... :(

 

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