Keeping Water Away, Charleston Area Home Flood Prevention Tips

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Floods Charleston is not new, but it is becoming more frequent and more severe. While government officials can tackle the problem on a large scale by considering projects as a $ 1.1 billion With improvements to dikes and local drainage, homeowners and tenants can also take steps to protect themselves.

The first step, Charleston Chief Resilience Officer Dale morris said, get flood insurance. Part of Morris’ work with the city is to assess where the flood risk is greatest and least severe and what authorities can do about it.

Flood insurance is required by some mortgage lenders for anyone living in a flood plain, but Morris recommends it to almost everyone in a city like Charleston. This includes renters, who can use the blanket to protect items in their home or apartment, especially if it is on the first floor.

When deciding where to rent or buy, it’s helpful to know the severity of a property’s flood risk, but that information isn’t always easy to find, Morris said.

“There is no cohesive or consistent strategy,” he said. “Some states require a number of disclosures, sometimes voluntary.”


Thanks to a 2019 policy change from Real Estate Commission SC, a standard disclosure form that sellers fill out Caroline from the south asks if a property has been the subject of flood insurance claims and, if so, the dates they occurred. Sellers must provide all prior claims, even those prior to their property.

Morris also suggests two resources for investigating the risk of an address flooding. New York-based non-profit on First Street Foundation maintains a national flood risk database that allows users to enter any address and receive a risk assessment on a scale of 1 to 10 with an explanation. It can be found at

the Federal Emergency Management Agency Flood insurance rate maps also help determine a property’s risk, but they aren’t updated frequently, he said.

Considering what investments to make to prevent flood water from entering a home depends on an individual’s resources and whether a resident rents or owns their property, said Grayson forehand, Sales Director at Mount Valley Foundation Services for the Charleston Region.

“If you’re renting, you’re not necessarily going to spend on something permanent,” Forehand said.

At the most basic level, tenants can buy sandbags or ask their landlord to fortify entryways to the house or apartment before a storm hits. Another option is to observe the gutters of the property. Some owners may offer to send a maintenance crew to clean them on request, Forehand said.

“Having a plan, a place to move things during a storm and work with the owner will help,” he said.

For any other concerns, assessing the risk of flooding before signing a lease and purchasing flood insurance afterward are among the best options for tenants, Forehand said.

Homeowners have more options to consider. Companies like Mount Valley Foundation Services offer to install different types of pumps that can siphon water from a crawl space or basement.

Another option is to consider the area surrounding a house, Morris said. Installing rain barrels and limiting the amount of “landscaping,” like patios and walkways, can help the yard absorb water and keep it from draining into a home.

“Dry flood protection is when you don’t let water get into your home and wet flood protection is what you do if water gets into your home,” he said. Morris said.

An example of wet flood protection would be the design of a house with electrical outlets installed high up to limit potential water damage, he said.

Knowing the age of a house’s roof is also important, said Carl evans, co-owner and principal of Charlestonflood protection company, AguaSeal. Many shingle roofs need to be replaced after about 20 to 30 years, he said.

“For most people, a roof is out of sight, out of mind,” Evans said. “They don’t focus on a roof until they need it.”

Getting ahead of roof repairs saves money in the long run, he said.

While Evans’ business focuses primarily on waterproofing and waterproofing the roofs of large-scale commercial properties or military bases, he has seen increased interest from homeowners.

From the bottom up, in-home flood prevention is unique to every home and apartment, but helps Charlestonians save money and get a little deeper sleep.

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