Damage caused by climate change: Preventing the consequences of severe weather

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Written By Kampretz Bianca

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Extreme weather costs billions

If, as is currently the case in southern Germany, rivers overflow, residents are left powerless against the bodies of water. However, effective protection is possible in the event that continuous rain simply overloads the sewer system. And this is urgently needed because extreme weather events are on the rise. According to the General Association of Insurers, heavy rain alone caused damage to one in ten residential buildings between 2002 and 2021. Total costs: 12.6 billion euros. Thunderstorms and hail are also becoming more frequent and violent as a result of climate change, causing damage to buildings. Prevention therefore becomes increasingly important. And an adequate one protects against the worst financial consequences Safe.

Channels often not designed for heavy rain

When it rains a lot, water from above is less of a problem than water from below. The sewage system quickly becomes overloaded and water enters the house through the drains. So-called backflow flaps protect against this. They work like a check valve: water can only flow in one direction – away from the home. If you push back when the ducts are full, you will be stopped by the flaps. All drains that are below the so-called backflow level must be equipped with this – in most houses these drains are lower than the street surface.

Backflow protection can cost thousands of euros

Depending on the type of wastewater, different flaps are used. For so-called gray water (e.g. from the washing machine or sink), simple mechanical models, available for less than a hundred euros, are usually sufficient. An electrically powered backflow flap is required for toilet wastewater. It costs from 1,500 euros without installation. Even more expensive – but also safer – are lift systems that pump wastewater above the backwater level. Your advantage: even if the pump function fails, the lifting system protects against backflow. The basic rule is: Backflow flaps are prone to errors due to foreign substances in the wastewater and must be serviced twice a year.

Raise the shutters in case of hail

If there is a storm and hail outside, the plastic shutters should remain open – the window glass can usually withstand the stress much better. Other plastic components, such as roofs and skylights, become porous over time from ultraviolet light and can close quickly in a storm. to break. If you are replacing old or damaged components, pay attention to the hail resistance class of your new purchases: The highest and therefore safest class is HW5. There are now also tiles in this high hail resistance class.

Unplug during thunderstorms

Even lightning that strikes several kilometers away can cause power surges and damage electrical devices. Power strips with surge protection can help against this. However, it is safer for appropriate protective devices to be installed directly in the fuse box by a specialist company. Otherwise help: during a thunderstorm, pull out plugs, including antennas and telephone lines.

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