Dry floodproofing, as summarized in our previous blog post in this #HoustonStrong series, has multiple benefits: flood prevention, affordability, and preservation of the existing aesthetics and normal function of the home. In this post, we will focus on what qualifies a home (or commercial building) for dry floodproofing. Read our next blog entry, where we will analyze common flood risks and how these are addressed in dry floodproofing. This analysis should serve to answer the most frequently asked questions of homeowners regarding how our method of floodproofing works, so stay tuned. We may not cover all the risk points that apply to you. Therefore, we highly recommend an assessment from a FloodSafe USA professional to determine the qualifications and flood risks of your home or place of business. FloodSafe USA can prepare a custom flood prevention plan and estimate to address your specific needs, once assessed.
Qualifications: Wood-framed Structures
To begin, let’s talk about qualifications. Most residential and light commercial construction consists of a wood-framed structure. Wood-framed structures can only be flood proofed to a three-foot height above the foundation, as restricted by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. FloodSafe USA uses various proven design methods and state-of-the-art materials to seal walls watertight for these shallow flood conditions.
If you have experienced flooding above a three-foot height, dry floodproofing will not be a total solution to your flooding conditions. However, we know of many cases where elevating the structure is not financially feasible. In these cases, we look at flood history to determine if dry floodproofing is worth the investment. For example, if you frequently experience shallow flooding, dry floodproofing will prevent these minor floods from damaging your property. Therefore, you have to decide if that is worth the investment, knowing that anything higher than three feet will breach the floodproofing and damage your property.
Exemption to three-foot flood restriction
We are able to structurally enhance concrete walls to improve their ability to withstand heavier flood loads. Therefore, the three-foot restriction DOES NOT apply to concrete block walls or poured concrete walls. Additionally, this is an important distinction to make if you are rebuilding a portion or all of your home. With flood conditions annually worsening, it is smart to plan ahead, rather than just elevating a home and hoping you went high enough. If you are rebuilding, we highly recommend retaining FloodSafe USA consultation services to include flood prevention in your design.
Foundation: Is your slab structurally sound?
The other main qualification for dry floodproofing is that your slab must be in good condition. Since FloodSafe USA floodproofing does not address your slab, this is something you need to determine before considering this method of floodproofing. If your slab is compromised, water will seep in through the ground. No amount of sealants to your walls will prevent that. A structural engineer can assess and determine the condition of your foundation, if you have concerns.
Are you in the process of repairing your home after the recent flood? FloodSafe USA is qualified to apply a bonding/waterproof agent to your slab surface, if it is exposed. This product bonds with the concrete and serves to structurally strengthen and waterproof the foundation. While extremely beneficial, this product can only be applied to raw (untreated) concrete. This will help repair fissures and weakening of your foundation. CAUTION: if you have major structural issues that are not addressed, any treatment of the surface of the slab will be temporary at best. You MUST treat structural deficiencies in your slab as a top priority. Your family’s safety and prevention of further damage to your home depend on it.
Ready for dry floodproofing:
You are ready to move forward with dry floodproofing if your home meets the qualifications listed above. Contact us today to schedule your home assessment. Also, read our next blog entry to understand flood risks most commonly found in homes, and how dry floodproofing addresses them. You can follow this series and more on Facebook, LinkedIn, or visit our website: www.FloodSafeUSA.com.