By definition a foundation is the lowest part of a structure which connects it to the ground and transfers loads from the structure to the ground. The most important factors of a foundation have always been sturdiness and the ability to keep dry and keep out moisture. In a flood zone, the importance of a foundation has taken on increased importance as we now need to have our FFF (Finished First Floor) 1ft clear of our BFE (Base Flood Elevation) in order to be compliant with FEMA and to keep our homes safe from flooding and to keep the cost of Flood Insurance from sky rocketing.
In many cases, especially in older homes, a visual inspection of the foundation while getting estimates, may bring to light existing problems that will need to be addressed and may only get worse and more expensive without immediate attention. Foundations on many old beach homes have been deteriorating over the years due to age, salt air, excess load, neglect, etc. In many cases these problems have existed and worsened for years unbeknownst to homeowners.
During pre-elevation demo and upon elevating homes, existing foundation conditions that were previously undetected also may come to light and require additional planning and work (and additional cost). In many older homes, damp crawlspaces trapped moisture for years which also can lead to rotted floor joists, subflooring and sill plates; along with mold.