The Different Types of Floods

Water Restoration

​​Declared the most widespread natural disaster by the World Economic Forum*, floods cause billions of dollars’ worth of damage each year. Since floods can damage any property in almost any area, it is important to learn about the various types of floods and how they can affect properties.

​​The main types of floods:

​​1. Flash floods occur when heavy rainfall causes a fast rise of rapid-moving water that sweeps everything in its path. They usually cover a relatively small area and occur with little to no notice, generally less than 6 hours. The rapid water torrents can move large objects, such as cars, rocks, and trees.  Areas damaged by wildfires are particularly susceptible to flash floods.

​​2. Coastal floods are caused by strong winds or storms that move towards a coast during high tide, causing sea levels to rise.  Coastal floods usually arise with storm surges related to tropical storms, hurricanes, and tsunamis. When powerful waves breach the coast’s dune or dike, the area will be flooded. Coastal areas with fewer defenses and lower elevation are the most affected. The best time to repair the breach is during low tide.

​​3. River floods (Fluvial floods) are characterized by gradual riverbank, lake or stream overflows caused by extensive rainfall or snowmelt over an extended period of time. The areas covered by river floods depend on the size of the river and the amount of rainfall. River floods rarely result in loss of lives but can cause dams and dikes to break, creating immense economic damage.

​​4. Urban floods occur when the drainage system in a city or town fails to absorb the water from heavy rain. The lack of natural drainage in an urban area can also contribute to flooding. Water flows out into the street, making driving through it very dangerous. Although water levels can be just a few inches deep, urban floods can cause significant structural damage to buildings and can infiltrate sewage pipes.

​​5. Pluvial floods form in flat areas where the terrain can’t absorb the rainwater, causing puddles and ponds to appear. Pluvial flooding is like urban flooding, only that it occurs mostly in rural areas. The agricultural activities and properties in areas where pluvial floods have occurred can be seriously affected.

​​If your property suffers from flooding, call the pros at PuroClean!

​​To learn how to prevent flooding in your basement, take a look at these tips, and if your basement has flooded, learn what to do here. For professional fire, water and mold restoration services, contact your local PuroClean office.

*The World Economic Forum, (www.weforum.org) is an ‘international organization for public-private cooperation.’ 

Last edited on 14th of August 2020