The Ultimate Tearing Down a Flooded House Quiz

Estimated Completion Time
3 min
The Ultimate Tearing Down a Flooded House Quiz
Image: Doug Menuez/Photodisc/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Noah may have had an ark in which to ride out the flood, but the rest of us have major difficulties dealing with one of nature's serious disasters. As if losing household items and precious mementos during a flood weren't bad enough, you may be faced with a big decision if your house has been flood-damaged. Do you rebuild it or tear it down and start over? Take this quiz to review the pros and cons of each choice.
What makes floodwater particularly dangerous?
It can be full of contaminants.
Floodwater picks up chemicals, waste and mud as it washes down to your home. Thus, it may be very unsafe.
It may remain in contact with your building structure for an extended period.
It brings an increased risk of insect infestation.

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What should you do in order to drink tap water following a flood?
Filter and boil it.
Filtering it will remove any sediment and boiling kills bacteria. You may also need to add some bleach for a similar purpose.
Mix in some alcohol.
Freeze and then thaw it.

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What do experts say you should do with mattresses from a flooded house?
Steam clean them.
Dry clean the outside and use a bleach rub on the inside.
Throw them out.
It is almost impossible to remove all of the contaminants in a mattress that has been soaked in a flood. Disposing of them may be your only safe bet.

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If your local laws do not actually require you to do so, why might you still consider tearing down your house after it has been damaged in a flood?
It may be cheaper than repairing it properly.
In addition to all of the costs of properly cleansing things in your home, fixing your flood-damaged home will also incur other expenses such as flood proofing and structural repairs.
You may be able to receive more from the insurance company.
It is an opportunity to start fresh.

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What should you ensure before pumping water out of your house's flooded basement?
that the surrounding soil has already dried out
If there remains significant groundwater around the basement, the pressure that will result when the water is removed from inside could lead to cracked walls or floors.
that the basement walls are still structurally sound prior to removing the water
that the rest of the house is already fully dry

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What type of damage can result from floodwaters washing up against the sides of your house?
weakened foundation
Floodwaters can wash in silt that can seep in and weaken your house's foundation.
broken plumbing pipes
destroyed waterproofing around windows

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Under what circumstances will local regulations likely require you to tear down your flooded home?
if the damage equals more than half the home's value
Even if the law doesn't force you to tear your house down, it may require you to raise it off the ground and fill the basement.
if your home's value is under $200,000
if you have no flood insurance

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What is Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC)?
an insurance feature that could cover the costs of bringing your house back up to code
Due to this feature, your insurance might cover the costs of demolition, repairs or retrofitting for flood proofing.
the difference in cost between demolition and repair
a rise in your insurance premiums following a flood or other disaster

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What should you do first if demolition is your most logical choice?
Acquire demolition permits.
Just as with building a home in the first place, demolition also requires permits from the local municipality.
Knock down whatever you can by hand.
Warn your neighbors.

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What precaution is necessary to ensure a safe demolition?
shutting down and capping all utility lines feeding the house
The utility companies should shut the feed lines and the demolition contractor should then cap the lines.
clearing all trees out of the yard around the house
checking for environmental hazards in the air

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What is the cheapest method that might be available for disposing of the debris from your demolition?
burying it on site
While this option may be ideal in some circumstances, it is often not available. Many municipalities will have laws against such burials to prevent soil contamination.
burning it under controlled circumstances
grinding it up before trucking it away

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What is the meaning of the term "100-year floodplain"?
an area that has at least a one percent chance of flooding each year
If there is a one percent chance of flooding each year, than the area will flood once per century, on average.
an area that is likely to flood once every century
an area that has been saturated with water for the prior 100 years

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Why might you not choose to rebuild on the plot where your demolished house stood?
higher costs due to required flood proofing
If your house is in a flood-prone area, you may incur the same flood proofing costs that you would have if you simply repaired your home.
mental trauma
unseen underground damage

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While moving out of a floodplain has many benefits, what is a major complicating factor in the decision?
selling the empty lot where your house stood
Most people are not eager to buy land and move into a floodplain. Thus, you may find it difficult to sell the property where your house stood.
the cost of moving
finding a new home that is affordable

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If you decide to simply abandon the land where your house stood, what might you be required by law to do?
Bulldoze it flat and fence it in.
Obtain an abandonment permit.
Restore and relandscape it.
Restoring the property includes removing pavement and the relandscaping may be required if you had to destroy some during demolition.

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Doug Menuez/Photodisc/Getty Images
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