The weather in recent months has been unpredictable to say the least. In July, the mini heatwave, which saw temperatures in many parts of the county hit 32C, was shortly followed by torrential rail causing flash floods. UK flooding and extreme weather shows that our homes need to change to withstand climate change.
It was when the water started coursing through Covent Garden and Pudding Mill’s Docklands Light Railway Stations on July 25 that people began recording the somewhat biblical scenes on their phones – torrents of water tearing down steps and submerging ticket barriers.
In total, nine stations on the London Underground had to close due to flash flooding caused by heavy rain showers, homes were evacuated, and the London Fire Brigade said they had received over 1,000 calls.
Extreme weather – from flooding to unseasonably high temperatures – is the reality of climate change. Despite successive governments kicking both the crisis in housing and the climate emergency into the long grass for years, this is no longer a distant problem for future generations. It is here right now on the doorsteps of our homes and experts warn that those homes are fatally unfit for purpose.
According to the Climate Change Committee (CCC), the Government’s official advisors, one in five UK homes already overheats. Last year, summer heatwaves caused 2,556 deaths in England. In 2015, government ministers rejected CCC’s advice to implement new heat-proofing regulations for buildings. In 2017, the CCC warned that the number of people dying from heat could triple by 2040 if nothing is done to climate-proof housing.
The Environment Agency predicts that the UK will experience a 59 per cent increase in rainfall and a rise in summer temperatures by 7.4°C by 2050, which is likely to lead to more floods, heat and subsidence issues. According to reports, in England alone, over 570,000 homes have been built since 2016 that will not withstand future high temperatures.
In June this year, the CCC condemned the Government’s inaction as “absolutely illogical”.
Yet the measures that need to be taken to ensure homes are future-proofed for climate change would also improve housing standards. Simpler measures include installing thick blinds, curtains, double glazing and insulation. More complex changes would cut to the heart of how we build homes in the first place: thoughtful design which maximises shade, airflow and proper ventilation, and incorporating sustainable drainage systems and water harvesting.
Do you have a property which overheats, floods or is just uncomfortable in extreme temperatures? Such properties can often be difficult to sell. WeBuyProperty considers all types of properties and will provide a no obligation valuation to purchase for cash.
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