Can Duct Tape Keep Flood Water From Entering a House?

When flood season hits, duct tape is a necessity to help prevent damage in your home. Duct tape helps secure items such as sandbags and plastic sheeting that will keep water out. You can also use duct tape to secure items in your home in the event that some does seep in. Check with your city's emergency management system for additional precautions.

Duct tape
credit: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images
Look for water-resistant duct tape.

Doors and Outside Surfaces

Traditionally, sandbags have been used outside to prevent floodwaters from coming inside. The City of Tampa says that expanding foam, such as polyurethane, applied with duct tape will be more secure. Apply the foam to your home's crevices and secure it with duct tape eight to 24 hours before the expected flood. The duct tape will stick to your home's surfaces only if it's applied to a dry area. In addition to expanding foam, latex, tub, tile and silicone caulks are all appropriate items to use to keep water out.

To keep water from coming in at the doors, duct tape a plastic sheet near the bottom of the door and secure the sheet in place by duct taping a board at the bottom of the door. Use the duct tape to repair any rips in the plastic sheeting as well.


Floodwater or septic water will sometimes come up into bathtubs and toilets during flooding. This water can damage surfaces and make cleaning up more difficult. Cover all drains with sandbags or expanding foam and hold them in place with duct tape. The drains must be dry before applying the tape, and if the tape isn't in place before the water comes up the drain, it will be difficult to keep the drains secure.

Household Items

Appliances can be ruined when there is flooding. Duct tape your refrigerator and freezer closed, as well as any other appliances that open and close. You can also wrap duct tape large plastic sheets over all furniture to prevent damage. Wrap any electronics in plastic and secure them with duct tape.


Though it's strong, duct tape isn't foolproof, so don't rely on it too much. Never compromise your safety after you've secured items in your home with duct tape. Stay away from large appliances and fixtures in the event of a flood.


Some duct tape is made for sticking to wet items. Have plenty of the water-resistant duct tape on hand before a flood.

Katie Tonarely

Katie Tonarely started writing professionally in 2008. Her work appears in the Springfield "News-Leader" and she provides consumer-related content for various websites. Tonarely received a Bachelor of Arts in English education with a minor in journalism from Evangel University in Springfield, Mo.