FEMA has finally issued revised flood maps for the Jersey Shore receding some of the dramatic expansion of V-Zones, its time to get down to business elevating your homes with confidence.
Look up your property's Base Flood Elevation on the website, "What is my BFE".
Homeowners should be very excited about this. Potential wave action requires V-Zone houses to be set on pilings and have break away wall construction. In A-Zones however, traditional perimeter wall foundations are acceptable. While the easing of V-Zone restrictions are good in regards to the ease of construction, we dont agree with some of the new base flood elevation (BFE) heights that in many cases went back down to their pre-Sandy levels. In some cases, homes that conformed to the old flood elevation before the storm still got flooded in Sandy. We dont think this makes sense, even if you justify Superstorm Sandy as a 500-year storm - we now know that homes at these elevations can be flooded, which means there is still risk involved with restoring your house and maintaining your elevation. If you need to go through the expense of lifting your home, we think you need to go at least one foot above Sandy flood elevations regardless of what your FEMA issued BFE says.
Raising a house can be tricky business. Especially when the existing crawl space is very shallow, as was the case in this Point Pleasant home. The start of the process required some excavation in front of the house to allocate room for the steel I-Beams to get under the first floor joists. The team moved in with their equipment, 60 long steel beams, and slowly added wood cribbing. Cribbing is usually accomplished with blocks of wood, often 4"x4" or 6"x6" and 18"-24" long. Soft woods, like spruce and pine are often preferred because they crack slowly and make loud noises before completely failing, whereas stiffer woods may fail explosively and without warning. We wouldnt want any of these blocks failing without warning when holding up a house! The steel I-Beams sit on top of the cribbing in order to support the structure. These beams will support the load of the entire house until we rebuild the new foundation at the new flood elevation. In this case the house weighed 60 tons (as measured by the hydraulic jacking system)!