Buying a home with stunning views of the Galveston Bay or a beautiful lake is a dream for many people who live in Houston or surrounding areas. Not only is living near the water a fun, relaxing, and uplifting experience; waterfront properties are also wise investments, as they tend to appreciate more than inland properties.
But as appealing as they may seem, waterfront homes come with complexities that other homes don’t have. One of the most important things to consider before buying a waterfront home is that it will be more exposed to harsh elements, including excessive humidity, mist, strong winds, storms, and flooding, compared to a home further inland.
Whether you’ve already purchased, or you’re just thinking about buying a waterfront home in the Houston-Galveston area, you undoubtedly want to protect your investment. While there are different solutions that could help you protect your home from the elements, in this blog post we’ll focus on the most effective ones. Let’s get started!
If your waterfront home wasn’t built to withstand rising waters, lifting it above the highest level that flood waters could reach is necessary in order to minimize potential flood damage. But before deciding to raise your home, there are a few factors you should consider in order to ensure elevation is a viable solution for your property. These factors include the minimum base flood elevation (BFE) recommended for your area, elevation techniques, overall condition of your home and foundation, and additional hazards that may affect your home.
Irrespective of how high your home needs to be lifted and the elevation technique required, a licensed engineer must evaluate your home and foundation in order to determine if they can handle the lifting process along with all the stresses associated. Additionally, the engineer will establish whether a specific elevation technique is more effective at protecting your property from additional hazards.
Raising your waterfront home above the BFE will protect your property from a series of flood-related hazards, as it follows:
Groundwater flooding occurs when water infiltrates through the soil from various sources. Once the soil gets saturated, groundwater can cause different problems, such as flooded crawl spaces, sewage backups, extensive foundation problems, and damaged appliances.
When a storm or heavy rainfall exceeds the ability of the ground to absorb rainwater, water may start to collect and pool around your foundation. Although you can opt for additional drainage solutions, which will allow you to divert water away from your home, a flash flood may occur within minutes and affect your foundation and home.
Caused by strong winds, heavy rainfall, water runoff, and flash floods, soil erosion could spell trouble for your waterfront home. When soil starts to degrade around a home, it might lead to the collapse of its foundation over time. Although using concrete piers to elevate your home can prevent foundation problems caused by soil erosion, a few additional measures you can take in order to protect your waterfront home from water damage include, installing a French drain, building a retaining wall, and planting vegetation around your property.
Elevating your home above the BFE can also lower your insurance costs. Due to the increased risk of flood-related damage to waterfront properties, insurance companies offer separate flood insurance policies. This means that you’ll need to pay a flood insurance premium in addition to your standard homeowner's insurance premium, which will lead to higher insurance costs. As well, insurance premiums for waterfront homes are likely to go up significantly over the coming years, as the threat to those properties is expected to increase due to climate changes. On the bright side, elevating your waterfront home to safe levels will give it added protection from flooding, which in turn can lower your insurance costs considerably.
Seawalls can also be used to protect waterfront properties from flood damage. Besides protecting your home from flooding, installing or building a seawall on your shoreline will increase your property’s value and lower your insurance premiums. That’s because the seawall will provide an additional layer of protection that other properties might not have. Given that a seawall also controls the waves that cause erosion over time, it will maintain the line between your land and the shore. Therefore, having a seawall on your property means fewer worries for you and more land to enjoy.
If you have any questions about the home lifting process and the benefits it can bring to your waterfront property, contact us today! With nearly 40 years of hands-on experience under their belt, our professionals have established Allied Foundation as a trusted name in foundation repair, house leveling, sewer line repair, root barrier installation, PEX repiping, landscape drainage, as well as house lifting throughout the Greater Houston area and surrounding locations. If you live in a flood-prone area, you can count on us for a safe, damage-free home elevation process, which will turn your home into a fortress that can withstand even the most dangerous types of flooding!