Although Irma hit Jacksonville and its historic neighborhoods hard, we are hopeful that everyone is safe. We will share information on cleanups and resources in the coming days. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if we can be of help, and if you hear of cleanup efforts, let us know. We can help spread the word.
Have you experienced damage to your home as a result of flooding or the storm? Please let us know. We are collecting information in order to identify neighborhood needs, and also submit to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. They are already gathering information in preparation for advocacy to Congress for relief funding.
“It actually can survive water damage,” Jennifer Wolfe, City of St. Augustine Historic Preservation Officer, said of the building technique. “It can be washed off because it has a cementitous substance to it unlike drywall. Drywall has a paper backing on it, and it’s subject to mold and a reduction in its strength as soon as it’s soaked up by water.”
Wolfe said another advantage for older buildings was in elevation. She said some of them were built on piers, which helps keep water out.“The water can pass underneath [the building], and it doesn’t create such a strong force because the water can keep moving,” she said. “But it also doesn’t then enter the building unless the flood waters are high enough.”
Wood floors can also potentially be salvaged as can wood framing. When working with your contractor, keep in mind that gutting is not necessarily the only option. Check out the resources below for more information.
Here are some general resources regarding flooding recovery:
- National Trust for Historic Preservation Guidance on Flood-Damaged Buildings
- Strategies for Protecting Historic Properties
- Flooding and Historic Buildings (UK Resource)
- FEMA Disaster Assistance
- Florida Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center
- Repairing Your Flooded Home – FEMA P-234
- Floodproofing Non-Residential Buildings – FEMA P-936
- Design Manual for Retrofitting Flood-Prone Residential Structures – FEMA P-114