Living on Water? Construction Essentials to Survive the Storm (Without Breaking the Bank); Part 1

Part 1: Strategies to Protect Against Flooding & Rising Water

Nothing beats sitting on your porch, looking out at the water and watching a summer storm pass thru, unless of course that storm is a named Hurricane and your home was not built with durability in mind. That is not to say we have to live in a bunker if we want to enjoy those beautiful Atlantic storms, it just means we need to know the basics of home design and construction if we do not want to do unnecessary repairs season after season. With that in mind, here are some of the Nautilus Home Storm Survival Essentials that your new or renovated home should have if you are blessed to live on the beautiful coastal waterways that we call home. First, let go of the “bunker mentality”. Any style home can be designed and built with durability in mind. Second, recognize that storm threats to homes come in three forms:

Rising water from flooding and storm surges.
Rain water penetration through the roof and walls.
Wind damage from +100mph winds

Traditional Beach Cottages, for example, are intentionally designed to protect against rising water. Elevate the first occupied floor of your new home 19.5 feet above mean sea level (the FEMA Standard) to ensure the entire floor structure is kept above the flood level. Secondly, should flooding occur because you get hit by that “100 Year Storm” make the only flooring getting wet on the ground floor a natural stone like terrazzo or tile. It is a lot easier to move floor rugs covering that natural stone than it easy to replace water damaged carpeting or wood floors. Also, look at the framing materials on the lower portions of your home to ensure your builder uses all pressure treated lumber. Pressure treated materials can get inundated with salt water, be rinsed off after the storm passes and unlike untreated wood, will not rot away.

Stay turned because in Parts 2 & 3 of this series, Nautilus will look at water penetration and wind damage. Then, in Part 4 we will look at simple low maintenance products to ensure you can spend your time home relaxing and not doing maintenance. Ultimately, the majority of this blog we will focus on protecting your home from rising water due to flooding and storm surges.