Michigan Maybe: Will Choosing A Home In A Flood Plain Guarantee A Watery Mess?

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Just over 40 percent of Michigan cities, villages, and townships can be quickly inundated by water and have been designated flood prone. That means that they have flood plain maps associated with them. Many Michigan homeowners live in flood plains and frequently encounter flooded basements. So how can homeowners prevent damage to their home and belongings?

First, understand what constitutes a flood plain.

Flood plains are different than FEMA designated flood zones. Flood plains are low-lying areas next to a body of water like a stream, lake, or river, that tends to overflow its banks during heavy rains. That doesn't mean that your home will flood. FEMA designated flood zones are categorized into areas with certain levels of flood risk. For instance, in high-risk areas, zone A means that homeowners can expect an annual flooding risk of one percent and a 26 percent risk that their home may flood over the lifespan of a 30-year mortgage. So a Michigan homeowner living in a flood plain can reasonably expect that he has a risk of flooding.

Second, what constitutes a flood?

Flooding isn't subjective. However, some homeowners feel that pooling in their back yard means that their back yard is flooded. Others see that a nearby river has overflowed its banks and that the risk of flooding their basements is imminent. According to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), "a flood is a general or temporary condition where two or more acres of normally dry land or two or more properties are inundated by water or mudflow." In Michigan, a flood follows the NFIP definition and not a homeowner's perception of flooding.

Third, what are Flood Prevention Services?

Now that you understand the terms, what can you do as a Michigan homeowner, living in a flood zone, to prevent your home from being inundated with water? Flood Prevention Services help you lower flood risk and find help when you need it. Here are a few ways to mitigate your risk within your home:

  • Make sure your sump pump is working.
  • Rethink flood barriers and what will work to keep water out of your home. Will stockpiling bags of sand help you? Do you need to invest in a water vacuum? Should you keep keepsakes stored in your basement and what will keep water from ruining them? Do you need basement waterproofing? Would regrading your yard help?
  • Know the repair and restoration services in your area.
  • Decide if you need to buy flood insurance.

And, in general:

  • Know if you live in a flood plain or flood zone.
  • Know what community Flood Prevention Services serve your area. Is there a warning system?

As the old saying goes, if it rains, there is always a risk of flooding. As a Michigan homeowner living in a flood plain, preparation and knowledge is the key to averting a watery mess. For more information about safeguarding your home, contact a business like John's Waterproofing.   

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25 May 2017

Adding a Man Cave to Your Home: Tips

I have always loved baseball, and when the world series arrives each year, I enjoy inviting my friends over to watch the games. As our family grew, it became difficult for all of our guests to fit in our living room. We decided that we needed a dedicated "man cave" in our home, but we didn't have an extra room to build it in. We thought long and hard about how we could add it, but we finally decided to turn our garage into the man cave and have a carport built onto our home to park our cars under. I have always been interested in learning more handy-work, so I enjoyed watching the contractors build both the man cave and car port. I thought I would start a blog to share what I learned during the building process to help other homeowners!