Mitigating and Adapting to Climate Risks for Your Real Estate Property

Mitigation | Drought | Heat | Governance | Flood | Fire | Storm | Overview

Understand Your Climate Risks

Wildfires, floods, storms, heat, and drought can pose a health and safety danger to your family and cause costly damages to property. Climate change is causing worsened and more frequent natural disasters, rising seas, and extreme heat. Given these changes, it is past time to factor in the costs of climate change when purchasing, selling, repairing or maintaining property.

Higher temperatures don’t just mean extreme weather events, they will increase the carrying costs of a home such as water and electricity usage. Properties that are at more risk to climate change will lose real estate value, become damaged more frequently, and will be more costly to insure.

Protect Your Property

It is important to protect our homes and families from climate change risks. Adaptation provides small and large options to tackle ways that climate change can damage or destroy your property. Acting before disaster strikes can prevent the destruction of your home and lessen the cost and time needed to recover from severe weather events.

Here are some of the most important actions that you can take to protect your home:

  • Use the ClimateCheck property report, FEMA data, and other government weather records to assess the climate risks you are most vulnerable to.
  • Update building structures and materials to improve durability and resistance to extreme weather.
  • Landscape appropriately for the type of climate risks you face.
  • Purchase appropriate insurance.
  • Create an action plan for disaster scenarios.
  • Actively participate in community-wide efforts to mitigate climate damage.

Below are guides for each of the five most important risks that property owners are likely to face:

  • Fire: Fire is one of the most difficult risks to mitigate because of the importance of your home’s surroundings to either aid the spread of flames or stop them in their tracks. There are many options for increasing the durability of your home from fire by using non-combustible materials and limiting the amount of available fuel sources near your home.
    Read more about fire adaptation.
  • Flood: FEMA flood maps and flood zones can help you understand your current flood risks. Flood adaptation options range from small and more temporary fixes to large projects like remodeling, lifting or moving your home.
    Read more about flood adaptation.
  • Storm and Hurricane: Storm damage mainly comes in the form of high winds and extreme rain. Winds can pick up debris, down trees and power lines, and put enough pressure on the doors and windows of your home to cause them to blow open. Precipitation can cause serious flooding and landslide issues.
    Read more about storm adaptation.
  • Heat: The main focus of adapting to excessive heat is protecting your family from heat illness by increasing your home’s resilience to temperature. Heat can also cause damage to the outside structure of your house; paint can chip, wood siding can crack, roofs can be damaged, and foundations can sink due to extreme heat.
    Read more about heat adaptation.
  • Drought: Drought conditions can dry out the soil surrounding your home and lead to shifting foundations, cracking walls, and damaged windows and doors. This damage usually occurs over months or years, but it can cause disastrous effects within your home.
    Read more about drought adaptation.

Additional reading for mitigating and adapting to climate change: