Rebuilding flooded homes


  #1  
Old 09-13-05, 09:46 PM
Brian Garrison's Avatar
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Rebuilding flooded homes

I want to pose a question.

What would it take to save a house that is flooded under 20' of water? Pull the sheetrock, insulation interior and throw it away. Scrape out the mud. Hose out the structure. Spray clorox and water solution to kill germs and rot. Dry the house out. Then rerock and start refinishing. Am I missing anything? Is it ultimately cheaper to do this than to tear down and rebuild? This is what we do here in Calif. at the Russian River when it floods every few years. I am asking as a serious forum question. I believe we as a group could figure out what it would take and if it would be worth it. I have peoples ears in the Gulf and I am posing this question in all seriousness. Any thing positive will help. I understand that a lot has to do with the condition of the home prior to flooding.

Thanks,


Brian Garrison
 
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Old 09-14-05, 03:54 AM
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I would think that the greater question should be, what is the condition of the overall integrity of the dwelling and its platform, after the water has subsided, because that is where the cost is.
 
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Old 09-14-05, 09:25 PM
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Flooded Homes

The two biggest problems are the foundation and mold. These are very big problems. First the foundation. As a rule, with 10 to 15 feet of water, the houses begin to float off of their foundation. Foudations are not disigned to hole an upward stress or force. Without a foundation inspection by an engineer, to see if the integrity of the ocncrete has been damaged, any further spending would be useless. If it is a pad foundation, it is almost an ungiven that the foundation is shot. The concrete will actually float or lift up also. The next is the mold. The type of molds and mildews that will grow in the Gulf area is very bad stuff. You do not kill that with clorex. You need special chemicals, and even these do not guarantee total killing. This type of mold causes accute asthma attackes and other breathing problems. I just did a workup on a 1400 sq ft. ranch, under almost the same conditions. It was almost a toss up. The decision was to rebuild from scratch, that way they completely eliminated the mold, and it was tight on the foundation. Hope this gives you some help. This was a different kind of flooding then that you are used to on the Russian River.
 
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Old 09-16-05, 07:14 AM
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Brian,

I have talked to some folks in Georgia and they gave me the following information.

As Jack pointed out, mold and structural integrity were the issues of concern.

After they did some estimating, tear it out and build new or renovate the existing when the base was sound, it was better to rebuild based on time and overall cost.

Time was one issue as it would take more time to go through all the steps as you mentioned. Labor intensive and this adds up. Most owners want to get back into their home as soon as possible.

Most importantly was the issue on mold. With this being more of an issue, even with new homes, lawsuits are continuing to be brought into the courts. I doubt if many, if any, contractors would consider renovating a home and having to worry about mold issues arising in the future. I don't think even the owner signing a waiver releasing a contractor from potential mold issues would even be acceptable in a court of law.

Just some thoughts
 
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Old 09-16-05, 09:39 AM
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Rebuilding flooded homes

If you have a good foundation, rebuild with masonry. If you have one flood then you can expect another. Masonry and concrete are easy to rebuild and is the most common residential building material in the advanced world. Only the U.S. Canada and very few others use temporary materials like wood. - Take a look at Europe, Russia, China and India. Only the lower class construction is not permanent.

No mold and minimal structural damage.

Dick
 
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Old 09-16-05, 06:02 PM
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Guys,

thanks for the imput. My first choice in these issues would be to have them build living space finish floor 1' above 100 year flood plain. On the Russian River they have slowly raised all the houses. All first floors in the flood plain cannot have sealed wall cavities in the plain. We either design with stucco finish and removeable panels at top and bottom of wall cavities to flood the walls clean once water has sudsided. Our other choice is to build the lower floor with heavy timber to meet fire code. We have to have structural integrity for 1 hr in a fire with charring. So we have to use 4x6 and 6x6 framing lumber.

I still believe that a lot of those structures can and should be saved. Time cannot always be the only issue. Ultimately we will all pay for this disaster. I believe we should save as much framing material as possible. It has been estimated that 250,000 homes will need to be rebuilt. Vegas finishes (1) new home every 20 minutes and is considered the fastest pace in the U.S. Only in China have I seen entire cities built in 12 months. they build them and fill them with 1,000,000 bodies and they do it with No real heavy equipment.

It is mind boggling.

thanks

Brian Garrison
 
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Old 09-16-05, 09:23 PM
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Brad,

It's the Russian River.

About the only other things to compare it to are the Smith, the Eel, the Klamath, ...

Next summer, try this. Go up the coast to Gold Beach OR and take one of the jet boats up river. Just before you get to Agness, you'll come to the bridge at the Illinois River. That bridge deck is about 70' above your head. Now, just TRY to imagine what it was like on Dec.22, 1964, when the river crested about 20' ABOVE that bridge deck.

And we're supposed to build buildings for stuff like that????

I'm just glad I don't venture that far west!!
 

Last edited by lefty; 09-16-05 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 09-16-05, 09:50 PM
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Rebuilding flooded homes

Using the Russian River philosophy, most of New Orleans would have to be built above the current flood highwater mark, since this will probably be within the 100 year flood - especially considering the general elevation of New Orleans.

Just put the rebuilt city on stilts on top of the old foundations.

In reality, some places have people living where there is no real excuse to except that someone found a place they liked and others followed without thinking of the consequences.

Dick
 
 

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