Understanding Flood Zones

Flooded street

With all the flooding we have encountered over the last few years, many of us have become much more conscientious of flood zone categories. Some of the most beautiful and sought-after land in the world is included in some kind of flood zone. As you search for the perfect spot to build your new custom home it’s important to be aware of flood zones and how this may affect your home investment.

There are many types of flood zones, and there is no reason to be scared of these zones as long as you understand what it means. Most of us actually live in some kind of flood zone.

The 100-year flood zone is a zone of land that has been attached to a high likelihood of flooding about every 100 years, which defines the chance per year of flooding. This type of zone uses historical data, along with land modifications to determine the chances of a flood in the area. In this particular zone, it just means the ground could become saturated for an extended period of time at some point, but probably not very often.  In these flood zones it is important to comply with the recommended finish floor elevation requirements to ensure minimum home damage if a flood should occur. Otherwise, enjoy your new investment and know that there may never be a problem with flooding in the near, or even in the distant future.

Another type of flood zone is a Coastal flood zone. This is a zone of land associated with a high likelihood of flooding when a storm surge occurs as a result of a tropical depression, or hurricane. These flood zones also include a finished floor elevation, which is the elevation at which they do not anticipate flooding, based on historical and drainage data for the area. In a Coastal flood zone some of the finished floor elevations can be pretty high. A good bit of engineering and design may be required to ensure the final product is suitable, and meets all requirements, not only for water but also for wind in many cases.

In summary, a flood zone sounds like a scary word, but the truth remains it is only a descriptive word to help us understand the building requirements for the area. This helps keep your home investment safe, and helps to ensure your investment of home ownership is protected for years to come. All in all, no area is 100% secure when it comes to water, wind or seismic conditions. When building a home it’s important to remove as much risk as possible, and by better understanding flood zones and how they relate to your property you are sure to have some peace of mind as you enjoy your new home. To learn more about flood zones and how it may affect your new custom built home, visit us at AmericasHomePlace.com

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