Home Design and Build

Tips to Flood Proofing Your Home in Washington DC

For Washington DC residents, flooding is a year-round risk.  As per the latest news, a massive storm aimed at Washington, D.C., and many areas is predicted to cause the worst tidal floods in the last two decades. 

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Heavy winds are pushing water into the Chesapeake Bay & Delaware Bay and carrying water inland, causing flooding along with Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, & New Jersey. From Virginia to New Jersey, coastal flood warnings and watches have been issued for residents of Washington, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. Flooding can occur not just due to winds forcing water up from the Potomac River but also as a result of severe rain.

When huge volumes of water come into a home, the damage is typically always total, irrespective of the cause. As climate change causes floods to become more regular and severe, securing your home becomes increasingly important.

Architects & home design and build professionals create homes with features that help avoid and reduce flood damage. Although it is difficult to flood-proof a home, there are several things you can do to minimize flood damage. Whether you plan a home remodeling Washington DC to make your current home flood-proof or build a new home from the ground up, these tips can help you lessen the risk of flooding.

Benefits of Having a Flood-Proof Home in Washington DC

Floodproofing is the process of remodeling or  constructing a home with materials and procedures that will prevent or reduce damage from future floods. Consider the following advantages of flood-proofing your property via home remodeling in Washington DC:

  • Floodproofing will save you money and stress during the next flood by safeguarding your home from harm.
  • Many floodproofing techniques are affordable.
  • Preventing your home from potential flood damage will boost the resale value of the home.
  • Several flood-proofing methods may be simply incorporated during repair and reconstruction, lowering your expenditures.
  • Many financial aid programs can assist with flood-proofing expenses.

You reclaim control over your future by renovating your home in Washington DC to lessen the chance of the next flood – a sure approach to reduce your worry and stress.

How to Flood-Proofing Your Home in Washington DC


Most homes can be elevated to make the lowest floor above the potential flood level. If the flood caused foundation damage, you might need to lift the home to fix it. Elevating the home will be easier and less expensive at that time. There should be a plethora of home D&B firms and professional home remodeling contractors available that are certified to elevate your home above flood level. The elevation is the viable option for protecting your home if it is vulnerable to coastal or heavy floods. It is the most excellent floodproofing solution to avoid the risk of flood damage.

A new foundation will be required for an elevated structure. While the foundation is being built underground, the contractor will jack up the structure and place it on a temporary framework known as cribbing. Columns, piers, pilings, or raised foundation walls can serve as the foundations of an elevated building. If fill earth is poured around the new base, the elevated building will appear nicer and provide more protection. However, before adding fill soil, consult with your building department. It is possible that it is not permitted in your town.


Moving a home away from a flood-prone region is the most effective strategy to safeguard it against flood damage. Most residences and smaller commercial buildings in excellent shape may be transported, and finding trusted and reliable contractors who have expertise in moving houses is typically not a problem. Unless your current lot is vast and offers a nice position on higher ground for your house, you will need to acquire a new lot. Relocation and elevation are the two viable options for safeguarding a residence against deep flooding (greater than six feet in depth) or coastal flooding.


Floodwalls, berms, & levees all work together to prevent floodwaters from reaching your home. They are erected to at least the height of your area’s flood protection level. Floodwalls are typically constructed of concrete. Berms are minor levees that are generally constructed with fill earth. Floodwalls, levees & berms can either encircle or link the home to high ground. They can also be constructed up against the foundation walls of a home. Floodwalls, levees, or berms may be prohibited in your location if they pose a drainage risk on your neighbor’s land. Floodwalls, levees, & berms cannot be utilized if floodwaters near your home produce rapid currents; they might wash away.

Floodwalls & berms may not be acceptable for homes with basements. When there isn’t enough space for a berm or levee, you might be able to create a concrete floodwall that takes up much less space. Internal reinforcing bars should be used in the walls to provide added strength and to aid in the resistance of cracking & settling over time.

Dry Flood Proofing:

Dry floodproofing is the process of sealing a home to keep floodwaters away. Plastic or rubberized sheets or specific waterproofing chemicals are used to cover the walls. Doors, windows, sewage lines, and vents are permanently blocked or temporarily sealed with detachable shields or sandbags. Dry floodproofing is only possible if your home’s walls are sturdy enough to withstand flooding without collapsing. As a result, dry floodproofing is not advised if floodwaters are predicted to rise higher than two or three feet above ground level. Dry floodproofing is not recommended for homes with basements or enclosed spaces.

Wet Flood Proofing:

Wet floodproofing is the process of renovating a home such that floodwaters inflict as little damage as possible to the home and its contents. Water-resistant materials are used to replace building components underneath the flood prevention zone. Floodwaters are let inside the home to offset the pressure of the water outside the walls. Lightweight furniture that can be easily and rapidly relocated before a flood should be used to furnish areas that have been wet floodproofed. Difficult-to-move items, such as furnaces, water heaters, appliances, and bookshelves, are placed on platforms or reinstalled upstairs

Wet floodproofing has one benefit to the other four floodproofing methods: even minor attempts will dramatically lessen flood damage the next time it occurs. Relocating furniture and electrical appliances out of flood-prone regions may save thousands of dollars. If you choose not to utilize one of the other four methods of floodproofing, you should apply wet floodproofing when repairing, remodeling, or rebuilding your home in Washington DC.

Let’s have a look at some important things to consider when planning a home remodeling Washington DC to floodproofing your home:

  • Use the products that are resistant to water damage
  • Always utilize cement, concrete block, or glazed brick
  • Ceramic, concrete, or clay tile are the excellent choices
  • Nails, hurricane clips, and connections made of galvanized or stainless steel (in areas subject to saltwater flooding)
  • Styrofoam insulation
  • Synthetic-backed indoor-outdoor carpeting (do not fasten down)
  • Floor coverings made of vinyl, terrazzo, rubber, or vinyl with waterproof adhesives
  • Always try to utilize doors and window frames made of metal
  • Slate, stone, or granite
  • Epoxy-polyester paint
  • Water-resistant glue

Hire a Professional Contractor!

The above-discussed tips can help you make your home flood resistant but implementing these tips by yourself might be challenging. Therefore, you might need to hire a contractor to help you renovate, particularly to handle the challenging task during your home remodeling project. If you live in Washington DC, you can count on our home design and build platform to do whatever it takes to make your home flood-proof in the town! At Homednb, we seek out the very best firms for local home renovation projects.

We start by researching available firms based on your home remodeling Washington DC project needs. We check their background, their reviews, and references. We only hire fully licensed firms, bonded and insured, and have a good track record of quality work and fair pricing. You tell us what sort of home renovation project you need to be completed, and we find you a reputable contractor to get the work done to your exact specifications