Inundation is the covering of something by water. Higher than usual water levels may be caused by a number of factors including excessive rainfall, storm surge, or a dam break that overtops the natural or artificial banks of a stream, creek, river, estuary, lake or dam[1].

It is worth noting that it is only when floodwaters are somewhere that they are not wanted that flooding becomes an issue[2]. Inundation can cause significant damage to houses but it is possible to reduce this damage by selecting building designs and building materials that are resilient to inundation.

Building design – Good building design can prevent water impacting a building and limit the damage caused. An example of a good design for an area that is likely to be inundated is a traditional ‘queenslander’ house. The floor of a Queenslander is elevated above the ground level reducing the chance that the house will be inundated by water.

Building materials – Materials resilient to inundation should be easy to clean and quick to dry. They should have a low level, and low rate, of water absorption, and the properties of the material should not change markedly when wet. 


Hazards relating to Inundation

Inundation - Freshwater Inundation - Saltwater


[1] Floodplain Management in Australia. Best Practice Principles and Guidelines as (SCARM 2000, p. 97

[2] Middelmann, M. H. (Editor) (2007) Natural Hazards in Australia. Identifying Risk Analysis Requirements. Geoscience Australia, Canberra



What is the difference between this rating and supplier ratings?

The rating you see at the top of the page is the resilience rating of the generic class of building material to a particular hazard. A supplier rating is particular to a specific supplier product. For example, clay bricks may have a resilience rating of '3' to inundation but a supplier may have made specific improvements to their bricks and may be able to achieve a resilience rating of '5' for their clay brick. "