Flooding may result in extensive damage to a residence. It seems reasonable that the prices of properties that have recently experienced flooding may be lower afterward. Experts identify an immediate reduction in value after inundation, but this price reduction only lasts for several years in areas that experience infrequent flooding. Homes located in flood zones tend to have lower values than residences at higher elevations. Here are a few points to consider with regard to flooding and house prices.
Infrequent Versus Recurring Floods
Residential properties that flood frequently may be more expensive to insure, maintain and restore. If you are considering purchasing a home, it is a good idea to confirm whether the area is a known flood zone based on elevation maps maintained by the National Flood Insurance Program and Federal Emergency Management Agency. Owners of houses situated in flood zones should carry flood insurance through the NFIP or a private insurer in addition to a homeowners insurance policy.
Water Damage History
A residence that rarely floods and is always cleaned and dried in a timely fashion whenever any form of water damage occurs has a much lower risk of secondary structural damage or a mold problem than a nearby property that is not professionally cleaned and inspected following any form of water damage, but especially flooding.
Buyers should inquire about any signs of past water damage and the condition of the foundation and walls of a structure during the inspection of any residential property. This is particularly the case for structures that have basements. If water is pumped out of a flooded basement too quickly, interior and exterior pressure will not have time to equalize and structural damage may occur. Consider these factors when selecting a property and identifying any improvements that could limit the severity of future flood damage.
Flood Prevention Improvements
From adjusting the grade of a property to elevating the most flood-prone structures, property owners can take measures to manage the effects of flooding and house prices. Depending on the budget of an owner or buyer, it may be possible to have the foundation of a house retrofitted with flood vents or raise the entire structure so that the lowest floor is above flood level. If the basement of a residence tends to flood, having a sump pump, backup prevention valve, overhead drain or another prevention system installed may be a helpful way to limit further damage.
Flood Insurance Coverage
Damage due to flooding is excluded from most homeowners insurance policies and other general property policies. Additional coverage in the form of a flood insurance policy will likely be necessary to offset costs associated with flood cleanup. The expense of pumping out standing water, removing ruined building materials and contents, disinfecting and cleaning the affected area and redeemable contents, promoting drying and completing restoration may total thousands of dollars.
Homeowners should take time to carefully review the terms and limits of primary property insurance and flood insurance policies. Try to fill any gaps in coverage by switching policies or adding endorsements or riders that have limits sufficient to make it possible to avoid having to foot a substantial portion of a bill for mitigating and restoring flood damage out of pocket. It may also be necessary to rely on additional coverage for otherwise uncovered perils such as mold damage.
Professional Cleanup Benefits
It is crucial that flood damage be completely cleaned up in a timely manner. Professional cleaning is the most efficient and effective way to address primary and secondary damage and may help the price of a residential property to spring back to normal levels more quickly after a flood. Flood cleanup involves highly contaminated water and potentially dangerous debris as well as risks of electrocution or other injuries.
In addition to training on how to avoid slip and fall risks, flood damage cleanup professionals have access to personal protective equipment and commercial or industrial grade cleaning equipment. Property owners should rely on experienced damage cleanup and restoration professionals rather than attempting to perform this work themselves.