Cosmetic Damage vs Functional Damage: What is the Difference?

Cosmetic damage and functional damage may appear similar at first glance, but upon closer inspection, there are numerous distinctions between the two. Understanding how these types of damages differ is important for homeowners when deciding whether to repair or replace their property.

1. Cost:

Cosmetic damage often does not pose a risk to safety or function, meaning it is much less expensive to repair than functional damage. While cosmetic repairs usually require only a few hundred dollars in supplies and labor, fixing a structural problem can cost thousands of dollars due to the complexity of restoring stability and integrity.

2. Insurance Coverage:

Generally, insurance companies will cover both cosmetic and functional damages if they are caused by an insured event such as windstorms or vandalism. However, insurance policies typically do not provide coverage for cosmetic problems that result from normal wear and tear.

3. Appearance:

Cosmetic damage is primarily related to aesthetics, meaning the property may still be safe to use despite a few minor blemishes or discoloration. Functional damage, on the other hand, affects the integrity of a structure and can make it unsafe to inhabit or use until repairs are completed.

4. Repairability:

Cosmetic damages can often be repaired relatively easily with minimal effort and expense by either replacing parts or using simple tools like paints or spackle. Functional damage requires more time-consuming and costly repairs as trained professionals must evaluate the cause of the problem before beginning any work.

5. Nature of Damage:

Cosmetic damage is often caused by a single event such as an accident or act of vandalism, while functional damage can be the result of years of wear and tear.

6. Impact on Home Value:

Cosmetic damage usually has little effect on the value of a home since it does not affect its structural integrity or safety. However, functional damage can decrease the market value significantly due to its long-term effects and cost for repair or replacement.

It is important to understand that cosmetic and functional damages are distinct in order to make smart decisions about how best to address them when something goes wrong with your property. Knowing these differences will help you save time, money, and effort when dealing with damages to your home or other property.