This collection of articles in "Getting Started", "Build Safer, Stronger, Smarter" and the topics listed on the left of this page was created shortly after hurricanes Katrina and Rita as a resource for participants in the Road Home disaster assistance program and anyone planning to restore or rebuild their damaged home. The information was developed jointly by the LSU AgCenter, Tulane City Center and UNO-CHART. The collection contains a wealth of useful content, yet be aware that it has not been updated.
More recent articles on restoration and rebuilding topics appear on the right, generally in order of posting (most recent on top).
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Protecting the window openings of a house is probably one of the most important steps a person can take to protect their family and belongings. When a hurricane hits, high winds and pounding rains are the result. High winds can cause objects such as roof tiles, branches, garbage cans and so on to become projectiles. When this happens, the outer envelope – the separation between the interior and the exterior environments of a building is at risk.
If you protect a building with a floodwall, sealant, plastic wrap or any other barrier, you will need to pump water during floods.
You can keep shallow flood water out of a slab-on-grade home using plastic sheeting supported by the wall of the building or on special stands away from the wall. This is an emergency protection measure that is more effective than using sandbags, but does require advance preparation.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of consumers complain to their state attorneys general about home repair ripoffs. The National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators, in fact, says home repairs are second only to car repairs on the nation’s complaint list. (PDF format only)
Portal to the Flood Insurance Rate Maps. Indicates the age of the Effective FIRM, and shows parishes that have new flood risk information available.
If your home’s roof was ever damaged by a storm, it doesn't have to happen again! This describes roofing products and installation methods that can survive.
Take control of your future by making your home more resilient for the next hurricane with these wind-hardy home restoration improvements.
Making your home flood-hardy and resilient means you can clean-up and move back in quickly, with minimal tear-out, replacement, cost and ordeal.
When restoring your damaged home or remodeling, take control of your future with these healthy home improvements to make your home a better place to breathe,
Take control of your future by making your restored or remodeled home more comfortable, with lower utility bills, through energy-saving home improvements.
Frequently asked questions about flooded home restoration, and science based answers to help owners and contractors make informed decisions.
Homes can and do withstand strong hurricanes, if they are designed and reinforced for the wind hazard risk of the area.
here are six approaches you can take to preventing damage in future floods: elevate the building, block the water in the yard, seal the building, use materials that water won't hurt, and elevate appliances and systems.
A back-flow valve in the common sewer line should allow sewer water to flow from the house to the sewer system, but prevent flow toward the house. To provide best protection from a flooded sewer system, the valve should provide a good seal and operate automatically.
Provides links to one-page documents with instructions of examples of using the new FloodMaps portal.
Wind Hazard Zones for Louisiana.
Most floodproofing systems have openings that need to be closed and watertight during a flood.
Sump pumps sit in the sump. "Trash" or "utility" pumps usually sit above water level and draw through an inlet hose.
Elevation provides the best protection for flood damage, short of relocating the house to an area that is less prone to flooding. Raising a structure does not remove it from the special flood hazard area (SFHA); therefore, it does not exempt the owner or the mortgage company from flood insurance mandates.
Segment of the LSU AgCenter Ready for Rain video including the factors to be considered in making a decision to invest in protecting a home from future flood damage.
Segment of the LSU AgCenter Ready for Rain video describing benefits and construction of privates levees and floodwalls.
A document that has full-page signs for the three challenge steps.
A guide for teachers, 4-H agents and other adults working with youth to introduce the concepts of flood protection of a home. The activity is hands-on and involves water.
Public version of LSU AgCenter Publication # 3400 - 4-H Activity Guide - Resilience Science - Withstanding the Winds.
Public version of LSU AgCenter Publication # 3401 - 4-H Activity Guide - Resilience Science - Figuring Out Flood Hazards.
It's best to get professional cleaners to work on carpets and floors, but this may not be possible. In any case, begin cleanup as soon as possible.
Describes how to use the FloodMaps web site to find your flood zone on the proposed Flood Insurance Rate Map and compare it to the flood zone on the Effective FIRM.
Includes features and step-by-step instructions for using the FloodMaps Portal
Evolution of the floodmaps portal
Summary of FloodMaps features, sized to print f/b on legal-sized paper. 3.5 Mg PDF
A lawn that’s properly cared for and healthy will resist weeds and other pest problems. Following the best management practices (BMPs) in this publication should help keep your lawn in good condition.
Images for use with LSU AgCenter FloodMaps Portal
Good performance of the HVAC systems depends on eliminating leaks in the plenum and ducting system and reducing friction within the ducts themselves. This 3-part video shows how to accomplish these goals, which also reduce attic air infiltration into the system.
Describes a feature of the FloodMaps portal that illustrates the relation between ground elevation, Base Flood Elevation and the floor elevation of a building at the site.
Demonstrates use of the LSUAgCenter FloodMaps portal to find flood and wind hazards at user points of interest in Louisiana.
Demonstrates how map changes affect two properties - one going from high-to-low risk while the other goes from low to high risk in the same area. Use this as a guide to find out about map changes at any location in Louisiana.
Tip Sheet explains how to navigate the LSU AgCenter FloodMaps portal and use of icons.
Graphic steps to using the FloodMaps portal. Developed primarily for agents and lenders to caution about using Preliminary and Future FIRMS.
Describes the main navigation elements of the FloodMaps portal developed using responsive design.
Describes the role FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (shown on the LSU AgCenter FloodMaps Portal) can play in determining risk in pending floods.
PDF file showing legend for digital flood maps.
Describes several techniques for repairing walls so they are more resistant to flood damage.
Flood hardy constructions techniques for new construction, significant remodeling and minor restoration.
Generadores portátiles son usados con un motor de combustion interna para generar electricidad y están comunmente usados durante respuesta a desastres. Generadores portátiles pueden ser peligrosos si se usan incorrectamente. Fuente: La Occupational Safety and Health Administration de Estados Unidos (OSHA).
Los riesgos eléctricos pueden causar quemaduras,choques eléctricos y electrocución (muerte). Fuente: La Occupational Safety and Health Administration de Estados Unidos (OSHA).
Repetitive flooding affects thousands of Louisiana homes and businesses. In this publication and its companion videotape, a procedure to demonstrate a non-invasive method to flood proofing is explained as it was demonstrated by a Michigan contractor. Special attention is given to adapting the technology for use in Louisiana’s floodplains. (PDF format only). This is the 2005 archived version of the original 1996 publication.
A kitchen is often thought of as the “heart of the home.” For generations, families and friends have gathered in the kitchen to make and break bread and to engage in a wide range of social activities. Today, we live longer than our predecessors did and as a result, are less likely to be as dexterous as we once were and significantly less mobile.
Formosan subterranean termites are more aggressive and cause more damage than native subterranean termite species because of special biological attributes.
Many homeowners who own a property built of wood have had problems with wood-destroying organisms. In United States, termites, and decay fungus cause more than $2 billion in damage to buildings every single year. In order to protect their home from these organisms, homeowners need to know what to look for, how to treat problems that arise, and how to keep their homes free of decay and termites.
Adjusting certain elements of architecture, construction and landscaping can help in Integrated Pest Management.
The buoyant foundations, senior-design project at LSU has focused a spotlight on this technique. Buoyant foundations are not a legal alternative to elevation in flood hazard areas, and specifically violate the flood and wind anchoring requirements of the buidling code and/or flood ordinance. Homeowners should not pin their hopes on adopting this technique for building, rebuilding or restoring homes.
Extensive damage from Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and Ike has caused many homeowners to build at higher elevations above ground, or to raise their existing homes to safer heights. Many people have, or will, turn to elevators, platform lifts or other mechanical systems as their primary means of accessing the elevated floor.
Experience has shown in inland areas floods damage areas of buildings not elevated above the flood level and destroy contents of those areas. In coastal areas, wave action causes even more damage. The NFIP requires participating communities to adopt a floodplain management ordinance that specifies minimum requirements for reducing flood losses. SOURCE: Home Builder's Guide to Coastal Construction Technical Fact Sheet Series (FEMA 499) Technical Fact Sheet 4.
The 2005 and 2008 hurricane seasons left thousands of south Louisiana homeowners with a need to build homes with the floor above ground or to elevate their existing homes to safer heights. Stairs, or even ramps, are not the optimal solution for accessing the raised floor; they can pose a problem for the disabled, aging and many others.
This publication outlines some of the options for design, operation and maintenance of ornamental ponds and discusses basic environmental requirements of fish and plants commonly grown in these ponds. 20 pages. Full color. (PDF Format Only)
For an average person soil might just be nothing but dirt which you walk on and never pay attention. But for engineers it is a complex material that must be studied.
When you’ve committed to adding landscaping to your home, walk or ride around to get some landscaping ideas from other homes. See what is being used in your community and what other people who have elevated their homes to a similar height have done with landscaping. general ideas about how to integrate an elevated first floor into a landscaped yard.
A collage of storm spot images from hurricane debris.
Once you've gotten past idea stage, you'll need to develop a budget, prep the yard, choose plants, put shovel in the ground, and be prepared to maintain your landscape.
Once you’ve decided to elevate your home, or moved into a home that is already elevated, there’s no reason to keep it stark and camp-like. Using creative landscaping, an elevated first floor can be hidden or enhanced, and the elevated home can even offer a new perspective. Window boxes and hanging plants on porches can help add another vertical layer of landscaping. This is a visual guide to landscaping your elevated home, and includes references to local resources.
When you’ve committed to adding landscaping to your home, walk or ride around to get some landscaping ideas from other homes. See what is being used in your community and what other people who have elevated their homes to a similar height have done with landscaping. general ideas about how to integrate an elevated first floor into a landscaped yard. Photos from around New Orleans.
There are four distinct components of establishing turfgrass: clearing and grading to provide the desired contours and good surface drainage, soil preparation, planting, and watering and maintenance.
Many homes lost their historic designations in the efforts to clean up and rebuild after the devasting damages caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. This article gives an overview historic preservation regulations, who the regulating agencies might be, what you need to preserve or restore, and where you can obtain information and guidance in the preservation, restoration, and repair of your home.
Lead is a naturally occurring blueish-gray metal. It is very abundant and mined in numerous counties around the world including the United States. The problem with lead is it is toxic. The human body has no use for lead, so even small amounts can be toxic. The most notable health effect of lead is in the mental development of young children.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of older homes damaged in Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike, are waiting to be rebuilt. Rising energy costs, the focus on reducing carbon emissions, and the green movement are driving energy-efficient building practices. This has put insulation, air sealing and weatherization high on the safer, stronger, smarter rebuilding list of desirable features.
Improving the energy efficiency of your home is an important and responsible step. Being energy-efficient can save you up to one-third on your annual energy bills. In addition to the personal and monetary benefits, improved energy efficiency has a positive and lasting affect on the environment.
Information about selecting contractors based primarily on bids received from the contractors to do the work.
Provided is a sample punch list of items that homeowners may want to use as part of developing a project punch list. If you and your contractor disagree about an item on the punch list, a good reference guide to help with your negotiations is National Association of Home Builders’ “Residential Construction Performance Guidelines”.
In this section we talk about drafting a bid specification that potential contractors can use to make offers to perform the work you need done.
View this sample contract to get an idea of the language your contract may include. Source: LouisianaRebuilds, which has transferred to GNO, Inc. (www.gnoinfo.com/housing/contractor-guide/)
There are risks and requirements involved in self-contracting. Building your own home almost never ends up costing less than you anticipated. There almost always will be extra costs associated with something that happens as a result of mistakes made, or unforeseen situations that require additional work. The risk can cost you more than what it is worth.
Portal page for section of the web that deals with contracts for construction work and change orders used to change what the contract says.
Portal Page for information on knowing when and how to pay contractors for homebuilding and home restoration work.
This fact sheet summarizes National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) regulatory requirements concerning coastal construction and provides recommendations for exceeding those requirements. SOURCE: Home Builder's Guide to Coastal Construction Technical Fact Sheet Series (FEMA 499 - 2010 edition): Fact Sheet G 1.2.
Over the life of a product, more-durable and longer-lasting options are generally better investments. These options are also better environmentally because they reduce both solid waste and resource waste.
A drainage plane is the layer of water-resistant materials between the cladding and the framing that drains water to the exterior and keep leaks (at windows, doors and cladding) from wetting the framing and insulation. Layers must be lapped properly so water draining from higher points on the house is directed over (not behind) lower layers.
El plomo es un elemento peligroso encontrado en muchos lugares de construcción. La exposición a plomo proviene de inhalar humos y polvo, y el plomo puede ser ingerido cuando las manos están contaminadas con polvo de plomo. Los trabajadores pueden llevarse el plomo a sus casas en las ropas, piel, cabello, herramientas y vehículos. La exposición a plomo puede ocurrir en actividades de demolición, rescate, remoción, encapsulación renovación y limpieza. (Fuente: OSHA)
Las cuatro causas más comunes de fatalidades en la construcción son: caídas, golpes, quedar atrapado/ pillado y electrocución. Fuente: OSHA.
Las inundaciones pueden causar la interrupcion de los sistemas de purificacion de agua y eliminacion de aguas negras, el desbordamiento de depositos de desechos toxicos y el desprendimiento de productos quimicos previamente almacenados sobre tierra. Fuente: OSHA
Muertes y lesiones serias pueden ocurrir si las grúas no son inspeccionadas y utilizadas correctamente. Muchas muertes pueden ocurrir cuando el aguilón de la grúa, el cable de carga o la carga contacta las líneas de energía eléctrica y descarga la electricidad hacia la tierra. Otros incidentes ocurren cuando los trabajadores son golpeados por la carga, son atrapados dentro del radio de movimiento de la grúa o fallan en montar/desmontar la grúa correctamente. Fuente: OSHA