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FAQs on flood resistant construction

September, 12 2023

Floods can be extremely devastating, displacing people and ruining their homes. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure that a building is prepared to withstand the increased stresses, forces, and potential water damage from floods. Here, we share answers to some commonly asked questions regarding flood-resistant construction.

  1. What is flood-resistant construction?

A building is considered flood-resistant when it can withstand the excess pressures and dangers associated with floods. Such constructions are more resilient to flood damage, thereby enhancing the safety of building occupants.

  1. Why is flood-resistant construction important?

Flood-resistant buildings can prevent the displacement of residents affected by flooding and minimise structural damage, keeping everyone inside safe. By reducing or eliminating damage, these buildings also lessen the financial burden on owners and have broader economic benefits for communities and governments, who often bear the cost of disaster recovery.

  1. What are the key principles of flood-resistant construction?

Flood-resistant construction incorporates several principles:

  • Elevating structures to avoid floodwater.
  • Using flood-resistant construction materials for maximum protection against water damage.
  • Designing strategic openings or barriers to prevent water inflow.
  • Allowing dedicated space for water to flow beneath and around the structure without causing damage.
  • Adhering to local building codes and regulations that often have specific requirements for flood-resistant construction.
  1. How is elevation used in flood-resistant construction?

Elevating a house can keep it above the base flood level. Pilings and piers can be used to lift the structure high enough to avoid floodwater. The specific height for elevation is often determined by local floodplain management regulations.

  1. What materials are used in flood-resistant construction?

Flood-resistant materials can withstand prolonged exposure to water without significant damage. Examples include certain types of cement, specially treated wood, flood-resistant drywall, and water-resistant paint.

  1. Can existing structures be made flood-resistant?

Yes, existing structures can be retrofitted to be more flood-resistant, although this can sometimes be more challenging and costly than building new flood-resistant structures. For example, during a renovation project, special cement that offers superior protection against water damage can be used.

  1. What are flood vents, and why are they important?

Flood vents are openings designed to allow water to flow through enclosed areas, relieving intense hydrostatic pressure. This ensures that forces inside and outside the building remain balanced, minimising the risk of catastrophic damage. Flood vents are often a requirement in flood-prone areas, according to local building codes.

  1. How does landscaping impact flood-resistant construction?

Landscaping can significantly aid in diverting water away from a home. Sloping the land away from the structure and using permeable surfaces can help in water absorption and reduce runoff. Some vegetation can also effectively absorb excess water, offering another layer of protection against flooding.

  1. Are there any design considerations for flood-resistant construction?

Design considerations should be tailored to the specific risks and flood history of the location. These may include proper building orientation, selecting flood-resistant materials, incorporating elevated foundations, and designing openings to minimise water entry.

Looking for flood-resistant construction materials such as cement?

Explore CONCRETO UNO cement. It offers robust protection against water infiltration, dampness, and efflorescence, thereby enhancing both the durability and surface finish of the structure. Its advanced formulation also shields against harmful waterborne pollutants, extending the lifespan and quality of the building’s paint. It not only blocks water entry but also fortifies structural reinforcements by creating an insoluble coating on steel bars, thus prolonging the building’s overall longevity.