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Tips for Protecting Your Property From Flooding

(Valley Forge, Pa.) – Flooding is a coast-to-coast threat in the United States, and the coming of spring often brings severe weather, heavy rain and rapid snow melt that can increase the risk. Flood Safety Awareness Week, observed March 18-22, is coordinated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to highlight some of the ways floods can occur, their associated hazards, and how to protect yourself and your property.

A leading manufacturer of building products designed to create comfortable, sustainable homes that stand up to all weather conditions, CertainTeed Corporation offers the following tips to help protect against flood damage, or rehabilitate a home with water damage:

Get flood insurance. According to the NOAA, floods are the number one natural disaster in the U.S., causing nearly $24 billion in damage in the past 10 years. Homes and businesses located in high-risk areas are twice as likely to experience a flood than a fire. However, most homeowners and commercial property insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Carrying flood insurance is one of the most important steps to protecting your home or business. But don’t wait until a local warning is issued—it normally takes 30 days after purchase for a flood insurance policy to go into effect. 

Build a tight foundation. Floods can happen anywhere, and a waterproof foundation can greatly reduce the amount of damage to a home. Installing flood vents in a home’s foundation creates permanent openings that allow water to flow in and out of the crawl space without damaging the wall’s integrity. Homeowners can also install barriers that prevent water from entering through the foundation wall, such as Platon® high-density polyethylene (HDPE) waterproofing membrane.

Elevate key fixtures and appliances. In high-risk areas, homeowners should elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel at least 12 inches above the projected base flood elevation.

Ensure proper drainage. Install a sump pump with backup power, and make sure excess water is diverted from the exterior of a home’s basement or crawl space. Form-A-Drain™ is a unique drainage solution that collects groundwater through multiple side vents and transports it to a sump pit or drainage pipe.

Take steps to prevent mold growth. If a home has flooded and been closed up for several days, it is very likely the home has been contaminated with mold. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends removing all porous items, such as carpet, upholstery, drywall and ceiling tiles that have been wet for more than 48 hours and cannot be thoroughly cleaned and dried, as they can pose a health risk. If an area larger than 10 square feet has been affected, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends hiring a qualified mold remediation specialist to help with removal.

Make renovations count. If repairs are necessary, take the opportunity to rebuild with materials that will improve the home’s comfort and efficiency, such as M2Tech® Moisture and Mold Resistant Gypsum Board, which is engineered to protect against mold growth. MemBrain™ Smart Vapor Retarder can also help prevent future mold growth by allowing walls to breathe, so excess moisture doesn’t become trapped within the wall cavity. Keep in mind that a federal tax credit for energy efficient upgrades may help offset some of the repair costs. Visit to learn more.

Partner with a qualified contractor. Recovering from a flood can be an overwhelming experience. Working with a trusted contractor can help homeowners navigate the latest building codes and get back in their homes more quickly. Search customer review websites or use online tools such as CertainTeed’s “Find a Pro” tool to locate credentialed contractors based on zip code, as well as the type of products needed for the project.

To speak to an expert, contact Mike Loughery of CertainTeed Corporation at or 610-341-7328.

About CertainTeed

Through the responsible development of innovative and sustainable building products, CertainTeed, headquartered in Valley Forge, Pa., has helped shape the building products industry for more than 100 years. Founded in 1904 as General Roofing Manufacturing Company, the firm's slogan "Quality Made Certain, Satisfaction Guaranteed," quickly inspired the name CertainTeed. Today, CertainTeed® is North America’s leading brand of exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, fence, decking, railing, trim, foundations, pipe, insulation, gypsum, ceilings and access covers.

A subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest building products company, CertainTeed and its affiliates have more than 5,700 employees and more than 60 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada. Recognized as a 2009 and 2010 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, CertainTeed earned the 2011 and 2012 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award, the highest level of recognition for outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency. The group had total sales of approximately $3.3 billion in 2012.