Rapid rises in water levels after heavy rainfall can lead to severe flooding; however, certain locations have higher flood potential than others. This naturally leads one to wonder — is my area prone to flooding? Water damage caused by a flood can be expensive to repair, meaning that it’s important for homeowners to know whether they’re living in a flood-prone area. Here’s a look at three major factors that can make flooding more likely to happen in a particular area.
So, what makes an area prone to flooding? In many cases, a region’s susceptibility to flooding depends on its topography. Because gravity forces water to flow from high ground to low ground, places that are closer to ground level experience more flooding. This means that a home built on a hill will be less likely to be flooded in general.
Additionally, low-lying locations next to a river or lake are also more likely to flood when water levels rise after a torrential downpour. Coastal areas, in particular, can be hit badly, especially after a hurricane.
The unique geography of a particular place is also what makes an area prone to flooding. For example, the soil and vegetation in a given region will absorb and store some of the water after it rains. This means that the more vegetation is present in the area, the more will be captured, and less flooding will happen. However, if the soil absorbs too much rainwater after a major storm, its capacity to capture more will be reduced during subsequent rainfalls — making flooding more likely to occur.
Given how essential soil and vegetation are for proper drainage, it’s only natural that having less of it is what makes an area prone to flooding. This is the case for cities and urban areas with lots of parking lots, roads, and other paved surfaces, as the ground is no longer capable of absorbing rain. In addition, if the drainage system of a major residential area becomes blocked with too much debris or is overtaxed, then there won’t be enough space for excess water to go.
Bodies of Water
As mentioned earlier, being close to a river or body of water is what makes an area prone to flooding. However, the unique features of a river can influence whether flooding is more or less likely to occur. For instance, a buildup of sediment or debris and urban construction, like culverts, can make a river more likely to flood.
It’s worth noting, though, that bodies of water can help reduce the chances of flooding in some cases. The larger a river is, the more capacity it has to store rainwater and runoff, making it less prone to flooding. Further, swamps and other wetlands can act as a sponge and help store floodwater to reduce the rate of downstream flows. Additionally, plant life growing on the banks of a river can lower the speed at which water flows, making them spread across floodplains at a slower rate.
Is My Area Prone to Flooding? Then We’ll Help You Waterproof Your Home!
Now that you know what makes an area prone to flooding — and can identify whether your home is at risk — take steps to protect it by calling Rightway Waterproofing! With our Delaware Valley basement waterproofing services, we can ensure that your house will be prepared for the next big storm. Additionally, we also offer mold remediation and other services to help after a flood hits your home. For more information, reach out today and schedule an appointment with our team.