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Atlantic Canadians leading the country in emergency home repairs: report

The East Coast of Canada has been through an unforgettable stretch of extreme weather events in the past year.

Now, a new survey from HomeStars' renovation report shows that Atlantic Canadians have spent more on emergency home repairs in the past year than anywhere else in the country.

Chris Marchand, a home builder in Halifax, is still dealing with basements damaged by the July flooding, roof repairs from post-tropical storms, and entire rebuilds for homes lost in the May wildfires.

"Typically it's starting at around $30,000, and going up to. I mean, the cost to replace a new house can be close to $1 million,” said Marchand.

In the Sydney area, a year after post-tropical storm Fiona, some homeowners are now shoring up their properties for whenever comes next.

"I think a lot of people are playing catchup,” said United Way of Cape Breton executive director Lynne McCarron. "To make sure that the impact isn't felt so significantly the next time. That they've built up their capacity to be able to withstand another natural disaster.

This means there is still plenty of work for repair contractors, who normally would be trying to wrap up before the cold weather hits.

"Usually this time of year is the end of the year, we start laying guys off, building the crew down halfway,” said Sydney area roofing contractor Donald Campbell. “But we're not going (anywhere) and we'll probably be roofing all winter long."

The HomeStars survey found that while one third of Canadians who renovated or repaired their properties made weather-related repairs, 41 per cent of those in Atlantic Canada made emergency repairs, many of them because of catastrophic flooding.

Back in Halifax, Marchand was quick to cite a more extreme example of what people are faced with.

"We're doing a fire rebuild, and next door to the fire rebuild there's a foundation that’s as a result of the fire the house is burned to the ground,” he said. “But at the same time the culvert in front of their driveway is completely washed out from the storm in July."

The report also points out that all of these repairs are being made despite inflation and interest rates putting a damper on overall spending.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page. Top Stories

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