Climate Change and Inspecting Homes


I know this is a controversial topic, but as a home inspector, I have to say that the most popular question I get during home inspections is: “Is my basement going to flood?”

I never got this question when I first got started as a home inspector 11 years ago. But now, it comes up on almost every home inspection.

Our clients want to know if their basements are going to flood.

I noticed this evening when I was checking a listing on a popular website that there is an entire section dedicated to Climate Change. Climate Risk was the precise title.

There was a Flood Risk category. This category included information about whether the home was located in a “known” flood zone. This particular home had a rating of 1/10 according to FEMA.

There was also a Storm Risk category. A Drought Risk category.

Most telling for me was the Heat Risk and Fire Risk categories. These categories refer to “wildfires” and extreme temperatures.

The Heat Risk category had two graph charts. The graphs referred to the number of “Hot Days.”

Hot Days were defined as days that exceed 89 degrees or more.

One graph showed the current standard of “Hot Days,” with a listed value of 8 days. The other graph referred to the number of “Hot Days” projected for 2050 (only 28 years away), with a numerical value of 35 days.

So it appears that the Real Estate industry is now acknowledging the issue.

At First Choice Home Inspection, our inspectors are trained to look for issues regarding water infiltration – especially in basements.

Michael McCarty
NH Licensed Home Inspector # 316
Vermont Property Inspector License # 143.0134099
HUD 203k Consultant # P-1939

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