Elevating your house to address flooding

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Many homeowners are worried about their homes getting flooded especially if they are located in flood-prone areas like some places in the Philippines.  This is a problem among homeowners who have already built their houses in flooded areas.  The only thing they can do is to vacate their homes and evacuate to a safer place.

But for those who are still planning to build their house there is an effective way to avid flooding and that is raising your house above the base flood elevation.

Raising the house above the so-called base flood elevation simply means the lowest floor is above the projected water level.  Some homeowners have elevated their houses to a height of at least 6 steps higher than the ground to a one meter high.  However, there are extreme cases of flooding where the water level can reach up to a height of more than two meters.

So, what is the prescribed height for elevation? This concern is addressed by housing inspectors in your area as there are different requirements for each region or municipality when it comes to building construction.

Check with housing inspectors that has a jurisdiction in your area to know the basic requirements for elevation.  If you want to elevate your house even if it the place is not flood-prone, hat is still possible. If the elevation is part of the design or style, then go for it.  The basic requirements are only applicable to places that are flood-prone to address the concern properly.

It is very important then to talk to an expert when it comes to building properties. You should talk to a qualified contractor, design professional, or engineer with an understanding and enough experience about elevation process. Building a house in a flood-prone area may be a lot different from building a house in a regular lot without flooding concerns.  A strong foundation is needed as well as inspection of the house by the housing inspectors is necessary to ensure that the structure is strong enough against calamities.

This post from Lamudi suggests four ways to flood-proof your home.

1. Raising Your Home

This is the first technique to address the flooding problem – elevating the house to a level higher than the expected water level.  This is the most effective way to avoid flooding.  However, this is only possible to houses that are made of wood and can be easily moved.  For houses that were made with concrete foundation that are firmly held in place, it is not possible to elevate them.  If elevation is not possible, the valuable items such as TV, refrigerator, cooking equipment and electrical devices should be placed above the projected floodwater level to protect them from the water.

2. Creating Barriers

You can also make barriers to prevent water from entering your area.  These barriers are sandbags, steel, or a pile of earth  that can be placed together, piling them up to secure the area.  You can also make concrete floodwalls with strong foundation so that they are strong enough to prevent the water from entering your area.  They can be very expensive but it is worth it.  However, the effectiveness of barriers depends on the quality of materials used and the way they were made and maintained.

3. Ensuring a Watertight Structure

Another way to prevent floodwater from entering a property is securing that the structure is watertight or its walls are not permeated by floodwater. To do this, the walls must be painted and sealed perfectly to avoid leaks and the possibility of water penetrating.  However, this is only applicable to water that reaches a height of more or less 3 feet.  Higher than this may not be prevented by watertighting because the pressure of water can cause the walls to crack and break.

4. Wet Flood-Proofing

If your area experiences severe flooding, wet flood-proofing measures may be the more appropriate option, as most houses cannot withstand water depths more than 3 feet. This involves letting the water in to minimize the load on walls and floors. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), although this method will not allow residents to continue living in their house during the deluge, it will make it much quicker and easier for them to clean up and repair flood damage.

In addition, wet flood-proofing measures also involve elevating electrical devices and wood furniture above floodwater level, and rebuilding or reinforcing the house with materials that cannot be easily damaged by floodwater.

But perhaps the most effective way of reducing the impact of floods to your home is to choose your area wisely. Indeed an average house in a flood-free zone is still better than a palatial one sitting on an area that experiences annual flooding.

The preventive measures listed above are good techniques against flooding and they can help address the concern of flooding.  However, if you have not built your house yet, it is advisable that you choose the location properly. Make sure that the area is not flooded and is far from irrigation or dams.  Likewise, see to it that landslide is unlikely to happen.

It is not really easy to become victims of flooding as this will surely wash away houses including the stuffs inside, the worst thing is that even the residents are washed out in severe cases of flooding.  So, be wise in choosing your location and in setting the foundation of your home.  Consult the expert who can give you advice on the perfect design that ensures your safety and protection.

If you want to see elevated  house designs that were made to combat flooding  you can check our other websites listed below.  Just click on the hyperlinks and you will be redirected to them.  You may message us if you need further assistance.  Looking forward to hear from you very soon! If you like this article, please share it with your friends. Come back soon to check our other articles.  Stay connected with us. Thank you so much!

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