It’s rainy season again and flooding is still one of the most common natural disasters in the Philippines. Though it is impossible to completely flood-proof your home, there are ways to keep floodwaters out or to make some parts of it flood-resistant. Architect Joseph Selga of Selgas Konstrak shares to us a few.
1. Consider your location, the higher it is, the better. As much as possible, do not live near creeks and dams to avoid water overflow during heavy rains and choose quality subdivisions that have proper drainage and sewage systems. Also make sure that your environment is clean. Proper waste management is the best way to prevent floods.
2. Elevate your house especially if you live in a flood-prone area. From the sidewalk, elevate to three feet, which is equivalent to around four to five steps, to your front door. During typhoon season, move your valuables, ideally, to another place. If flood has already entered, move them from the ground floor to the uppermost floor.
3. Replace carpets and wood planks with ceramic or unglazed porcelain tiles in rough finish. For practical reasons, using non-porous flooring would prevent slips and ensure long-lasting durability. They’re also easy to maintain and clean even if flood gets in. If you really want to use carpet and wood, use carpet tiles instead (easier to install and dismantle) and use wood planks on the second floor.
4. Use aluminum or PVC (polyvinyl chloride) doors and windows on your ground floor. These are watertight and durable, great for preventing water from coming in. Or even if it gets in, you won’t have to worry about your doors and windows getting rusty. You could use water sealants but they chip off easily with our hot and humid weather.
5. Go for solid concrete steps for your staircase. This goes the same with furniture, do not use wooden furniture on your ground floor and opt for stainless instead. Even if wood looks good, it will no longer look the same once it gets wet and dilapidated.
6. For your walls, apply elastomeric paint. Use this kind of paint, instead of latex paint that cracks easily, to both indoor and outdoor walls. Elastomeric paint expands or stretches which prevents water from seeping.
Additional tip: In the event that flood gets in, ensure that your electricity and all other utilities are switched off to prevent electrocution.
Joseph Selga is an architect of Selgas Konstrak construction firm based in Alabang, Muntinlupa City. He has built houses in Ayala Alabang Village, Ayala Southvale Village, San Lorenzo Village, Greenwoods Batangas, and Peninsula de Punta Fuego, to name a few. He describes his style as tropical architecture, which ranges from Filipino to Mediterranean, Balinese to Spanish, modern Filipino to modern minimalist, and the like. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org for inquiries.