How to Construct a Home in a Flood-Prone Area

Flood-Prone Area - Read more. . .

How to Construct a Home in a Flood-Prone Area

If you're thinking about building a home in a flood-prone area, you need to be prepared for the potential consequences. A recent study found that over 41 million Americans live in a flood zone and that natural disasters like flooding can wreak havoc on your home, finances, and even your family.

The best way to protect yourself is to understand how flooding works, and how to prepare for it before it hits. The first thing you'll want to do is find out if your property is located in a flood zone.

You can do this by looking at a map or reading up on your local government's floodplain regulations and standards. Many counties have a specific set of guidelines for building within a mapped floodplain, and they may require you to submit plans before building begins.

Depending on the size and type of your house, you might need to elevate or flood-proof it. Some techniques include lowering the foundation, constructing a berm, or raising the elevation of the home with additional soil.

One more thing that you should prepare is by having a regular gutter cleaning with the help of professional gutter cleaning such as Gutter Cleaning Fresno. A clogged gutter can cause the water to stop draining properly which means the water will just overflow and might get stuck to your lawn and will probably leave you a lot of damage. 

A berm is created by sloping the ground at an angle and putting in an opening or passageway to allow water to enter a lower level of the structure, equalizing the hydrostatic pressure. It's a technique that's been used for millennia by riverine or coastal communities and can be an effective way to prevent flood damage in areas where the risk of flooding is high.

Elevating your house is another option that might be right for you, but it's important to remember that this can be difficult and expensive. You'll need to work with your builder to determine a method that works for you, and you'll also have to raise the foundation of your house so it sits above the flood level.

To construct a home above the base flood elevation, your foundation must be built at least 1" higher than the floodplain elevation. In addition, all service equipment must be elevated above the floodplain level, such as air conditioners, hot water heaters, circuit breakers, electrical outlets, outdoor appliances, etc.

Using resilient materials to construct your house is another good way to minimize the risk of flooding and help it to dry out after a storm has passed. You can use timbers, insulation, bricks, doors, and windows to create resilient structures.

In addition, you should consider relocating your water supply from the basement to an above-ground tank or underground storage. Alternatively, you can install a drainage system that will carry water away from the foundation of your house.

If you're not sure whether your land is in a flood zone, you can check out the flood level maps and get a Flood Wise Property Report for your area to make a decision. You'll also need to check out your bank or lender's requirements for a flood insurance policy before you can move forward.

In the United States, it's required that lenders require flood insurance on any new homes they finance. However, if you can prove that your property is above the 100-year Base Flood Elevation (BFE), you may be able to get your flood insurance fee waived. You'll need a document from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA.

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