Homeowners not doing enough to protect homes from extreme weather: Study

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With extreme weather becoming more common, many homeowners across the country aren’t prepping their homes adequately. This poses a danger concludes a study from the University of Waterloo.

Climatologists have long warned that extreme weather, including floods, will become more common as temperatures warm.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada reports that insurance payouts from extreme weather have more than doubled every five to 10 years since the 1980s.

The Waterloo study reports that property and casualty payouts averaged about $405 million a year from 1983 to 2008. Since then, payouts have more than quadrupled to $1.8 billion, mostly from flooding.

At the same time, the study found a large number of Canadians are vulnerable to flooding. It concluded about 1.7 million households representing about 20 per cent of Canada’s population are at risk.

Repairs can be expensive. The average cost to homeowners for flood damage in the Greater Toronto Area is estimated at $43,000.

Homeowners can and should be doing a lot more to protect themselves and their homes. Even in areas prone to flooding, homeowners were found not to invest in sump pumps despite subsidies that are available.

Installing a sump pump with backup power is one of the best moves, it says. Backwater valves can prevent nasty backflows from overloaded sewer systems from surging into basements.

The report recommends walking around a house during a rain to see how and where water is draining, then regrading areas where moisture pools near foundations. And leaves should be prevented from plugging street drains. -CINEWS

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