Extreme Weather Hits Home: Protecting Your Buildings from Climate Change
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
We know how to prepare our homes for each seasonal change, but do we know how to prepare for climate change? Violent weather events like floods, tornadoes, ice storms, and hurricanes only tell part of the story. Climate change is frequently more subtle, but its effects on our homes and properties can still be devastating.
Nearly 50 percent of North America has a potential for structural damage from shifting moisture in expansive clay soils, a condition that is already costing billions of dollars each year. Humidity is projected to increase, trapping moisture in wall cavities and resulting in deterioration. As the climate changes and moisture levels adjust, there are a number of proactive steps that can be taken to prevent or lessen expensive repairs.
Extreme Weather is the only book of its kind that shows how to protect your home or business from climate change by focusing on the following areas:
- Risk and causal assessment, due to region and soil
- Extreme weather’s rapid and slow effects
- Site, foundation, wall, and roof considerations and modifications
- Insurance options
- Anticipated changes for the United States, Canada, and Mexico
Our homes are one of the most expensive investments we will ever make. They are also our refuge from the elements, and we must protect them so they can protect us. This book is a valuable resource for all property owners.
John C. Banta is an indoor environmental consultant with twenty years of experience in building biology, building science, and indoor environmental quality.
cavity between the two vapor barriers and can’t escape back out of the wall cavity in either direction. The middle and southern parts of the United States west of the Rocky Mountains tend to have drier outdoor climates and have been less sensitive Why Good Buildings Go Bad | 23 to problems caused by temperature differences between the interior and the exterior at different times of the year. If climate change results in higher outdoor humidity levels moisture migration could begin to cause
Author.........................................................................235 Acknowledgments would like to thank the many individuals who provided much help, support and inspiration in writing this book. First, to Jim and Pam Holland: they have provided me a nurturing and creative work environment that has always challenged me to look to the future. This book was begun due to guidance from Taner Vargonen, and completed with love and support from my personal community of friends: Anne
resulting from a shortage of rainfall which reduces water availability below normal. One short-term “Drought-affected areas will likely increase in extent.” (IPCC 2007 page 5 Summary for Policymakers) consequence of drought is loss of groundcover plants. Desertification results when warmer temperatures lead to a more permanent loss of soil moisture. During periods of normal soil moisture, as outdoor daytime temperatures go up the humidity begins to drop. This results in a quickening of the
sure the soil is taking on the water and that it isn’t just running off. The idea is to water the soil to keep it wet enough that it has reached its maximum swelling capacity, but not so much to cause a flooded foundation. • For new construction consider the extra costs for a stronger engineered foundation such as an engineered post-tension system. • Keep the soil moisture content as constant as possible around the foundation. During dry periods it may be necessary to add water to the soil. This
well drained. The soil should be stable and infrastructure design.” not subject to movement. The soil shouldn’t (IPCC 2007 page 19 Summary for Policymakers) have radon or other harmful gases being emitted from underground. The location should be away from areas that are subject to extreme weather events. It may not always be possible to find such a location, but many problems such as freezing, expansive clay soils, lightning, hail and trapped moisture can be overcome with the proper construction