Dawson Foundation Repair
Dawson Foundation Repair
Dawson Foundation Repair

713-668-2110 (Houston)
214-234-8421 (Dallas)
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Raising A House Above the Floodplain

Raising A House Above The Floodplain?

YES !!!

Many houses in Houston have been raised to avoid the flooding from future rainfall and hurricanes.

This house is located near Brays Bayou and flooded during Hurricane Harvey in 2017. The house is built on a concrete slab foundation and it has been raised approximately 5 feet. A skirt will be built around the perimeter of the house to make it more attractive.

Is your home in the 100-year floodplain? Or the 500-year floodplain? Unfortunately for many Texas homeowners, the answer is yes. They have received a “double whammy” of bad news. First, most homeowners do not realize that the 100-year flood plain has grown dramatically over the past twenty or even ten years. Second, parts of south east Texas are sinking – subsidence caused by pumping out large quantities of underground water.

Raising a house three feet or more above the floodplain is a job for experts.

This large single story home near Braes Bayou was flooded twice in two years. The owner chose to lift the home and its concrete slab foundation – Raising the house above the floodplain.

But when I purchased my home it was NOT in the floodplain!

That is true for many homeowners, but now they ARE in the flood plain and now they ARE victims of floods and water damage. Current flood plain maps can be 25 years old or older. And this is what they are faced with:

Flood and water damage after every major storm
Inability to purchase home insurance
Unable to meet their mortgage commitments (due to lack of insurance)
Forced to abandon or destroy their home

However, there may be a solution: raise the home high enough to avoid common flood waters. Some contractors can raise a home as high as necessary to meet all federal, state, and local requirements. Sometimes this means raising a home and its concrete slab foundation more than 8 feet off the ground.

This house was lifted a full story to keep it our of future flood waters.

After Houston experienced 3 major and historical 500 years floods in the 2015-2017 period, it became painfully obvious to homeowners, politicians, and home builders that the 100 and 500 year floodplain maps are obsolete and woefully inadequate. Any home that flooded during this time period, and there were tens of thousands, is at risk of flooding every year. Homes in near proximity to homes that flooded are AT RISK of flooding every year. In many cases federal flood insurance is not available and if it is then the cost is extraordinary.

The world has changed. Houston has changed. We recognize that old floodplain maps and “base flood elevation” (BFE) numbers are unreliable. Therefore we prefer to err on the “safe side.” Our recommendations for homeowners are as follows, lift your house the HIGHER of either #1 or #2 below.

1) If your house has flooded previously then you should lift your house AT LEAST 2 feet above the highest water level in your house

2) Lift your house AT LEAST 2 feet above the Base Flood Elevation as stated by the city of Houston and FEMA survey

What Is Unique About A Dawson House Elevation ?

Two things make Dawson Foundation Repair unique in the House Elevation industry. Both items below provide a time-tested, proven, permanent solution for homes that reside in flood prone areas.

A unified jacking system keeps a house level during the lift process and thereby minimizes any damage to the house.

The operator is using the Unified Jacking System to keep the house level during the lifting process.

First, when a house is raised into the air it must rest upon something. Prior to the house lift the slab was resting on the dirt. Our solution is to install Bell Bottom Piers around the perimeter of the house, which supports about 70% of the weight of the house. For the interior areas of the house Dawson uses either Bell Bottom Piers or their internally developed Driven Pile System. The net result is that the house will be resting primarily on Bell Bottom Piers, which have a much larger foot or footprint for stability in stable soils. In addition, Bell Bottom Piers can support MUCH larger weights than any other foundation system, between 5 to 20 times more weight than a simple pushed pile system. Click here to read more about Bell Bottom Piers.

Second, Dawson uses a Unified Jacking System to raise the house. All hydraulic jacks that are used to raise the house are controlled by a single operator. This results in a smooth, level lift to the final elevated level.

Dawson’s House Lifting Qualifications

  • 17 years lifting houses above the floodplain
  • 34 years lifting and leveling concrete slab foundations
  • 34 years lifting and leveling pier and beam foundations
  • member of Greater Houston Builders Association
  • member of International Association of Foundation Drilling
  • member of Houston Better Business Bureau (BBB)

Related Topics to House Raising / Lifting

Raising A House Above The Floodplain
Cost of Elevating A House Above The Floodplain
Homeowner Flooding Problems in Their Words
FAQ and Terms
Resources For Flood Victims