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Flood-ready finished area/garage.


Jeff Admire's Avatar
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12-06-12, 06:48 AM   #1  
Flood-ready finished area/garage.

I have an elevated home in a flood plane. The first floor is a garage with concrete block walls. I am trying to identify a method to finish this area but make it 'flood-ready' in less than 3 hours (total area is 33'x15'), based on materials and/or removal of items for re-installation once the water recedes. (typically have 48+hours notice of a river flood in my area).

I have the following goals:
1) Section off an area similar to a finished basement.
2) Finish walls and insulate.
3) Carpet or finish flooring
4) Increase floor temperature during winter (if possible)

Any recommendations on materials and ideal process would be greatly appreciated!

 
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Nashkat1's Avatar
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12-06-12, 09:56 AM   #2  
Welcome to the forums!

It might help us focus our advice if we knew where you live. If you update your profile to include that information, it will appear here.

That said, the first thing that comes to mind is what you have now - masonry. IOW, concrete block for the new wall and ceramic tile for the floor in the finished part. To warm that floor, you could install radiant tubing under the tile.

Is this heading in a direction you like?

 
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12-06-12, 10:15 AM   #3  
Thanks! I live in Central IL. I like the idea of the radiant heating under tile, however my concern is if the water were to rise (silty river water), what would that do to radiant heating workings. Eg, mold, smell, etc, between the tile an the garage floor. As for the block walls, I'm looking to cover the masonry in some way, shape or form. (dry wall, panneling, etc.) as it gets cold in the garage during the winter months.

 
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12-06-12, 10:24 AM   #4  
Thanks! I live in Central IL.
Thanks. You can add that to your profile - I cannot.

my concern is if the water were to rise (silty river water), what would that do to radiant heating workings. Eg, mold, smell, etc, between the tile an the garage floor. As for the block walls, I'm looking to cover the masonry in some way, shape or form. (dry wall, panneling, etc.) as it gets cold in the garage during the winter months.
Radiant tubing embedded in concrete should be safe from flooding. Drywall and most paneling are not.

 
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12-06-12, 10:42 AM   #5  
If it wasn't for your 4th goal, I would say go with a garage flooring or something like a paint on truck liner on the concrete.

I would assume you would want something that would not mold, and could be hosed off once the flooding is over.

 
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12-06-12, 10:52 AM   #6  
Thanks. Yeah, that's the tricky one and as the garage floor is already poured, breaking it up to embedd the radiant tubing is probably ruled out. Given the frequency of flooding every (5 or 10 years), I'd like to get it as closed to finished, comfortable living space and less like a garage as possible. Just with the ability to make it 'flood ready' in 4 hours or less (roll up carpet, remove bottom wall paneling, etc). If you used metal studs and rigid foam board, could that remain while the water is touching it (2 weeks or less)?

 
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12-06-12, 10:58 AM   #7  
What about modular walls like you see in offices?
I'm sure there are some out there that would feel less like a doctor's office, and could easily be removed.

 
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12-06-12, 05:01 PM   #8  
Interesting...I haven't given modular walls any thought. I'll have to search around. Thanks.

 
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12-06-12, 05:15 PM   #9  
How deep are your floods?

The carpet will have to be able to get rolled up. No getting around that. I think you can get wall to wall carpeting made into an area rug. They sew a little strip around the outside to keep it nice. Get that made in manageable size just a bit smaller than the room. Not sure what to do about padding. You could put it under there, but I'm not sure how well that would hold up with out being secured in place.

You can do electric radiant heat in the floor, but I think you need something like tile on top of that. Even if you do that, any foam padding for a carpet may be an issue.

Any electrical needs to be above the water. Otherwise you will need to replace it all if it gets wet.

The walls are a tough one. I suppose metal studs would be fine, but you don't want to leave foam in place. I think that is going to trap too much moisture behind it and would take a long time to dry out. I'm thinking some type of modular wall panel made out of foam board and perhaps a thin plywood or 1/4" drywall. Something like that may be too flexible to prevent the drywall from cracking. You can make your panels manageable widths and use wood molding on one edge to hide the seam when they are installed.

 
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12-06-12, 06:50 PM   #10  
If you used metal studs and rigid foam board, could that remain while the water is touching it (2 weeks or less)?
Doubtful. Metal studs are steel or aluminum. Both corrode.

How high does the water rise, or how high could it rise?

as the garage floor is already poured, breaking it up to embedd the radiant tubing is probably ruled out.
To lay a tile floor you will need to add mortar on top of the concrete anyway. Is there a reason that mortar bed couldn't be thick enough to accept the radiant tubing?

 
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12-07-12, 05:25 AM   #11  
My only concern with your idea (was thinking about this on the long drive home last night) is what if you are not home or around when your 4 hours time starts?
Might be worth relooking at the project a bit and consider constructing it like an outdoor area.

For carpet... Outdoor carpet or turf. My parent's have stuff that looks like normal carpet, but can be hosed off with the garden hose.
For the walls, something that can get wet and or be exposed to the elements.

Electrical... Definitely CFCI, mounted high enough off the ground to be out of reach of some flooding. Local building code may be an issue with this however.
Ceiling lighting should be weather proof. They do make nice looking lights that are weather proof.

The general idea I have is you should be able to hose down the room (empty) with a garden hose without having any issues.
This way, should it floor while you are not home or able to empty and disassemble, only the contents of the room is a potential loss, not the entire construction.

 
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12-09-12, 09:02 AM   #12  
Thanks for all your responses:

Studs: So instead of metal studs, treated lumber would be the way to go? Water could get up to 36inches in the room.

Electrical: Not an issue...already elevated according to regulations (ceiling and all gcfi's)

Radiant heating: How thick would the mortar bed have to be? The only concern is taking away from the overall ceiling height, but if it's minimal, this would be a great option.

Carpet: Thanks for the comments. Getting a 'rollable' option would be ideal!

If there was a quick way to dismantle the bottom half of the walls when the water was going to rise, that would be perfect as well.

 
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12-09-12, 09:53 AM   #13  
If there was a quick way to dismantle the bottom half of the walls when the water was going to rise, that would be perfect as well.
o0o0o0o0. I like this one. Build a wall on top of a wall. The top portion is bolted to the structure above so it can hang on its own. The bottom portion slides in underneath and is bolted to the tope wall and to the floor. Put a notch into the bottom wall plates so the bolts can slide in and hold on with a very large washer. You won't need many of them. Just enough to hold in place if someone leans on it. Cover the middle seam with a wide piece of trim. I'm sure we can think of a thousand ways to make it easily removable.

 
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12-09-12, 10:50 AM   #14  
I have read and re-read this thread, and it amazes me the ends we will go to to avert a disaster that is imminent. Now, I have never owned property that was in a flood plane, so I won't give advice as to how it should be handled. It just seems like we're trying to put perfume on a pig, here.

 
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12-09-12, 10:04 PM   #15  
Radiant heating: How thick would the mortar bed have to be? The only concern is taking away from the overall ceiling height, but if it's minimal, this would be a great option.
That depends on the product you choose. Compare the specs for a few different ones. I'm imagining 2" or a little more.

 
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12-10-12, 06:31 AM   #16  
I have read and re-read this thread, and it amazes me the ends we will go to to avert a disaster that is imminent. Now, I have never owned property that was in a flood plane, so I won't give advice as to how it should be handled. It just seems like we're trying to put perfume on a pig, here.
If the OP is anything like me, they are looking at this space as wasted and want to make use of it. This may be more critical for them if they have a smaller house.

That being said, I'd still suggest going with a setup that can get wet/dirty. This way, if you are not home, sick, injured, etc, you won't be at a loss if you get flooded.
Nothing worse then being sick as a dog, and have to go take apart your room because it's going to flood.

 
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12-11-12, 05:39 PM   #17  
Thank you all for your replys. Drooplug, I like where your going with this! This is the kind of creative response I was looking for. Can you elaborate a little more on what you were thinking? I initially was thinking about hiding hinges under a chair rail so I could swing the bottom half of the wall up when the water came, but if there was an easy access method of removal of the bottom half (think 3 guys with drills), that would work great.

 
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12-11-12, 06:36 PM   #18  
What's wrong with the hinge idea? I like that even more. I think the biggest concern here would be mold growing on this stuff even though it is out of the water. If the water will be there for days, it will get very humid in that space.

 
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