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Preventive Steps to Reduce Interior Losses During Flooding

December 28, 2021

You can’t control the weather, but you can minimise the damage it does to your home!

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Flooding is a common natural disaster in Malaysia, causing millions of ringgits in damage each year, particularly during the monsoon season, which lasts from October to March.

A recent flash flood, which occurred as a result of continuous rainfall that lasted for days, was described as one of the worst floods in decades. Tens of thousands of people were displaced across eight states, including the densely populated Selangor area. Despite the warnings from officials, many people, particularly those in Selangor, didn’t expect the situation to be so disastrous. At the time of writing, some affected areas are still underwater, with rivers overflowing their banks, cities submerged, and major roads cut off.

flood damage home
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Although no home can be completely protected from flooding, there are plenty of preventative measures you can take to reduce utility damage and thus the cost associated with repair and maintenance, especially if you live in a landed house, low-level building, or flood-prone area. Here are some to consider for your own home:

Note: These tips are not a foolproof solution if floodwaters exceed a certain height, but they do help to mitigate damage from minor floods.

Relocate your electrical outlets and switches to a higher surface

Amber A, Kuala Lumpur by Doubble Interior Associates
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When renovating your home, consider locating your electrical wiring, switches, sockets, and circuit breakers above the flood protection level. If these components are submerged in floodwater for even a short period of time, they can be severely damaged and are costly to repair or replace. Additionally, you can also protect your electrical outlets and other vulnerable components with waterproof sealants, enclosures or protective coatings.

Install a raised platform for your home appliances

Haven Villa, Perak by Red Land Design
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Aside from your electrical outlets and switches, you should consider raising/elevating your home's major appliances, such as washing machines, dryers, ovens and refrigerators above the ground. There are several ways to do this including installing pedestals or platforms for your appliance or placing it on concrete blocks.

Use waterproof paint to protect your walls

Tropicana Cheras, Kuala Lumpur by Hashtag Interior Design
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Consider investing in waterproof paint as they help to protect your walls from moisture during a flood. When exposed to muddy floodwater, waterproof painted walls are also very easy to clean with soap and water. Aside from that, waterproof paint can help to prevent the growth and musty odour of fungi and mould when your interior is exposed to moisture for an extended period of time.

Invest in durable floor materials

Bukit Raja Klang by Wuuu Studio
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View this project by Wuuu Studio

When renovating your home consider using flooring materials such as tiles, concrete, concrete tiles, ceramic, clay, terrazzo, vinyl, or rubber tiles. These are the best flooring options that can withstand floods without causing significant damage and costly repairs. Mud stains from floods can also be removed relatively easily with these materials.

Avoid using wooden materials such as laminates or hardwood. These materials are susceptible to moisture and humidity, and if exposed to water for an extended period of time, they can deteriorate.

Choose long-lasting furniture for your home

Park Seven Residence, KLCC by KSJ Interiors & Reno Sdn Bhd
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View this project by KSJ Interiors & Reno Sdn Bhd

When furnishing your home, consider investing in furniture made of long-lasting materials such as teak, stainless steel, plastic, and aluminium. If submerged in floodwater, these materials do not deteriorate quickly and are relatively easy to clean, especially if they have a waterproof protective layer or a special waterproofing coat applied to them.

Teak, for example, contains a high concentration of natural oils that make it waterproof and shiny. Furthermore, teak wood is also resistant to warping, cracking and becoming brittle. All of these qualities make teak wood resistant to flood damage. Teak is suitable for cabinets, tables, chairs and bed frames. Besides teak, you can also consider using stainless steel for shelves as an alternative to wooden cabinetry or as bed frames, whereas plastic and aluminium are suitable for outdoor furniture, chairs and cabinets.

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If your home is severely damaged by a flood, we can assist you by recommending up to five reputable interior designers who can renovate your home within your budget. To request a free quote, please click here.

All Qanvast recommendations are covered by the Qanvast Guarantee scheme, which covers 50% of your contract value, up to RM50,000, if the recommended Contracting Service Provider becomes insolvent.

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