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Engineered Wood Products exposed to moisture or floodwaters

Engineered wood products are manufactured with very low moisture content and intended for dry use applications. Because of this, questions and concerns occasionally arise when those products are exposed to flood conditions. Fortunately, engineered wood products are relatively durable when temporarily exposed to moisture. Detrimental effects of the flooding can be mitigated, but that depends on how quickly the moisture is removed. 

After a flood, it is most important to dry the structure as quickly as possible. This is necessary to prevent mold growth and fungal decay, which can lead to permanent strength loss. The strength and stiffness of any wood product decreases as the moisture content of that product increases. This results in increased deflection of those members. We recommend using fans and dehumidifiers when possible, along with the removal of any materials that trap moisture within the wood (insulation, sheetrock, etc.). However, it is recommended that an engineer or design professional with knowledge in wood products assess the condition of the structure and provide recommendations.

Please read the articles below for more information

Structure magazine article 

For new construction that requires flood damage resistant materials, there are specific requirements per the building code and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). See the technical bulletins below for more information on new construction considerations. 

TB - 213 Flood Damage-Resistant Material Considerations

Trus Joist Coastal Construction Guide

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