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.