Flood Damage Restoration: FEMA Recommends Water-Resistant Flooring Materials

Posted on Apr 30, 2016
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Featured Image: Flooding

In the midst of some of the worst flooding the area has ever seen, Houston, Texas residents face serious flood damage to their homes, cars, and neighborhoods. Approximately 1,000 homes have been flooded throughout nine counties, and in Harris County alone, the flooding has caused over $5 billion in property damage. As the rains die down and the water from Cypress Creek begins to recede, area residents are anxiously waiting to assess the damage to their homes and begin rebuilding.

The Houston flood reminds us that flooring is one of the major concerns and expenses when it comes to restoring one’s home after a flood. For people who live in flood hazard areas like Harris County, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends the use of flood damage-resistant flooring materials in any rooms that are below the base flood elevation. According to FEMA, flood damage-resistant flooring effectively reduces non-structural damage to residential buildings in the event of a river flood.

While hardwood and carpet are popular choices for homeowners, FEMA recommends using tile as a floor covering due to its impressive water resistance. Tiles made from materials such as ceramic, concrete, porcelain, and clay are an optimal flooring choice for areas, like Houston, that are prone to flooding. Plus choosing tile does not mean sacrificing design. According to Meg Belmontes at Arizona Tile, “With the new porcelain wood look tile, you don’t have to give up the look of hardwood to have the durability, and water-resistancy of porcelain tile. You just can’t tell the difference anymore!”

Arizona Tile Savannah Honey Porcelain Tile

Hardwood, while a popular and attractive option, requires time-consuming and careful restoration by a skilled professional, if it can even be salvaged at all. Carpet can be taken out, dried, and sanitized after a flood, but if done improperly, mold and mildew from excess moisture can lead to problems like subfloor rot. In both cases, repairs can often be costlier than outright replacement.

However, according to FEMA, many tile floor materials can hold up to standing water in the event of a flood. As residents of the waterlogged home begin planning their water damage restoration in Houston, many will require expensive carpet and hardwood flooring replacements. Yet tile has been shown to withstand the test of time. Steve Schultz, Meyerland Homeowner, and General Contractor of Schultz construction in Houston says that he replaced flooring throughout his family room, hallway, and master bedroom with porcelain tile after the area’s last flood. “This time around,” says Steve, “we are replacing the carpet in the remainder of the house with tile so we won’t have to replace the flooring if we flood again.”

If you’ve been affected by the floods in Houston visit our Arizona Tile branch in Houston, Texas. One of our professionally trained showroom consultant will be able to discuss which of our products will best protect your home from flood damage.


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