• Sang Han

Is your house okay from a flood?

Updated: Dec 19, 2021

When buying a house, one thing to consider is whether this house is in a flood zone. In this post, I will write a few words about how to find out if a house is in a flooded area, and how to read each flood code.



How to easily check the flood zone

1. Of course, the best way is to ask the broker you work with. You can easily see if there is a flood zone by looking at the detailed information in the MLS used by brokers.

2. Go to the FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) site and enter the address to get it right away. (https://msc.fema.gov/portal/home)

In addition, there are other ways such as looking up the tax notices of each real estate in the tax portal of each county, but the two methods above are the easiest way to check whether a flood zone exists.

Flood zone codes

When checking the flood zone, you can see data marked with codes such as 'Zone X'. Those are the flood zone codes. But what do they mean?

I'll give you a quick explanation of the code. Flood zone codes are easily divided into the following 4 categories and each of the 4 has its own subs.

A: These are places where the probability of flooding is more than 1% throughout the year.

-A: Over 1% probability of flooding throughout the year, where there is no information on the precipitation level

-AE, A1-A30: Over 1% probability of flooding throughout the year, where there is information on the precipitation level

-AH: Inundation probability 1% or more throughout the year, where inundation occurs in the form of a puddle (mainly inland areas)

-AO: Inundation probability 1% or more throughout the year, where inundation occurs widely throughout the area (mainly in the downstream area of ​​the river)

-AR: Area where the probability of flooding is 1% or more throughout the year and the probability of flooding is expected to be higher than before

-A99: Area where the probability of flooding is less than 1% throughout the year and the probability of flooding is reduced due to the construction of flood protection facilities.

V: This is a beach area with a probability of flooding over 1% throughout the year. This includes areas where tsunamis occur.

-V: Over 1% probability of flooding throughout the year, where there is no precipitation level information

-VE, V1- V30: Over 1% probability of flooding throughout the year, where there is information about the precipitation level

X: The area where the probability of flooding is less than 1% throughout the year.

-X, C (old code): Areas with a probability of flooding less than 0.2% throughout the year

-X (shaded in a flood map), X500, B: area of ​​0.2% to 1% chance of flooding throughout the year

D: It's an area that hasn't been investigated yet.

It is advisable to avoid flooding areas when buying a house. This is because there is a high probability that the basement is always humid, even if it is not flooded, and damage from mold or house foundation is more frequent. For reference, one of the reasons for the foundation crack is a phenomenon caused by the expansion of the volume as the moisture and water that was cut in the small gap freezes in cold winter.





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