Flood damage resistant building materials can minimize flood damage and make cleanup easier by using flood damage resistant building materials.

According to the Federal Management Emergency Agency (FEMA), building materials are considered flood resistant if they can withstand direct contact with flood waters for at least 72 hours without being significantly damaged. Significant damage means any damage that requires more than low cost, cosmetic repair.

Flood resistant materials should be on parts of a dwelling that are below the base flood elevation. FEMA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have lists of such materials. Commonly available materials include:

Flooring materials: Concrete, concrete tile and pre-cast concrete; latex or bituminous, ceramic, clay, terrazzo, vinyl and rubber sheets and tiles; pressure-treated or decay resistant lumber; and pressure-treated wood and cold-formed steel.

Wall and ceiling materials: Brick, metal, concrete, concrete block, porcelain, slate, glass block, stone and ceramic and clay tile; cement board, cold-formed steel and reinforced concrete; polyester epoxy paint; pressure-treated and decay resistant lumber; pressure-treated and marine grade plywood; foam and closed-cell insulation; and decay resistant wood.

Other materials include hollow metal doors, cabinets and foam or closed-cell insulation.

FEMA points out that:

Using flood resistant materials does not protect buildings from other flood hazards such as the impact of flood borne debris.

All hardware used in areas below the flood level should be made of stainless or galvanized steel.

Flood insurance will not pay a claim for damaged finishing materials below the base flood elevation even if those materials are considered flood damage resistant.

Installing flood damage resistant materials in areas below the base flood elevation may create an obstruction in violation of the National Flood Insurance Program. Check with local building officials prior to making modifications.

Areas below the base flood elevation should be used only for parking, storage and access.