Use water-resilient building materialsUse water-resilient building materials

Use water-resilient building materials


If you llive in a flood-prone area, consider raising your house so that where you reside is higher above the ground and portenial floodwaters. Can you move your house to a higher part of your block, to avoid inundation?

Use water-resilient building materials when retrofitting.

Because you live in a flood-prone area, investing in water resistant materials makes good sense. Whether you are renovating by choice or rebuilding after flood damage, consider retrofitting your home with water-resistant materials that minimise damage and enable a faster, easier clean up after a flood event.

Building materials that could be exposed to water inundation should be given further consideration of their properties when wet, in deciding whether they are suitable for use. Consider the likely duration of exposure to wetness, changes to dimensions and strength when wet, water absorption rate, required drying time, and the cost and feasibility of replacement of components.

Here are some practical water resistant products:

  • Replace kitchen plasterboard wall linings with fibre cement sheeting then tiling over the sheeting using waterproof adhesive
  • Replace kitchen bench tops with stone or reconstituted stone products
  • For roof trusses and wall framing using steel or hardwood, which will withstand water inundation better than particleboard or pine
  • Use water-resistant products such as glass blocks to create a feature wall


Check your local building codes to find out whether they will permit you to build floodwalls or other barriers around your home to prevent water from entering your home. In Australia, this type of prevention, known as dry flood proofing, is considered unsuitable for the majority of buildings, because the hydrostatic forces are not equalised on both sides of the external wall. 

Protect basement walls by sealing them with waterproofing compounds to prevent water can't come in through cracks. Some examples include asphalt waterproofing membrane, bituminous waterproofing, cementious waterproofing liquid and polyurethane membranes.

The objective is to minimise the damage to the structural components, which are expensive to repair and could lead to structural collapse. The rehabilitation of a flooded home should involve only cleaning, content replacement and minor repairs. However, if floodwater can for example enter a wall cavity, wall linings may need to be removed to clean the cavity and allow structural members to dry out.