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The Hottest Summer Ever Is Coming: What Extreme Heat Can Do To Your Home—And How To Prevent The Damage

Realtor June 3, 2024


The Hottest Summer Ever Is Coming: What Extreme Heat Can Do To Your Home—And How To Prevent The Damage

Summer 2023 was the hottest on record, but a new report suggests that summer 2024 will be even more sweltering.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this past month was the warmest April noted, and the 11th straight month of record-breaking hot temperatures. Based on its predictive models, the NOAA believes there’s a 61% chance that this will be the hottest year in data history.

Thanks to an expected El Niña weather pattern this summer—which would create cooler temperatures across the Pacific—the West might avoid some of the extreme temperatures it’s experienced in the past. The rest of the country likely won’t be so lucky.

Temperatures are predicted to top out at above 100 degrees Fahrenheit in several cities across the South this year. Las Vegas is expected to have an average temperature of 105 degrees, while Phoenix, Dallas, and Tucson, AZ, should see an average high of 100 degrees. San Antonio, TX, Fresno, CA, Orlando, FL, and Miami are likely to have temperatures hovering in the mid-90s.

In many of these cities, extreme temperatures have led to a surge of heat-related deaths. Phoenix has seen a 1000% increase in heat-related mortalities in the past 10 years. In 2023 alone, there were 645 heat-related deaths in the metropolitan area.

The high cost of high temperatures

These temperatures aren’t just deadly for humans and animals—they can also cause extreme damage to houses.

The Realtor.com® 2024 climate risk study found that nearly a third of all homes in the U.S. are located in areas that are prone to extreme heat exposure.

In extreme heat, soil becomes dehydrated, which might impact the security of your foundation. A weak foundation can lead to cracks in drywall and sloping floors. Outdoor paint might bubble and chip.

If you live in an area with sweltering daytime temperatures and cooler evening temperatures, wood flooring and siding can contract in the heat and then expand in the cold. Over time, this can result in costly damage.

Heat can also have a deleterious effect on your home’s roof. Shingles might crack or melt in high temperatures, and tar roofs can bubble and dissolve. Heat may warp floorboards.

Depending on the humidity levels where you live, excessive heat could lead to mold or mildew problems as hot air gets trapped in your home.

How to beat the heat

Of course, a big part of keeping cool is making sure your air-conditioning system is happy and healthy. To conserve energy and help keep bills down, homeowners should routinely clean and replace their AC’s filtration system.

If you have an outdoor condenser system, make sure to clean its coils to optimize airflow.

To heatproof your home and get the most out of your AC system, homeowners should consider treating their roof with heat-protectant reflective coating.

If your home has an attic, consider installing a continuous ventilation system to keep your house from trapping heat.

While we typically think of insulation as a cold-weather protection, proper insulation can also help keep your house cool in the summer.

Simply keeping your window shades down and curtains drawn can affect your home’s temperature, as can planting shrubs and trees that can prevent the light from getting in.

Another affordable method is to build your own swamp cooler—a method that dates to ancient Egypt that can drop the temperature anywhere from 5 to 15 degrees for a fraction of the cost of running AC.

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