Owning a Beachfront Home? Watch Out for Storm Erosion

Toni Koraza

Florida is full of gorgeous parks, stunning ocean views, and lovely breezes, all of which make a living by the sea everyone's dream.

There are dangers to this dream, though. And Climate change makes it worse.

Ocean waves can easily erode man-made structures, undermine sea walls, and submerge cement foundations. Owners of beachfront properties should stay wary of corrosive salt water. Unfortunately, we have witnessed the effects this had on some of the recently collapsed buildings.

The majority of Florida's coastline has a serious risk of erosion, according to maps created by experts at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

How to avoid dangerous levels of erosion?

As a first step, buildings must be strengthened and constructed in accordance with advanced building codes. Building codes change over time as risks increase and construction techniques and materials improve.

The town of Punta Gorda is a good example. The place is close to Hurricane Ian's landfall.

Homes built with respect to the latest building codes had survived with less damage than those of neighboring towns.

However, even homes built with all safety in mind may be at risk because of the changing nature of today's climate. We can't predict how severe the next extreme weather event will get. Modern buildings in a low-lying coastal locale may eventually sustain damage due to rising sea levels and coastline erosion, even if they follow the current flood zone elevation regulations.

There are numerous methods that homeowners can employ to protect their homes against flood dangers. In some locations, this can entail raising the home or altering the lot's slope to direct surface water away from the structure. You could avoid some erosion this way.

FEMA recommends other measures to protect against coastal erosion, such as replenishing beach sand, anchoring the home, and strengthening sea walls. But in the long term, coastal communities will have to assess their vulnerability. Sometimes, the solution is to relocate.

Disclaimer: Please, get certified professionals to help you proof your home against erosion. This article is not your ultimate guide. Seek other sources and professional help before making life-changing decisions.

What do you think about the water erosion levels in Florida?

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