Insulation Issues after a Flood

There are few things in this world more terrifying than a flood. Think about what happened to New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. Remember the flooded subway tunnels in New York City during Hurricane Sandy. Maybe you’ve lived through one yourself. There doesn’t have to be a superstorm; just enough rain to overwhelm a drain system or make a body of water overflow its banks. Floods can happen anywhere, anytime.

image shows a flooded living room

When the waters finally recede, it’s time to assess the damage. Some structures can be saved while others will need to be rebuilt. In either case, insulation is going to play an important role in the health and safety of the people affected.

Unless the insulation can be properly and completely dried out, it is best to remove and replace all  water damaged insulation. Water-damaged insulation can be a host for bacteria and a place for mold to grow. Insulation that has absorbed flood waters will hold onto whatever contaminants the floodwaters bring in. That could be some serious nastiness.

image shows a bench in a flooded outdoor area

People who live in coastal or flood-prone areas should consider insulating their homes and businesses with closed cell spray foam. Sprayed polyurethane foam and closed cell plastic spray foam are the only types of insulation classified by FEMA as acceptable flood damage resistant insulators. They can handle getting wet, are easier to dry, and can be cleansed of most pollutants brought in by flood waters.

Installers living in these areas may wish to consider investing in a custom spray foam rig, such as the ones offered by Capitol Machine International. This company allows customers to create their own custom spray foam rig. Start with the size of the trailer, then choose which equipment will complete the setup. They also have pre-configured rigs to choose from, so you can start right away.