Inspect These Things Before Moving

Moving? Make sure the house isn’t at a flood risk

Flooding is something that could destroy an entire home, and the cleanup process is rarely easy. Therefore, if you’re on the lookout for a new home, you should be especially diligent about the place that you’re looking to buy and whether or not it’s at a risk for flooding. Even if you’re hunting for homes in areas that don’t receive a ton of rain, like Los Angeles, or that aren’t near any large bodies of water, like Boulder, you should still be wary of flooding.

Most home insurance policies don’t cover flooding in their policies, and you have to purchase flood insurance as a supplement. And, if you move into a home with the idea of it being a flood-safe house, you could find yourself in some trouble. So, before you sign off on any mortgage, be sure to inspect for these things:

If it’s in a flood zone

You don’t need to hire an inspector to check if the home is in a flood zone; this is something you can do with your smartphone and in five minutes. FEMA offers a flood zone map on which you could enter the address of the home and view if it’s in a high-risk area. If it is, you should either look elsewhere or consider flood insurance. Talk to the neighbors of the house, if possible, about their experience with flooding and how they deal with the threat. There are also some precautions that you could take on your own, like installing a home water pump in the basement and checking regularly for cracks and weakened foundation.

If the property is level

People often assume that the contracting company who built the house couldn’t possibly make any mistakes in the construction process. They’re quick to trust everything about the house, especially if it’s newer. However, this is a detrimental way to think. Something that should always be checked is if the house is level.

First, if the home is new, inspect to make sure that the foundation is sturdy and that it could support the weight of the house over time in that specific environment. By environment, we mean the ground and how much moisture it receives over the years. A home built in Nevada might require different foundation work than a home in Maine because the soil is different. If the foundation isn’t structurally sound, the house could become unlevel over time, which can leave the building at a heightened risk for flooding. It’s very difficult to tell on your own, especially if the home is new. Our basement water pump company suggests hiring an inspector.

If the home is older, there are many obvious signs that the home isn’t leveled. Some of the signs include a damp basement, cracks in the foundation, doors and windows that are difficult to open and close, a bending front porch, and much more. Usually, these things are enough to deter people from purchasing a home due to the pure nature of being eyesores, but they’re much more than that: they’re signs of an unlevel home. If you have the time and resources to reconstruct the foundation, then go ahead and purchase the home. However, if you don’t have the resources to do that, then you shouldn’t buy that house. Faulty foundation puts the home at an increased risk of flooding. The only way to really prevent flooding is to fix up the foundation. A home water pump could help, but it won’t fix the underlying problem.

When was the basement last remodeled

If the home is new, then don’t worry about this bit. If it’s older, however, you should inquire about the basement and if it was recently remodeled. Basements tend to hold moisture and, even if it hasn’t flooded, the walls, carpets, flooring, and other parts could become weakened over time. While a total renovation isn’t always necessary, a homeowner should fix and replace structures at least once during their time in the home. Before you purchase the home, ask if the basement had any work done to it recently.

Has it ever flooded?

Sometimes, it’s best to ask upfront if the home has ever been flooded. If it hasn’t, still check about the foundation and if it’s in a flood zone. If it has, ask about what the previous homeowners did in response. You’ll want to make sure that the restoration process was effective at making the home safe and structurally sound. Additionally, ask what was put in place to protect the house against future floods. One great flood-prevention addition is a basement water pump that switches on when water is detected and pumps it out before it can damage the basement.

Fura International sells a huge variety of sump pumps that are excellent at preventing basement and home flooding. Check out our catalog and shop today!