Don't Let Your Dream of Living in a Waterfront Home Turn Into a Soggy Nightmare

Posted on: 25 October 2017


Most waterfront homes have breathtaking views but, typically, waterfront homes are more susceptible to water damage. In addition to the typical causes of water damage, such as from excessive rain leaks and plumbing disasters, waterfront homes can be infiltrated by water due to the natural erosion, underground hydrostatic pressure, and high humidity levels that occur due to a body of water adjacent to the properties. If you own a waterfront home or are considering buying one, it's important that you understand the tasks that are involved to restore a waterfront property after water damage has occurred due to natural erosion and hydrostatic pressure. 

Natural Erosion: Bulkheads 

Properties on a waterfront are susceptible to erosion, which can cause flooding in the home. To combat this, protective barriers called bulkheads should be installed. These protective barriers are typically made out of sturdy materials, such as steel, rocks, or pressure treated wood. However, bulkheads don't last forever and can become damaged due to age and storms. For example, superstorm Sandy deteriorated miles of bulkheads that protected waterfront properties in Long Island. Therefore, it's important to regularly inspect the bulkheads to ensure they still have a useful life span and restore them when they become vulnerable. 

Hydrostatic Pressure: Flood Vents 

Even with bulkheads, the hydrostratic pressure of water in the ground can cause leaks and failure in your home's foundation. The additional pressure of soil saturated with water increases hydrostatic pressure that gets placed directly against your home's foundation, particularly if your home has a basement or a crawl space. Fortunately, a way to prevent this pressure from building up is to install flood vents. Flood vents work by allowing water into the enclosed area of a basement or crawlspace, which is a process called wet floodproofing. However, as with everything that is susceptible to water damage, flood vents can fail due to age and overuse. Always inspect your flood vents after a storm or a flood and repair when necessary. 

Indoor Humidity: Dehumidifier 

When a home is equipped with wet floodproofing measures, the home is more susceptible to high indoor humidity, which could easily lead to a problem with mold growth and water damage due to dampness inside the home. Because of this, it's a good idea to install a whole-house dehumidifier system. If possible, connect this system to a drain so you don't have to continuously empty the storage tank. Further mitigate your risks of high humidity indoors by regularly cleaning the filters and ensuring the drainage system is unblocked. 

For more information, contact a business such as Servpro Of South Elkhart County.