Property Protection

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PROPERTY PROTECTION

You can do a number of things to protect your building from flood damage:

Regrading your lot and retrofitting your building or house are two major flood protection measures available to you.  Regrading involves changing your lot to eliminate or reduce flood damage; while retrofitting involves changing your building to eliminate or reduce flood damage.

Decide which retrofitting techniques best protect your house or building. Consider one or more of the following measures:

  • Elevating the building so that flood waters do not enter or reach any damageable portions of it.
  • Constructing barriers out of fill or concrete between the building and flood waters.
  • Dry flood proofing to make the building walls and floor watertight.
  • Wet flood proofing to modify the structure and move the contents so that when flood waters enter the building there is little or no damage.
  • Preventing basement flooding from sewer backup or sump pump failure.
  • Sealing vents to basements to prevent flooding.

When considering the above property protection measures, please feel free to call the Floodplain Management Staff at (205) 254-2479 for more information.

In addition, the Permitting Services Office (205) 254-2904 can provide advice and assistance on retrofitting techniques, and the City Engineer’s Office (205) 254-2488 will respond to flooding, drainage and sewer backup problems on a property. You may also report flooding complaints to the Mayor’s Office of Citizens Assistance (205) 254-2633 or by using the on-line Citizens Service Request which can be found at the following web address www.birminghamal.gov. Also, you may report flooding complaints to the city’s Call Center 311.

You can do a number of things to protect your property from flood damage:

Know your flood hazard

Flood maps and flood protection references are available at the downtown Birmingham Public Library. You can also visit the Department of Planning, Engineering and Permits, Floodplain Management Staff on the fifth floor of City Hall or call (205) 254-2479 to see if your property is in a mapped floodplain or to obtain flood maps and flood protection references. If your property is located in a floodplain we can give you more information, such as depth and frequency of flooding.

Protect your Building or Home

Provide protection for your building by elevating the building so that flood waters do not enter or reach any damageable portions of it. Also by constructing barriers between the building and flood waters using fill or concrete. Dry flood proofing is a method used to make the building walls and floor watertight. Wet flood proofing is exercised to modify the structure and move the contents so that when flood waters enter the building there is little or no damage.  Even greater home protection can be achieved by preventing basement flooding from sewer backup or sump pump failure, an often overlooked source of flood damage.

Regrading your lot and retrofitting your building or house are two major flood protection measures available to you.  Regrading involves changing your lot to eliminate or reduce flood damage while retrofitting involves changing your building to eliminate or reduce flood damage. Decide which retrofitting techniques best protect your house or building. Consider one or more of the following measures:

Build Responsibly

Wet Floodproofing
Dry Floodprooofing
Anchoring a fuel tank
Elevating attendent utilities

The Permitting Services Office (205) 254-2904 can provide more advice and assistance on retrofitting techniques, and the City Engineer’s Office (205) 254-2488 will respond to flooding, drainage and sewer backup problems on a property. You may report flooding complaints to the Mayor’s Office of Citizens Assistance (205) 254-2633 or by using the on-line Citizens Service Request which can be found at the following web address www.birminghamal.gov. (These advisory services are free.) Also, you may report flooding complaints to the city’s Call Center 311.

When considering the above property protection measures, please feel free to call the Floodplain Management Staff at (205) 254-2479 for more information.

Additional Flooding Tips:

  • Property owners are responsible for maintenance of these private drainage systems.
  • Clear debris and leaves from roof gutters and downspouts to protect your property.
  • Leave natural vegetation on steep slopes and along streams and lakes. Plants slow stormwater runoff, filter pollutants, and stabilize the earth so it won’t wash away.
  • Test your sump pump to make sure it will be in good working order if a storm hits.
  • During a storm, it’s normal for streams to rise. Some parking lots and parks are designed to fill with water.
  • If your home or business is in danger of flooding, call Utilities at Department of Public Works at (205) 254-6314 or call 311
  • For general drainage questions about your property, call Department of Public Works at (205) 254-6314 or call 311.
  • To find out if your house or business is in a floodplain, to obtain historical flooding information, or to see if an elevation certificate is on file for your property in Birmingham, call Floodplain Manager and or staff at (205)254-2479

For information on development projects near streams, wetlands or in floodplain areas, call the city’s Permit Center at (205)254-2904.

For more information on floods, visit floodsmart.gov