So, you were flooded in Magnolia, Texas May 26th 2016 and you don’t want to rebuild. If you have a mortgage, your mortgagee will have something to say about that. Your home loan was appraised in two parts: land and improvements. The improvements consist of the dwelling, detached garage, outbuildings, etc. In my case these are the dwelling and garage plus a barn. As you make payments on your loan, your debt is apportion-ally paid off proportionally among the land and the dwellings. Therefore, when you have a dwelling appraised at $50K and you make $50K worth of payments the dwelling is not paid off. With a property that is appraised in total at $200K, the other portion is the land, valued at $150K. The formula for calculating the remaining mortgage amount on the dwelling is: Payoff = (P/A)*D, where P is sum of principal payments, A is the original total appraised value, and D is original dwelling appraised value. So, for example, if the numbers mentioned above are plugged into the formula we have:
Payoff = ($50K / $100K) * $50K = 50% * $50K = $25K Payoff Dwelling
You can see why a demolition is not an easy decision. Basically, a person who has no place to live must pay a portion or all of the insurance to the mortgagee if one decides to replace the permanent dwelling with, for example, an elevated manufactured home. Manufactured homes are considered personal property because they can be moved upon vacating the premises.
Rebuilding may be the only option for some, especially those with no insurance. If one must rebuild, consideration for future flooding has to be on one’s mind. Certainly, putting things high (how high?), water proof or water resistant considerations, and maybe more sparsely furnished and with second hand furniture. But you can’t water proof carpet padding, tile grout, fiberglass insulation, and drywall. All of these items must go each time it floods. On the other hand, you don’t have to put carpeting or tile on the floor. You don’t have to seal fiberglass bats behind drywall. In fact, it is not necessary to use drywall or wood based paneling either. How about a floor that doesn’t care if it gets wet? What if the fiberglass insulation could be immediately accessed after the flood waters recede? How about a wallboard that will resist water and endure for ages?
The idea of painting the bare concrete, much like a garage floor, and sealing, then using area rugs on top might be the trick. As far as quick access to the fiberglass: an extra wide base molding (7.25″), screwed into place could be easily removed and allow for air and mold disinfectant to be applied. Also, there is HardieTrim crown moulding as an extra touch. Of course, the reason for the extra wide molding would be because the wall-boards would be cut short to allow an air access gap at the bottom. If the replacement board is required to be 4 feet high, cut it to 3.5 and screw the base board on to cover the gap. As for the semi-impermeable wallboard – use HardiePanel! The 8X4 panels at 5/16 thickness, can be cut to appropriate size and screwed into place. If the base boards are also HardiePanel, that fact may save another piece of material from being pried off and thrown in the yard for disposal. None of this takes nightmare out of a flood. All together, it is an attempt to mitigate that nightmare when it occurs and to shorten its duration.
In the above paragraph, I reference HardieTrim and HardiePanel which are patented cement board that is very popular in today’s building community. Even though it is touted as the best and most durable material for building covering, there are also many drawbacks and complaints. I am writing about problems but solutions, so I started to look for other paneling material that is water proof or resistant.