March 20, 2018

Flood Resistant Walls for Homes

Flood-resistant walls are a key feature of a flood-resistant home. Flood-resistant walls protect a home from substantial damage during a flood event. When a home is subjected to large amounts of water wood-frame walls become susceptible to rot and create a natural environment  where mold and mildew (fungi) can thrive. Mold can cause headaches, severe respiratory infections, and immune system disorders to the occupants of a home. Essential to flood-resistant walls is the use of water-resistant materials that can get wet without degradation, wall systems that can quickly dry when exposed to moisture, and wall systems that are easy of clean up after a flood. Flood-resistant walls are crucial for protecting a house and its occupants during and after a flood.

Why Build a Flood-Resistant Home?

Building flood-resistant homes are essential in many areas of the United States, including Texas where more than 12 percent of the state is prone to flooding. Consequently, in Texas between 1988 and 2015, flooding was responsible for over 400 deaths and $4 billion in damage. Of concern, a recent study found that severe weather and rising seas are predicted to increase by 45 percent by 2100 in the flood risk regions of the United States. Furthermore, a recent study by Environmental Research Letters concluded that in the U.S. exposure to severe flooding is 2.6–3.1 times higher than previous estimates. The study found that nearly 41 million Americans are living within the 1 percent annual exceedance probability floodplain. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood maps calculated 13 million. Importantly, the International Building Code® (IBC® ), by reference to the American Society of Civil Engineers 24 (ASCE 24), requires the use of flood damage-resistant materials for homes built in a flood hazard zone. Homes designed according to ASCE 24 aim to prevent flood damage and support the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) minimum requirements. Protecting a home and its occupants from floods is a crucial and required consideration for many homes today, particularly those at high risk for flood.

Elements of Flood-Resistant Walls

Flood-resistant walls protect a home and its occupants during and after a flood event. According to FEMA, flood-resistant materials, including the walls, should withstand direct contact with flood waters for at least 72 hours (3 days) without significant damage. Significant damage means more than low cost and cosmetic repair. Flood-resistant walls must also have the ability to be cleaned and disinfected without significant damage. Flood waters typically carry chemicals, sewage and other contaminants that can cause significant health issues if not remediated properly. If a wall system can not be cleaned and dried in place with only cosmetic repair, then it can not be considered a flood-resistant assembly. There are several critical elements to flood-resistant walls that ensure the durability and health of a home before and after a flood event:

  • Flood-resistant walls resist the growth of mold, and mildew
  • Flood-resistant walls allow flood water to drain easily
  • Flood-resistant walls dry out without the need for significant demolition
  • Flood-resistant walls maintain their original dimensions and strength
  • Flood-resistant walls are easy to clean up after a flood

Best Practice for a Flood-Resistant Walls for Homes

The Bautex Wall System is an excellent choice for a flood-resistant wall for a home. The Bautex Wall System includes the Bautex Block and the Bautex AMB 20-WP Air and Moisture Barrier. The Bautex Block is made of a composite EPS foam plastic insulation and cement, and is durable, does not rot or decay, and is mold and mildew resistant. Application of the Bautex AMB 20-WP Air and Moisture Barrier,  on both sides of the Bautex Block walls, ensures moisture does not enter the wall cavity and makes clean up after a flood very simple..  Finally, the Bautex Block reinforced concrete construction will not degrade when wet and maintains its original shape and durability during and after a flood. The Bautex Wall System has all the key components of a flood-resistant wall for a home: the strength and durability to resist water intrusion before and after a flood, water, mold, and mildew resistance, and it is easy to clean after a flood.

Flood-resistant walls are an essential element of a flood-resistant home. Flood-resistant walls must resist water, stop water movement to adjacent materials, allow moisture to drain and dry easily, and prevent the growth of mold and mildew. Flood-resistant walls should also maintain their original dimensions and strength and be easy to clean after a flood. For more information on the benefits of using  Bautex Wall Systems for flood-resistant walls of a home visit Bautex Wall System.


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