Northern Virginia received an unprecedented amount of rainfall this summer. In fact, it rained a whole year’s worth in a couple months. We are facing the brunt of global climate change and it will worsen as the years go on. This will mean more flooding, more home damage, and more floor damage as well. For our basements, this means we must consider flooding as an inevitability. As sea levels rise and our waters become hotter, the ground will become saturated early into the summer. A saturated ground means that when water falls, the ground can’t soak up anymore, so the water flows somewhere else.

What to Know Before Buying a Home

For anyone looking to buy a house, you now have a lot more factors to consider. How much risk is there for flooding in your neighborhood and how will that change over time? Flooding insurance will have to be added to your home insurance (we highly, highly recommend you don’t skip it), and will your housing value drop as more flooding occurs?

Shifting from a Storage Space to an Informal Living Space

For current homeowners, this means rethinking how we use our basements. If you use it to store valuables, it might be best to move them someplace higher, like your attic or in a storage facility. You may also want to avoid hardwood or carpet flooring there, as they will be damaged by flood water.

It might be a good idea to change your basement to stone or tile. Tile would be our recommendation, we have plenty of designs that can keep your basement looking elegant without making a risk for when basement flooding occurs.

This post is not to say that basements are obsolete, far from it. The current trend is to turn them into comfortable living spaces. While storage may move to the attic, you get a lot more room to form an informal guest room. If you keep all of your furniture elevated, then your options grow even more, because they’re less likely to be damaged by any flooding.

Times are changing and so is our environment. It’s important we adapt to these changes before we face thousands of dollars in damages. Even something like changing the flooring now could save you a lot of money in the long run.