Homeowner Flooding Problems

Below are some of the emails that arrived in our office after Hurricane Harvey. They illustrate many of the homeowner flooding problems. One of the key points we wish to communicate to homeowners is that concrete slab foundations were/are at risk DURING/AFTER Hurricane Harvey. When a house floods and the concrete foundation is submerged for some days, then the supporting clay soils underneath the foundation become saturated and expand in volume. Unfortunately, this expansion in volume is often NOT uniform and creates greater uplift in some areas of the foundation, which can produce cracks in the foundation. This dramatic expansion can also break under slab plumbing pipes.

The next problem for the homeowner is the gradual loss of moisture in the clay soils under the home’s foundation. The volume of the clay soils will gradually shrink in volume and this shrinkage is NOT uniform.  As some of the clay soils shrink and pull away from the bottom of the slab foundation, the slab itself will have less and less support over time.  The contraction in soil volume is magnified during a hot, dry summer and this is the time period where the slab foundation is at greatest risk of settlement – parts of the slab will crack and fall down until they reach the support of the shrunken soil.

Many houses in the Houston area flooded during Hurricane Harvey.

This homeowner had foundation damage from the flooding of Hurricane Harvey.

This homeowner has been flooded twice in the last 2 years and wants to raise the foundation of his home.

This homeowner has a house with a pier and beam foundation and wishes to raise his house to avoid and future flooding.

This photo shows the water levels in a house in southwest Houston in the last two floods of 2016 and 2017.

This homeowner's house flooded and now he has cracks in the second story walls, which indicate cracks in the foundation.

This homeowner's house flooded and he stated that the house sits on a pier and beam foundation. If there is no permanent wood damage then elevating his house should be relatively easy.

This pier and beam house has water flowing underneath and the water flow was strong enough to erode some of the supporting soil. The soil will have to be replaced before the house can be lifted.

This is a higher value home and the owner wants protection from future floods by raising the house by 10 feet.

This high-value house obviously has a major crack in the foundation and flood water are seeping upward from the saturated soil under the foundation.

This is an older house and the foundation problems were worsened by Hurricane Harvey.

This house has extensive damage from the flood waters of Hurricane Harvey.

This house has damage from Hurricane Harvey's flood waters.


Related Topics to House Raising / Lifting

Raising A House Above The Floodplain
Cost of Elevating A House Above The Floodplain
Slab Separation For House Elevation
Underground Support For House Elevation
FAQ and Terms
Resources For Flood Victims

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