A new homeowner may experience surface water flooding. The home and basement may be located in an area which receives water from neighboring houses and/or vacant land. The house may not have been constructed at the right elevation or in the right area, which may cause the yard to experience extreme flooding during heavy rains. Flooding can cause basement problems or make the yard unusable for extended periods of time.
Topographical maps are very useful in determining whether a house or yard is subject to flooding problems. Topographical maps show contour or elevation lines on them. Water runs downhill or at a right angle to the contour lines. By looking at a contour map, anyone can tell what geographic area drains toward a house and calculate the potential for flooding during heavy rains.