If you aren't sure whether your house is at risk from flooding, check with your local floodplain manager, building official, city engineer, or planning and zoning administrator. They can tell you whether you are in a flood hazard area. Also, they usually can tell you how to protect yourself and your house and property from flooding.
Flood protection can involve a variety of changes to your house and property -- changes that can vary in complexity and cost. You may be able to make some types of changes yourself. But complicated or large-scale changes and those that affect the structure of your house or its electrical wiring and plumbing should be carried out only by a professional contractor licensed to work in your state, county, or city. One example of flood protection is raising the heating, ventilating, and cooling equipment in your house so that it is above the flood level, or surrounding it with a flood wall. These are things that only a licensed contractor should do.
Heating, ventilating, and cooling (HVAC) equipment, such as a furnace or hot water heater, can be damaged extensively if it is inundated by flood waters. The amount of damage will depend partly on the depth of flooding and the amount of time the equipment remains under water. Often, the damage is so great that the only solution is replacement.
In floodprone houses, a good way to protect HVAC equipment is to move it from the basement or lower level of the house to an upper floor or even to the attic. A less desirable method is to leave the equipment where it is and build a concrete or masonry block floodwall around it. Both of these methods require the skills of a professional contractor. Relocation can involve plumbing and electrical changes, and floodwalls must be adequately designed and constructed so that they are strong enough and high enough to provide the necessary level of protection.
Keep these points in mind when you have your HVAC equipment raised or floodproofed:
Having your furnace and hot water heater moved to a higher floor or to the attic will cost about $ 1,500. The cost of a floodwall will depend partly on its height and length. A 3-foot-high wall with a perimeter length of 35 feet would cost about $1,000.