New deal but have drainage issues

6 Replies

I just purchased a home that is low laying and has been reported to flood. It has me worried because I'm being told the city or county doesn't pay for anything for drainage. I do not want to resell after rehab until I have a solution to this issue. Anyone have any experience in mitigating drainage and flooding issues?

@Bryan Wallace I looked at the flood map for the area and it was hard to really tell. The drywall has been but out form the bottom in most rooms but there is no mold and I was told by a neighbor that it has only flooded once in the past few years.

So there are a couple types of flooding - that due to localized flooding in a specific area i.e. the streets drainage pipes are plugged or too small. Then there is the flooding that happens adjacent to waterways. This is what FEMA flood maps are basically for.

Local goverment will not pay for drainage issues on private property. However, if there is an issue with the road drains etc then they should come help. If there is a ditch or creek behind the structure that floods badly, then there is probably not much they can do. I would check to see if there are any planned drainage or flood projects planned in your area that may help.

Otherwise, your primary choices include buying flood insurance, try to flood proof the structure, sell it, or just let it flood and fix it each time.

@Christopher Kerby ... Normally when a mortgage is taken out on a home the lender will require flood insurance if it is in a FEMA special hazard area. Nearly all homes in Palo Alto are in a "flood zone" with a risk of flooding, but for most the likelihood of a flood being deep enough to cause damage is very remote (not in 100 year flood zone).

Whether anything can be economically done depends upon the type of flooding that may occur. In Palo Alto, there was a creek overflow at a bridge where the creek channel narrowed. The water went down the nearby storm sewers then came up about a mile away flooding the homes there. The only thing a homeowner could do would be to put his home on a higher foundation.

In some areas where flooding is likely, the ground floor is treated as auxiliary space (not sure of exact word used). If it floods the damage may not be considered to damage the value of the home. In reality, the homeowners typically use the ground floor as ordinary living space.

If your home has a problem unique to it, a general contractor may have a way to cope with the problem (sump pump, grading, etc)

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