Cracked houses: 20 million French people affected, towards an explosion by 2050 – 05/24/2024 at 3:17 p.m.

Cracked houses: 20 million French people affected, towards an explosion by 2050 – 05/24/2024 at 3:17 p.m.
Cracked houses: 20 million French people affected, towards an explosion by 2050 – 05/24/2024 at 3:17 p.m.

Crack claims have increased due to global warming. (illustration) (Michael Krause / Pixabay)

According to a recent study by the Conséquences association, 92.8% of French houses risk having cracks in 2050 due to the shrinkage-swelling phenomenon of clays. The costs of these disasters should therefore soar.

The harmful consequences of climate change are increasing. Latest example: the rise of the phenomenon of shrinkage-swelling of clays (RGA), caused by alternating episodes of precipitation and intense droughts, which causes the foundations of homes to move and thus generates cracks in the walls. Published Thursday May 23, 2024, a report from the Conséquences association, specializing in the impacts of climate change, is sounding the alarm.

According to the association, around 20 million French people are already exposed to a risk of shrinkage-swelling of clays.

“medium-strong”

. Among the most exposed regions, we find Centre-Val-de-Loire (67% of the regional population), Occitanie (49%), Nouvelle-Aquitaine (46.8%), Bourgogne-Franche- Comté (44%), and Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur (39%).

A considerable cost

Since 1989, when this phenomenon was taken into account in the natural disaster regime, 46,694 “cracked house” claims have been recognized. Their number increased by 145% between the periods 1989-2005 and 2006-2022. An explosion which even reaches 564% for the Grand Est, 314% for Burgundy-Franche-Comté and 234% for Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes.

The situation is not expected to improve in the years to come, quite the contrary. If greenhouse gas emissions follow their current trajectory and temperature warming reaches +2.7% in 2050, the association estimates that 16.2 million homes will find themselves exposed to the risk of RGA

“medium-strong”

, or approximately 92.8% of the French fleet. The annual cost of claims would then exceed 2 billion euros, compared to 726 million euros today.

An application to assess risks

Consequences qualifies this worrying situation as

“social bomb”

recalling that

“disputes between victims, town halls and insurers are common, generating incomprehension, frustration and anger”

.

“Conflicts are often linked to the failure to obtain natural disaster status by municipalities, or due to discrepancies in the analysis of the determining factors by the insurance expert or insurer”

explains the report.

In partnership with the French start-up Callendar, specialized in climate risk assessment, the association has developed an application allowing you to assess the risk of exposure of your home to RGA. Called RGA Home Climate Risk, it takes into account the nature of the soil, the structure of the building and climatic risks (such as droughts), current and future. It also directs owners towards solutions for their procedures.

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