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Canadian homes need stronger wind protection

Canadian homes need greater protection from the wind damage caused by natural disasters.

That’s the message from the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR) which is calling for a new national standard for wind resilience to mitigate damage to residential and small buildings.

"Protecting residential structures will be aided by measures that have the biggest impact on structural safety," said Paul Kovacs, executive director of the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction. "For example, roofs are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of high wind. Keeping roofs sound and well-connected to walls helps reduce structural failure and property damage, like that associated with intrusion of water."

Roofs; walls and upper and lower storey connections; anchoring of the building to the foundation; and additional construction details such as garage doors; are the main categories that need to be focused on, the ICLR says.

It highlights the impact of wind damage in a new report, including that suffered during the windstorm in southern Ontario and Quebec; and the tornadoes in the National Capital Region. These 2018 natural disasters caused near-$1 billion in insured losses.

Standardization is important

Chantal Guay, CEO of the Standards Council of Canada says that standardization is an important tool to protect Canadian communities from extreme weather.

"New guidance in this area is a much-needed enhancement to the infrastructure and building safety toolbox," said Guay. "By collaborating with ICLR and SCC accredited standards development organizations, we are setting a foundation for a new national standard that will help protect Canadians and their homes during extreme weather events," he said.

by Steve Randall

26 Apr 2019

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