The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released a new document in August 2008, titled "Flood Damage-Resistant Materials Requirements", in which the use of non-paper-faced gypsum board for walls and ceilings is listed as acceptable for both commercial and residential buildings located in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs).
Non-paper-faced Dens® Brand gypsum panels, manufactured by Georgia-Pacific Gypsum, incorporate fiberglass mats instead of paper facings and comply with the new FEMA requirements. The Dens Brand product array includes interior and exterior gypsum panels which comply under the new guidelines.
Download Georgia-Pacific's summary flyer (PDF: 653KB/2pgs)
Three years in the making, FEMA's "Flood Damage-Resistant Materials Requirements" provides guidance on National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) regulations and serves as a materials guide to help protect buildings that are constructed in SFHAs from damage caused by flood forces. Not only does the report specifically name non-paper-faced gypsum panels as acceptable, the use of paper-faced gypsum board is excluded from the acceptable materials list.
SFHAs are determined by FEMA through a map called a flood insurance rate map (FIRM) which delineates these 100-year flood zones and other risk premium zones, such as an area below a dam, that are applicable to a community.
NFIP regulations for flood damage-resistant materials state that: "… If a proposed building site is in a flood prone area, all new construction and substantial improvements shall… (ii) Be constructed with materials resistant to flood damage.
Drainable/Dryable Wall Assembly
See page 16 of the new FEMA guidelines for information about partial wet floodproofing techniques. A drainable dryable wall assembly featured in the FEMA document and similar to the one illustrated above, allows the wall to drain and dry out after a flood event. The wall is built so the chair molding and the base molding can be removed. After removal, the gaps behind the chair molding and the base molding provide space where the wall can be sprayed out with a hose and left to dry.
Attention property owners, inspectors, contractors --
Several non-paper-faced Dens® Brand gypsum panels from Georgia-Pacific are acceptable under the new FEMA guidelines for wall and ceiling applications in the thousands of SFHAs in the United States. Dens Brand panels are faced with fiberglass mats and feature moisture-resistant cores to resist the effects of surface water exposure while providing resistance to mold growth - and resist exposure to the elements during the early stages of the construction cycle.
For product information and warranties, visit our product pages:
DensArmor Plus® High-Performance Interior Panel is designed as a replacement for paper-faced gypsum board for building interiors anywhere added moisture- and mold-resistance is desirable.
DensArmor Plus Abuse-Resistant Panel is formulated for high traffic areas such as corridors in hospitals, schools and other public buildings.
DensArmor Plus Impact-Resistant Panel, with a special embedded mesh, is formulated for especially high traffic areas such as corridors in healthcare facilities, schools and correctional institutions.
DensShield® Tile Backer is a highly moisture-resistant substrate for floor, wall and ceiling ceramic tile installations and has a built-in moisture barrier which protects tile installations and the wall cavity from the effects of moisture in wet areas such as bathrooms and kitchens.
DensGlass® Sheathing is a moisture-resistant gypsum panel that can be used for exterior walls, ceilings and soffits. With a long established track record, DensGlass Sheathing is widely used and its bright GOLD color is recognized throughout the construction industry.