How just one inch of floodwater can cause $25,000 damage to your home … but there is an inexpensive and really effective way to prevent it


Never underestimate the amount of damage even a small amount of water can do to American homes and businesses.

Many people don’t realise that just one inch (2.5cm) of water can leave you facing a huge repair bill running into many thousands of dollars. The photo shows the damage done to a ceiling by a small leak from the shower above it.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the US is responsible for protecting against and responding to emergencies such as flooding. It runs the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) as flooding in the States is not usually covered by usual house insurance. 

The FEMA website states: “Floods can happen anywhere. Just one inch of floodwater can cause up to $25,000 in damage.”

FEMA was thinking of floodwater getting into homes and businesses after torrential rain, storms or hurricanes and in 2019 the average flood claim payout from the National Flood Insurance Program was $52,000. 

But internal floods are an ever present risk in EVERY home and business in the US. A leaking pipe can send gallons of water quickly flowing across your floor or, if it’s upstairs, through the ceiling.

All it takes is just 25mm of water across your floor and the damage will lead to months of misery, major repair work and expensive bills.

Water destroys carpets and floors. If you have a hardwood or laminate floor the water will get underneath it, raise it up and permanently damage it. The whole floor will need ripping up and replacing and that will be very expensive.

But that’s not all. The water may well have damaged the electrics and furniture, leading to more expensive repairs and replacements.

This is why a flood is known as “the thief who takes everything” as it leads to such huge insurance claims.

Americans often just think of flooding happening outside but homes and businesses are badly damaged by internal floods, leaks and spills every day, yet very few have an action plan in place so they are prepared for these kinds of emergencies.

Here are just a few causes of internal flooding. In businesses, toilets get clogged and overflow, people leave taps on, sprinkler systems can be activated by accident, water can pour through ceilings from damaged roofs or faulty air conditioning systems.

In homes, washers may give way on pipes, frozen pipes could burst, hoses to washing machines and dishwashers may split, clogged drains caused by a build-up of hair and grease from toiletries in showers and sinks can send water flowing across the bathroom floor and through the ceiling, baths are accidentally left switched on. Even clogged gutters can send water flowing down the side of your house, damaging the ceiling, walls and floors. Water always finds the weakest spot on your property to get in.

More and more Americans are now using FloodSax in their homes and businesses as they are an inexpensive and highly efficient way to stop floodwater getting in from the outside and to soak up spills, leaks and floods inside.

In their dry state, FloodSax resemble large pillowcases but are vacuum-packed so they take up very little storage space.

This means they can be quickly taken to the scene of a major flood and, after being immersed in water, the gelling polymer inside the FloodSax absorbs the water and retains it so the FloodSax expands to resemble a traditional sandbag but their uniform size means they can be quickly and neatly stacked into a highly effective flood barrier.

Indoors, simply leave them in their dry state to deal with leaks, drips and floods. A standard FloodSax measures 500mm by 450mm by 20mm FloodSax and this large, flat and ultra-thin surface area means they can be slipped into the most inaccessible places to catch dripping or leaking water. FloodSax will absorb up to 20 litres of water, saving an awful lot of damage.

People searching for FloodSax online call them floodsacks, floodbags, flood_bags, sandbags other, alternative sandbags, sandless sandbags, gelbags and polymer bags but there is only one multi-use FloodSax.

They are white so if there is a slight leak the tell-tale signs of a watermark on the FloodSax or the FloodSax itself slightly rising would indicate there is a problem that needs sorting before it gets any worse.

FloodSax are trusted by plumbers and helped to save countless thousands of pounds when a flooding disaster hit a house in Yorkshire, England. The toilet upstairs was leaking from a corroded old lead pipe and quick-thinking plumber James Lucks quickly surrounded the toilet with FloodSax which he also put across the bathroom floor.

It was lucky he did as seal on the old lead pipe suddenly gave way, sending gallons of water gushing across the bathroom flood. Most of it was soaked up by the FloodSax.

James said: “The FloodSax not only saved the day but the customer an awful lot of money in damage. The FloodSax soaked the water up which meant it didn’t penetrate the floor and leak through to the ceiling below. If the water had gone straight onto the floor it would have brought the ceiling down for sure.”

Homeowner Christine Butler from Gloucestershire in the UK has ‘flood-proofed’ her flat with FloodSax after a leak from a neighbouring flat badly damaged her ceiling. She has placed FloodSax underneath anywhere there are pipes or appliances that could cause a leak such as the bath, boiler and beneath the kitchen sink.

Christine added: “The FloodSax is like an early warning system which gives people valuable time to sort a plumber out before it deteriorates and that’s why I have them under anywhere which could cause a flooding problem.”

FloodSax come in handy packs of 5 and there are 4 packs in each box which retails for around $240 – a small price to pay when you think just how much damage a flood will cause to your home or business. It’s probably way under what you’d pay as your insurance premium excess when making a flooding claim.

To find out more about FloodSax in the US email us at, phone us on 800 255 4208 ext 121 or visit our website at