With all the concerns about climate change and the increase in natural disasters in recent years, what steps can you take to protect your home and the investment you made in it?
- Protect the foundations of your home. The foundation is where everything begins and ends. Even small cracks can be a problem, so if you see cracks as small as even a quarter of an inch, you should get concrete repair in to fix them. To protect the foundation going forward, it’s also important to make sure the soil around the house is sloping away: a minimum of six inches of slope for every 10 feet horizontally. Finally, be sure that any plants you put in are at least two feet away from the foundation so you don’t have to get foundation repair prematurely. When you water, make sure water isn’t directed at your foundation.
- Consider looking into house raising companies. House lifting might seem like an impossible project, but it’s done all the time. House raising companies really know what they’re doing: the heaviest building ever moved intact was in China. The Fu Gang building, over 15,000 tons, was moved 118 feet over 11 days in 2004. On a smaller scale, raising a home is almost 50% less expensive than building on it. If you get hour raising companies to do a house elevation for you, even three or four feet of lift doesn’t dramatically change the look of the house or the landscaping. It does, however, have a major impact on your flood risk.
- Flooding really is a serious risk. When the United States President declares a natural disaster, 90% of the time flooding is involved. The National Flood Insurance Program says that of all the disasters in America, flooding is the most common. There are an average of over $3 billion in flood insurance claims every year. Flooding wrecks homes, and you need to be prepared.
- Prepare your home well for a possible elevation. If you are worried about flood risk and are looking into house raising companies who can do it, you’ll want to get your home ready for the move. First, all the utilities have to be disconnected. Second, you’ll need to dig out any trees or plants that are within 10 feet of your home. This will give the house raising companies room to dig around the structure.
Your home is a huge investment, not just of money, but of structural materials. To make one 2,600 square foot home, for example, it takes 22 mature pine trees. Houses are costly for us and for the environment, and it’s important that they last as long as possible, providing value and protection. Make sure that your home is doing just that. Protect your foundation. Get it repaired when you see any problems. And consider raising your home out of the risk of floods and other serious damage, so that you can have peace of mind for the future.