Facing the Facts of Flooding

Flooding happens more often than many homeowners realize.

Whenever it rains, it can flood. And, not just waterfront homes are at risk of being in a flood zone. Here are some examples of homes beyond waterways that could be at risk of flooding.

  1. Heavy rainfalls. Lots of rain can cause flooding in low lying areas if there is too much water to be absorbed by the ground of carried off by storm water systems.
  2. Anywhere the ground freezes. Flooding can occur if frozen ground is unable to absorb rainfall or snow melt.
  3. New developments. With lots of new, impervious surfaces such as streets, roofs, and sidewalks, heavy runoff from rainfall can be an issue
  4. Large scale burn areas. We all saw the tragic fires in California. Burned area can become floodplains with the added danger of mudslides.
  5. Above ground pools. Yours or your neighbors, pool can collapse and cause flooding.

Who to talk to about flooding

If you have a flooding concern or question consider talking to these experts to gain additional insights.

  1. Local Floodplain Managers. Every local government has a floodplain manager who is responsible Yep, Portsmouth has one, here’s a link to some great local information.
  2. Licensed Land Surveyor or Engineer. If you think your home may be at risk of flooding it may be worthwhile to get an Elevation Certificate (EC) to get flood insurance or establish that you don’t need it. An EC establishes the elevations of the lowest floor of your property relative to the base flood elevation (BFE), The higher your BFE the lower your risk of flooding which will reduce insurance costs or eliminate it entirely.
  3. Home Inspector. While licensed home inspectors don’t have any expertise in flooding they can determine if a home has experienced water damage and the likely source.
  4. Insurance Providers. FEMA administers the National Flood Insurance Program. In New Hampshire and Maine, we highly recommend HBL Insurance for all your flood insurance and other needs.
  5. Your REALTOR. While Realtors are not insurance or flooding experts, we can point you in the right direction to find a local expert to answer your questions and solve your problems.

Remember, 15% of U.S. homes face a high flood risk. If you’re buying or selling, you need to be represented by an experienced REALTOR who can best advise you and guide you to the right professional to keep you safe and dry. Call Jim Lee or Ann Cummings at 603-436-1221 direct, we’re happy to answer your questions or point you to the right expert to answer them for you.

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