Preparing for Severe Weather: Home Elevation Guidelines

storm clouds loom over the ocean with boats in the water

With extreme weather events, including heat waves, heavy rain, and big storms, predicted to become more frequent and intense over the next few years, the obvious first step toward protecting your Houston home from flooding is to elevate it above the BFE. When it comes to lifting homes during the hurricane season, house lifting contractors and homeowners should expect to face a series of challenges that may lead to project delays, damage to building materials, cost overruns, and even site accidents and injuries. One positive aspect is that all these can be avoided by taking into account potential weather-related impacts and preparing the site for severe weather.

To prevent any possible damage to building materials, partly completed structures, and even your entire home, here are a few important guidelines a contractor should consider when taking on a house lifting project during the hurricane season.  

Checking Long-Range Weather Forecasts Regularly

While it’s true that hurricanes can be destructive, they can also be anticipated. A 5-day forecast can accurately predict the weather about 90% of the time, and a hurricane‘s trajectory can be predicted up to 3 days in advance. This should give a contractor enough time to plan and prepare for virtually any adverse weather conditions.

If you’re about to hire a house lifting contractor, make sure he is aware of the weather patterns that typically affect your area. If, for instance, heavy rain mostly occurs in the late afternoon or evening, the contractor should schedule digging and lifting operations to times of the day when there’s a lower probability it’ll rain. Sometimes, maximizing good weather opportunities might mean carrying out specific tasks outside normal working hours – that’s something our team will gladly do in order to complete your project on time. 

Allowing Additional Time for Delays Caused by Severe Weather

The full process of lifting a Houston home can take anywhere from 45 to 75 days. Since many things can happen during that time, especially if the lift is done in the summer, delays are sometimes unavoidable.

Allowing additional time for inclement weather can help the contractor compensate for any weather-related delays. In addition, the contractor should break down the project into smaller, more manageable phases, which will allow him to create a more flexible schedule. This way, the house lifters will be able to complete specific tasks, like installing piers under a section of your home that’s been already dug, in anticipation of bad weather. Particularly risky work, such as tunneling under your home, can then be rescheduled for after the hazardous weather conditions will pass. 

Implementing Preventive Measures

If your property is located in a flood-prone area, the contractor should have it surveyed to determine its flood risk. Based on the survey, he can create a hurricane contingency plan to prevent potential damage to building materials, equipment, as well as to your home due to wind, flooding, and mud buildup. The contingency plan should include:

  • A preparedness checklist, which will specify all the protection measures that must be implemented in a hurricane warning, including on-site and mobile notification options to warn site workers of imminent severe weather.
  • A relocation checklist for materials, tools, and equipment that shouldn’t be exposed to rain or wet conditions. 
  • Any protection supplies, like tie-downs, anchors, and temporary coverings, available on the property along with their location and the items that need to be secured as well as any finished work that needs to be protected before a storm arrives. 
  • Activities that should be suspended when high winds and/or flooding are predicted in the area.
  • Post-storm activities that should be completed in order to assess and document any damage caused by the adverse weather and secure the site after the storm has passed.

In the event of heavy rain or flooding, the crew should also inspect any drainage systems present on your property to ensure they’re free of obstructions. If there is no drainage, a few open-cut storm drains around excavations can protect your foundation and home from flooding.

Significant changes in weather are especially frequent during the hurricane season. Thus, making sure the contractor you’re about to hire has an effective emergency preparedness plan in place, means having a crew prepared to handle everything, from a heat wave to a sudden rainstorm. Even though creating a severe weather preparedness plan for a house lifting project takes time and effort, it can reduce delays and ensure site safety. This will eventually save you and the contractor invaluable time and money.

At Allied Foundation, providing high-quality services and meeting project deadlines while ensuring the health and safety of our employees and customers are our most important objectives. Thanks to our extensive experience in the industry, we’ve come to realize that the only way to achieve these objectives is to combine sound project planning and scheduling with proper training, suitable preventive measures, and solid emergency action plans. Contact our friendly professionals today to learn more about our house lifting process and hurricane preparedness plan!

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