Buyers who dream of owning a beautiful home in sunny Tampa should be aware of Florida’s risk for coastal flooding and other storm-related damage. Hillsborough County homeowners should be aware of their Flood Zone and their Evacuation Zone. These zones are different and exist for different purposes. Knowing where a potential home is located can prepare you in case flood damage is revealed after Hillsborough County home inspections.
Flood Zones and Evacuation Zones
These two different zones are often mistaken for each other. Locating a potential home’s Evacuation Zone and Flood Zone should be an important part of your search.
These are zones identified by the federal government that indicate levels of risk for flooding throughout the year. These zones can flood from steady rainfall or overflowing creeks and ponds and not necessarily because of hurricanes or other disasters. These areas are classified from worst zone to the least risk in descending order as Zones A, B, C, D, V, and X. These zones have particular impact on property insurance and area building codes. Find your Hillsborough County flood zone here.
Evacuation Zones are determined by the National Hurricane Center. They indicate areas at risk for storm surge flooding that threatens lives and property. These areas may be ordered to evacuate during hurricanes. Hillsborough County Hurricane Zones are labeled A-E. There are some parts of the county that are not included in any evacuation zone. Find your Hillsborough County Evacuation Zone here.
It is important to note that some homes may be located in a non-evacuation zone and still be considered a high-risk flooding zone. Homes can also be located in a low risk flood zone and in an early Evacuation Zone.
Hillsborough County Home Inspections May Uncover Flood Damage
According to NRDC, Potential home buyers should be aware that no state law exists in Florida that requires a homeowner to reveal past flooding or flood damage to potential buyers. Some local municipalities may have such requirements. Hillsborough County home inspections by Beryl Project Engineering may reveal past flood damage in a home you are interested in purchasing. What if past flooding damage is discovered?
How Bad Was the Damage?
You should always seek to discover the extent of the damage. This can vary depending on location, nature, and the severity of the flooding incident. Was the flooding caused by storm surge? Flooding creeks? A broken pipe or water heater? You can ask the seller to see the property claim estimate if the flooding incident was covered by insurance. This will reveal the full nature of the damage incurred.
What Repairs Were Made?
Ask the current homeowner for receipts of repairs that were made after the flooding incident. Some individuals may choose to make repairs themselves and avoid some hidden issues. You may want to request an inspection by a structural engineer if the flooding damage seemed extensive. Hillsborough County home inspections may also reveal items that were overlooked or skipped when repairs were made.
Do Any Long-Term Problems Remain?
Gather as much information as possible about the flood damage event before deciding to move forward with a purchase. Some hidden damage may remain undetected. Professional mold testing may be a wise course of action. Any doubts or ambiguities about the extent of damage should prompt you to reject the home as an option.
Beryl Project Engineering provides experienced and reliable Hillsborough County home inspections that can often reveal if a home has previously suffered flood damage. Send us a message online or call 813-616-3301 to schedule an appointment for our services.