News Article

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.