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Flood Testing Gets a Reality Check

July/August 2006
This article originally appeared in the July/August 2006 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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July 01, 2006
Although the structural damage to a home from flooding cannot always be prepared for, the use of flood-resistant materials can minimize the cost of rebuilding.
        Floods and flooding are catastrophic events brought on by spring thaws, thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tsunamis. One of the single largest contributors to the total cost of these events is the loss and replacement of residential housing. The unpredictability of the punching energy of these storms either in the form of water surge or wind force, along with the duration and depth of the flood and pollutants in the water, are just a few of the external factors affecting a building’s ability to resist flood damage. The building’s own design and materials also will strongly impact the resistance of a residential envelope to flood damage.Although the structural damage to a home from flooding due to initial impact stresses cannot always be prepared for, minimizing the damage associated with wetting through the use of flood-resistant materials is one method of reducing the cost of such events.         During the past five years,Tuskegee University and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have been conducting field and laboratory testing to study the resistance of building envelopes to physical degradation under wetting and drying cycles associated with flooding.We ...

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