Flood Damage >> How To Build In The Flood Plain

A damp basement can be a nightmare, especially after mildew creates its eye-watering, nose-offending stench. There are two enemies to overcome: damp air condensing on interior walls and ground water penetrating the exterior. One can address condensation by drying or How To Build In The Flood Plain heating the air in a basement to raise it above the dew point.

The simple way to do both is with dehumidifiers. However, they are expensive to operate. In this article, the author presents and How To Build In The Flood Plain explains a construction solution to the wet basement problem.Water can enter your basement in one of three ways.

Through cracks in the basement wall Through the joint between the basement wall and the basement floor Through the basement window wellCheck the exteriorgradingto ensure that surface water flows away from your house. With the passage of time, How To Build In The Flood Plain soil often settles around the foundation wall. Water ponds in these settled areas, and what doesn't evaporate may find its way into your basement.

Flower beds and other plantings may hold water against the wall. When regrading, avoid placing soil next to wood or siding. Examine the window wells, How To Build In The Flood Plain and ensure that all contacts between the outer foundation wall and the window well casing are well sealed.

A window well cover may be a useful addition. Also check for clogged gutters and downspouts. Directing rain water away from your house and How To Build In The Flood Plain extending roof drainage outlets to 6 or more feet beyond your foundation often can prevent or correct a wet basement problem.

If water is entering through the wall, theparging(exterior mortar coat) or waterproof seal is cracked, too thin, How To Build In The Flood Plain or missing. You should consult with a contractor. If the wall is merely damp on the inside or seeps are visible, you may be able to cure the leakage by coating the interior wall with a waterproof cement-sand mixture.

If water is entering through the joint between the wall and the basement floor slab or through cracks in the floor, water pressure exists beneath the floor. First correct the surface drainage to force surface water away from the wall, and then check for the presence or How To Build In The Flood Plain absence of footing drains.

If you don't have construction drawings of the wall footings, try to get them from the builder or your local jurisdiction's Building Inspector files. Check for the presence or How To Build In The Flood Plain absence of an exterior drain by looking for a plastic pipe discharging at a point in your yard below the level of the footing or, if a storm sewer inlet or manhole is nearby, looking inside it to see if there is a plastic pipe through its wall from the direction of your house.

If the drain is there, but there is no flow and your basement continues to leak, the pipe may have become plugged with earth or How To Build In The Flood Plain tree roots over time. Correcting this can be a major job. It may require snaking-type equipment to reopen plugged drains along all or part of the length of the footing.

Occasionally, a deep penetration of frost followed by some thaw and a heavy rain will temporarily restrict the flow from the surface to the drain.This book gives step-by-stepadvice you can use to clean up,rebuild, How To Build In The Flood Plain and get help after a flood.

Before you start, read the safetyprecautions at the top of this document and review the nine stepsthat are summarized on the contents pages.Your home and its contentsmay look beyond hope, but manyof your belongings can berestored. If you do things right,your flooded home can be cleanedup, dried out, rebuilt, How To Build In The Flood Plain and reoccupied sooner than you think.

While you are doing the jobahead, you should remember thesethree important points:

1. Play it safe. The dangers arenot over when the water goesdown. Read the safety precautions at the top of this document. Your home's foundationmay have been weakened, theelectrical system may haveshorted out, How To Build In The Flood Plain and floodwatersmay have left behind thingsthat could make you sick.
Many flooded items, such aswallboard and mattresses, willhold mud and contaminationforever. When in doubt, throwit out. Don't risk injury orinfection.

2. Ask for help. Many peoplecan do a lot of the clean up andrepairs discussed in this book.But if you have technical questions or do not feel comfortabledoing something, get professional help. If there is a federaldisaster declaration, a telephone"hotline” will often be publicized to provide informationabout public, private, How To Build In The Flood Plain and voluntary agency programs to helpyou recover from the flood.Government disaster programsare there to help you, the taxpayer. You're paying for them;check them out.

3. Floodproof. It is very likelythat your home will be floodedagain someday. Floodproofingmeans using materials and practices that will prevent or minimize flood damage in thefuture. Many floodproofingtechniques are inexpensive orcan be easily incorporated intoyour rebuilding program. Youcan save a lot of money byfloodproofing as you repair and How To Build In The Flood Plain rebuild. See Step 8.

You shouldalso prepare for the next floodby buying flood insurance andwriting a flood response plan. If your have gas appliances thatwere flooded, you will need toclean the mud out of the pilot and How To Build In The Flood Plain the burners. But first, you mustturn off the gas.There is a valve next to the gasmeter. If the valve handle is parallel to the pipe, the gas is on.

Youmay need a pair of pliers or awrench to turn the valve. Turn it90 degrees (a quarter turn) so thehandle is perpendicular to the pipeto shut the gas off.for help and keep clear of the areauntil the gas has stopped flowing.If you have a fuel oil or How To Build In The Flood Plain propanetank, it may have floated andbroken the connecting pipes.

Even an underground tank canfloat. Turn off the fuel valve at thetank and follow the instructions inStep 5 before you turn the fuelback on.Go Inside carefullyIf the door sticks and has to beforced open, it is probablyswollen. If it only sticks at thebottom, it can be forced open.If it sticks at the top, How To Build In The Flood Plain your ceilingmay be ready to fall.

You canforce the door open but waitoutside the doorway for a minutewhere you will be protected ifsomething falls.If the door won't open easily, itmay be easier for you to enteryour home through a window.Look carefully at the ceiling beforeyou go in to be sure it is not readyto fall.Do not smoke or How To Build In The Flood Plain use candles,gas lanterns, or other open flamesin your home.

Air out your homecompletely—there may be explosive gas.Check the ceiling for signs ofsagging. If there was a lot ofwind and rain or if the flood wasvery deep, your ceiling may beholding water. Wet plaster or How To Build In The Flood Plain wallboard is very heavy anddangerous if it falls. If the ceilingis sagging, do the following beforeyou go in:

1. Make a poker by attaching anail or other pointed object tothe end of a long stick. (Youmight hammer a finish nail intothe end of a broomstick.)Some gas meter valves will havea hole in the handle. this holelines up with a hole in the valvebody when the gas is shut off.(The gas company uses the hole isused by the gas company to lock or How To Build In The Flood Plain seal the valve closed when thebuilding is vacant.)

When theholes are lined up, you know thatthe gas supply has been shut off.To be sure the gas is off, How To Build In The Flood Plain writedown the numbers on all the dialsin the meter. Check the dials atleast five minutes later. If thenumbers have changed, the valveis not closed. Gas is still flowing.

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