Choosing the Right Materials: Flood

A flood can force you out of your home.

IBHS research following disasters such as Hurricane Ike found that choosing the right building materials will help minimize water-related damage. When the power is out, which often happens following a storm powerful enough to cause flooding, interior materials will not have the opportunity to dry out quickly. This can lead to long-term damage and delay the return to normal living. The general guidelines below will help you get started thinking about how to make the best choice if you live in a low-lying area, near a body of water or in an area prone to hurricanes. For more information, visit the Flood Section of this site. 

When repairing damage, remodeling or building a new home, following these guidelines will help minimize future damage:

  • Choose wood-based products over paper-backed products for walls. For example, use wainscoting instead of drywall. 
  • Choose area rugs, which can be rolled up if a flood threatens or removed to dry out after a flood, instead of wall-to-wall carpeting.
  • Place electrical outlets higher up on walls to avoid contact with water should flooding occur.
  • Always place electronics on higher shelves or keep them up off the floor. 
  • Choose plastic storage options for important records or papers or store them on a higher floor. 

Being financially prepared for a flood is also important. Most homeowners insurance does not cover flooding. For more information visit