When it comes to lowering the cost of flood losses and rebuilding, flood insurance is one of the few tools that Houston homeowners can use in order to cover the losses caused by flooding. Unfortunately, even the most comprehensive flood insurance policy cannot prevent flood-related damage to your home and save you the trouble of repairing and cleaning your home after a flood.
In addition to causing long-term problems, such as structural damage and mold infestation, floodwaters entering your home could destroy many expensive and irreplaceable items that are valuable to you. Finding a way to keep floodwaters out of your Houston home is therefore extremely important in order to prevent flood-related damage to your home and have peace of mind even during the hurricane season.
One of the best strategies to protect your Houston home from potential flood damage is to lift your living space above the BFE. To fully understand the benefits of elevating your home and the reasons why you should opt for this solution instead of other flood control methods, let’s look at 5 ways elevation can benefit you, your family, and your home.
Home Elevation Offers Protection against Flood Damage
The number one reason why many homeowners choose to lift their homes is because elevation minimizes the risk for flooding, including in high-risk flood zones. Houston and surrounding areas are extremely susceptible to flooding, so lifting your living areas above the BFE can reduce your home’s risk of flooding considerably. If your living space is elevated, floodwaters, as well as mud and debris flows, won’t reach the most important areas of your home. As a result, your property may sustain less damage than the non-elevated homes in your area.
Elevation Improves the Aesthetics and Functionality of Your Home
Avoiding damage from floodwaters isn’t the only reason to lift your home. Many Houston homeowners choose to elevate their homes for aesthetic reasons and increased functionality as well. Besides providing better views of the surroundings, increased elevation improves ventilation around, underneath, and inside your home, which is desirable in the humid subtropical climate of Houston. Not only does good ventilation improve indoor air quality and regulate the temperatures inside the house, offering a more comfortable living environment during the summer; it also decreases the likelihood of mold growth throughout the year.
As well, depending on the type of foundation and siding material you intend to choose in order to hide the visible part of your foundation, you can give your property the classic elegance that only a raised floor design could add to the look of the American home. Another benefit of lifting your home is that it adds valuable square footage, so you’ll get more usable space. Because elevation often implies building a new piling foundation or a whole elevated floor, you can turn the space under your new living area into a garage, gym, storage space, playroom for the kids, or another useful space.
Elevation Can Reduce Flood Insurance Costs
Lifting your home could also help you get lower flood insurance premiums. Because elevation reduces the flood risk of your home, most insurers will be willing to offer you lower flood insurance rates compared to the insurance rates for non-elevated properties. A little known aspect is that both NFIP and private insurers typically offer lower insurance premiums if utilities, such as the electrical panel, HVAC system, water heater, and plumbing system, are also elevated above the BFE level.
Elevation Can Help You Sell Your Home Faster
In a flood-prone area, a raised home gets more visitors than a non-elevated house. That’s not only because elevation protects the home from future floods, but also because elevation basically means a new foundation. Since foundation problems are common in older Houston homes, the potential buyers looking for homes for sale in the Houston area will consider buying either a home with a professionally repaired foundation or an elevated home with a new foundation. When the repair or elevation is done by professionals, the buyer can expect a lifetime of durability and stability.
Home Elevation Allow You to Address Hidden Structural Issues
Before the elevation process can begin, your foundation must be inspected by a structural engineer. The good news is that all the foundation problems the engineer might identify, from small cracks to severe structural damage, will be fixed before or during the elevation process. As a result, choosing to elevate your home is an excellent decision that will increase your home’s safety, appearance, and value.
Whether you would like to raise your Houston home a few inches, a few feet, or a whole story, our specialists will work with you every step of the way to ensure you’re making the most of your elevation project. Done properly with durable materials, home elevation will save you a lot of money, time, and hassle in the long run, no matter the weather.