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Popping Tiles can Crack your Clients’ Policies

Cracking, lifting or popping tiles is a very common problem for homeowners. And to add to this frustration, the majority of claims against popping tiles are rejected. Why do tiles pop? The two main causes are shoddy labour and the weather.

When building a new home or renovating their current space, remind clients to make sure they get the right tiler for the job. They should ask other construction professionals for reliable recommendations and ask the tiler for references. Clients shouldn’t skimp on cheaper, poor quality materials or settle for a job poorly done. Things to look out for that may cause lifting or cracking problems down the line are:

  • the sub-floor is not level;
  • the sub-floor was not properly cleaned or left to dry completely before installation;
  • a proper rubber soft-blow hammer was not used to settle the tiles;
  • using the wrong adhesives or mortar mixtures;
  • opting for materials of a poor quality; and
  • not spacing the tiles correctly.

Unfortunately, there’s not much anyone can do about the other main cause – the weather. Certain weather conditions, like severe cold or heat, can cause air trapped inside a tile to expand or contract and break the tile. Heat from direct sunlight may even cause tiles to expand and, if incorrect or sub-par adhesives had been used, to buckle or pop up. Tiles in high moisture areas, or that are exposed to a lot of damp, are also at risk of swelling and breaking.

To trigger a claim, damage is defined in terms of insurance policies as “Physical loss or damage caused by a single, sudden, unintentional and unexpected event, which occurs at an identifiable time”. Contact us to discuss the insurance options you can offer your clients on their properties, and the proper wording for these policies.

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