Recently, FEMA has been sharing more and more information to help Harvey-affected home-owners rebuild their homes the right way.
If you didn’t know, FEMA is the Emergency Management Institute. For years they have been the premier distributor of knowledge when it comes to preparing for natural disasters. They are also first responders when it comes to organizing relief/rebuilding efforts after events such as Hurricane Harvey.
You know that old pink matted stuff in your walls? That’s called fiberglass insulation. It does a good job of keeping your home warm, but it’s also the reason that if you have a foot of water on your floor, your ceiling will be soaked. Fiberglass insulation encourages water into the walls, and water will travel along the insulation highway until it covers every wall in your entire house.
Obviously, there has to be a better way. Sadly, the majority of homes flooded in Hurricane Harvey likely used this old-fashioned type of barrier. Luckily, they can still decide to go the modern way and rebuild with Spray Foam Insulation. Namely closed cell insulation.
FEMA strongly urges home-owners and contractors to use only “flood resistant materials” during the building of a new house. What qualifies as “flood resistant” means that the material could be exposed to water for around 72 hours without being ruined or damaged.
According to FEMA, closed cell spray foam is the ONLY insulation that makes the cut. That’s coming straight from the authority on flood preparation.
Had more homeowners used this type of spray foam, the damages in homes would be significantly different. The foam would’ve kept the water on the ground where it belongs, saving literally tons of drywall from being dragged out onto the streets.
Anyone who has helped to clear out a Harvey damaged homes knows how much drywall is in a typical house. Wouldn’t it have been nice to only tear out a foot or two of drywall rather than every tiny piece in the whole house?
So when you, a friend, or anyone you know wants to rebuild their house with that awful “pink stuff”, make sure you let them know that there really is another way.