Flood Damage

Written by Bonnie McElfresh
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Anyone who has not experienced flooding before would probably find it difficult to imagine the amount of damage floodwater can inflict on a home. Unless strenuous measures are taken beforehand, there will be extensive destruction to floors, walls, carpeting, furniture and electrical appliances. Even shallow flooding will find its way into air vents and up through the floors in a home that hasn't been built with flood protection in mind.

Taking into account that in most cases the sewage system will overflow and back up in a flood, the resulting floodwater will be particularly nasty. This is why most people opt to replace furniture and floor coverings that have been under the water. If flooding goes on for any length of time, a serious health risk may also be created.

Dangers in the Aftermath of a Flood

Molds and toxins are a problem in the aftermath of a flood. The damp conditions are perfect for them to grow and breed, and unless stringent steps are taken they can severely affect health and living conditions. Often, impact damage is also sustained to walls, windows and doors. The water will carry along anything in its path, and this increases the rate of destruction.

In a flood prone area, home construction should include as many waterproof materials as possible. Concrete, when used correctly, can be waterproof and water resistant. There are many building and decorating materials that are made from some types of artificial material now too, and these are often also waterproof. Plastic window frames, for example, would be a great deal more resistant to water than wood or metal.

Internal walls that are erected from plasterboard are likely to be damaged beyond repair by a flood. Be prepared to completely replace these, and the second time around you might consider more resilient wall fabric. Cavity wall insulation is also likely to be damaged by flooding, and may lose some or all of its insulating property.

Taking Steps to Prevent Flood Damage

Prevention of flood damage will largely consist of installing one way valves to prevent backflow of sewage, and installing barriers to walls and doors. These will generally consist of sandbag barriers and/or plywood nailed over walls and doors. You can buy special flood boards to increase your home's water defenses. There are also special retractable walls that you can have installed around your home, but these are not suitable for all cases.

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