When most people think of weather-related home insurance claims, they think of violent winds, tornadoes or flash flooding. However, prolonged periods of hot weather can also wreak havoc on a home or residential building. High temperatures are often welcomed after a long cold winter, but many homes are put at risk of structural damage unless proper precautions and maintenance routines are followed. Although precautions cannot guarantee the avoidance of structural damage, they can reduce the risk.
British Columbia, the Boreal forest zones of Ontario and Prairie provinces are most susceptible to the risk of wildfire throughout the year but wildfires can and will happen anywhere with prolonged droughts. Fire damage does not have to be complete for an insurance claim to be necessary, but a few precautions should reduce the likelihood of having to make a claim.
The use of fire-resistant roof shingles and metal tiles can protect a home from the flying embers that often trigger secondary fires. Any shrubs and plant-life can be a fire hazard when located close to a property; however, surrounding your home with a 'circle' of trees and foliage could act as a buffer. Also, windows using tempered glass will delay a fire's progress into a home.
Prolonged periods of hot weather and direct sunlight can take a heavy toll on a roof. After long periods of cold or damp weather, intense heat can weaken tiles considerably and the drying process can lead to cracks, gaps and broken shingles. Selecting roof material with a special UV protective coating and performing regular maintenance will extend the life and durability of a roof.
Houses located on areas of earth with a high clay content are susceptible to subsidence during hot and dry spells of weather. Subsidence is when the ground under your house collapses, or sinks lower, taking some of the building’s foundations with it. This puts strain on your home’s structure as one side sinks, causing cracks to appear. Subsidence can be identified by cracks in the walls, ill-fitting doors and sloping floors.
Not all home insurance policies cover subsidence and other foundation problems, so it is worth checking what kind of earth your home sits on, and exactly what you are covered for.
What other heat related issue have you come across at home that has led to a claim? Share your story in the comment section below.