NORTHPORT, N.Y. – Five months after Superstorm Sandy ravaged the Tri-State Area, local government leaders are instructing property owners to rebuild wisely. While legislators debate new construction codes designed to prevent future flooding, home and business owners are tearing out damaged walls and floors.

The proposed rules in New Jersey would require builders to raise the lowest floor of a damaged house one foot above the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) flood-elevation maps. Similar measures could be implemented along the coastlines of New York and Connecticut.

As reconstruction funds become available, the victims of Sandy have the opportunity to rebuild, and also upgrade their homes or businesses with new and improved construction materials.

"When most people think about rebuilding in the Northeast, the walls might be the last thing on their minds," said Frank Stola, Northeast area manager for National Gypsum. "But walls and what they’re made of are important – and they’re not all the same."

National Gypsum’s PURPLE XP Gypsum Board provides industry-leading mold resistance with the added benefit of achieving GREENGUARD Children & Schools certification for indoor air quality. XP stands for Xtra Protection because it incorporates mold inhibitors that provide unparalleled resistance to mold, mildew and moisture. In addition, XP Gypsum Board is manufactured locally at three Northeast manufacturing facilities.

"Whether you are rebuilding a whole structure or a few rooms, ask your contractor or a salesperson at your local home improvement store for PURPLE to be sure you’re getting the most out of your walls," said Steve Cusa, Product Manager, Gypsum Systems at National Gypsum.

XP can be used throughout a structure. It can be installed in dry areas or areas with limited water exposure such as those around a toilet and sink, and above tile in tubs and showers.