Dream Home In A Flood Zone? 4 Steps To Protect It

Have you found your dream home? No matter whether it's the perfect home for you to build a life in or just the perfect view you've always wanted, this is a rare find.

But, what if that perfect dream happens to come inside a flood plain? What can you do to protect it so you don't have to give up on what you've found? Here are four things you can do to keep things dry.

Raise the House

Not many people know about house raising, but it's becoming more popular and useful as the climate changes. House raising is, as it sounds, the process of lifting the existing home upwards from its foundation using special tools (often hydraulic screw jacks.) The home can be raised as little as a few inches or as much as an entire floor. Flood-prone homes can have a crawlspace added or even an entire additional floor built underneath to protect the main home. 

Raise the Utilities

What if you don't need to raise the entire home? There still may be sensitive features that are often kept on the first floor, outside the house, or in the crawlspace. Many of these can be replaced on a higher location within the property or the house. Talk with an experienced contractor about moving the boiler, air conditioning units, furnace, and even the hot water heater to higher ground. 

Alter the Landscape

Your outdoor areas are the first defense against flooding. Focus on using water permeable materials like permeable concrete in the driveway and pavers rather than concrete in the backyard so that more water is absorbed. Ensure that the grade of the ground flows water away from the house. If possible, design intentionally lower areas or catch basins on the far side of your property to divert and hold excess water during storms.

Prevent Water Entry

Water gets into the home through several common means. If you have a basement, this is a natural "holding tank" since it's a low point. Have the basement properly inspected and sealed, then install a sump pump in case water does get in. Install stormwater backflow prevention devices to help avoid sewer mains from backing up into the home. 

Protecting your dream home from inevitable flooding takes forethought and planning. But you can beat the waters by keeping things out of harm's way and learning how to better direct the flow. The result will surely be a home you can love for years to come.