How to Make Your Home Climate Change Resilient

How to Make Your Home Climate Change Resilient

The negative consequences of our changing climate are increasingly apparent: Mother Nature’s assaults are growing more frequent and violent. Are our homes built to withstand them?

According to certain experts, now it is the time to start adapting our construction methods to ensure new buildings can cope with worsening weather conditions. In Canada, the climate change events which are most likely to damage our homes fall into three broad categories:

1.   Wind Damage

The challenge: In Quebec, as elsewhere, we will no doubt experience more tornadoes and gale-force winds.

What to watch out for: Wind can damage the roof (by ripping off shingles) and the windows (by breaking branches that can shatter the panes, for example).

2.   Water Damage

The challenges: Because of glacier melt and the flooding caused by strong and sudden rainstorms, more buildings are expected to suffer flood damage or deterioration due to high humidity. Repeated freezing and thawing cycles will also contribute to this problem.

What to watch out for: Storms can weaken concrete exteriors, foundations, roofs, and cladding. Cracks could appear anywhere and will have to be filled and sealed. If the roof shingles loosen or fall off, they will need to be replaced as soon as possible to prevent serious water infiltration issues. A flooded basement will entail major renovation work.

3.   Poor Air Quality

The challenge: Periods of poor air quality are occurring more regularly, not only as a result of carbon dioxide emissions, but equally because of the greater number of forest fires. The amount of airborne pollen may also rise.

What to watch out for: Installing an efficient air exchanger will become indispensable in new home construction. In the case of older residences, replacing the ventilation system will likewise be essential. 

How Can You Prevent Damage to Your Home?

There are no quick fixes when it comes to reversing climate change as any solution must be developed and implemented on a global scale. However, individual homeowners have a vested interest in limiting the damage caused by extreme weather.

Think about the range of intensifying weather phenomena and their potential impact on a home, not only wind and water, but also heat waves. Choose durable materials and hire contractors who deliver top-quality work. Ideally, all future renovation projects should include the protection measures needed to reduce the risks associated with severe weather. Here are a few examples:

  • Install window well covers over basement windows.
  • Make sure basement windows are at least 10 cm above ground level.
  • Contact your municipality to see if you’re eligible for a grant to have a check valve or sump pump installed.
  • Check in which direction your lot slopes to ensure water isn’t running off towards the foundations.
  • Pick a light-coloured roofing material (to avoid the attic overheating during a heat wave).
  • Take advantage of natural ventilation by opening the windows as often as possible.
  • Plant trees and vegetation with sun and wind direction in mind.


What About Insurance?

If located in a floodplain or in the path of forest fires, your property may become completely uninsurable if the climate batters the region. Check to see how well your home is protected, both physically with renovations to make it more robust, and legally with your insurance coverage.


The fight against climate change must involve all levels of government. Nonetheless, real estate owners are responsible for adapting their property as best they can to withstand these foreseeable disasters. In the absence of any definitive solution to climate change, you can reduce your ecoanxiety by safeguarding your home. 

RE/MAX Québec

By RE/MAX Québec

By RE/MAX Québec

A leader in the real estate industry since 1982, the RE/MAX network brings together the most efficient brokers.