While house lifting is itself a surprisingly gentle process — a little drywall cracking is usually the extent of the damage — it’s still a big deal. There will be dozens of people working on a house-lifting project over the course of weeks, and it usually involves the destruction of the original foundation and the creation of a new one. Lifting a 500,000-pound house is a large project, and it’s not exactly cheap.
So why do people call house lifting companies? Is it really worth it to lift a building four, eight, ten or more feet off the ground? Thousands of people across the country seem to think so, whether they’re on the coast or not. After all, very little flooding comes from ocean swells. Most of it comes from the rain that accompanies hurricanes, rain that causes lakes, rivers, and canals to overflow. Let’s take a look at the most common reasons that people call building movers here in the Northeast.
Protect Your House
The most obvious reason that people have house-lifting services performed is that they want to protect their homes. As we mentioned above, floodwaters can come from just about anywhere, including slight grades toward the house. By raising homes above base flood elevation (BFE), the home can be protected from 500-year floods…which are happening more and more often.
A flooded house can have a host of problems even after the flood water recedes. All of the carpet has to be removed, and hardwood and molding might have to be replaced as well. Drywall (or other types of plaster like horsehair) might have to be torn out as well. Floodwaters that hit the electrical outlets can further problems, not the least of which is starting a fire.
The Northeast also contains some of the most historic buildings in the country. While not every house we lift is considered historic, the age of many older homes makes them unique and worth saving. No matter what the house is made from, we can move it. Brick, stone, cinder, or wood frame buildings can all be moved with a lot of effort and very little damage.
Save Your Possessions
The second most common reason that people raise their house is to protect their possessions. Nearly everything that gets hit by floodwaters has to be removed and disposed of, including upholstered furniture, rugs, and anything not made from plastic or hardwood. Electronics that get wet are obviously out the door.
But all of that stuff is relatively easy to replace. What people are really protecting are those irreplaceable items — photo albums, antiques, mementos, and their kid’s art projects. Lifting a home just a few feet off the ground can ensure that all of these items are safe from the water.
Protect Your Families
While there is considerable flood damage done to property, what we usually see here in the Northeast doesn’t kill that many people. But if flooding suddenly engulfs your house and your family is inside, which would you rather have: an unlifted house or a lifted house? Living in a lifted house just gives you more options, including sticking around your home instead of abandoning it during flooding. (Of course, we remind you to always follow the advice of local officials regarding evacuations.)
Protect Your Future in the House
Here’s another way to protect your family by calling a house lifting company: avoiding the future problems a house can have after it’s been flooded. Houses that flood might get black mold, a fungus that likes to the eat the paper on drywall and the 2 X 4s of wood-framed houses. Once this black mold takes hold, it can be incredibly difficult to deal with as it likes to hide in dark, wet places. It can also make a house nearly impossible to sell.
Black mold can cause a host of physical and mental problems in the occupants of a house, which is why it’s best to avoid the chances of getting it in the first place by hiring a house raising company.
Lower Insurance Bills
In most cases, raising a house can lower your flood insurance bills. After all, having the house lifted can prevent an insurance company from paying out tens of thousands of dollars after the flood, so they may be more than happy to reward you with lower premiums.
Do You Need House Lifting?
The benefits of house lifting far outweigh the costs, and we’d love to talk with you about it. Contact us today with questions or to get a quote!