The roots of plants need a constant supply of oxygen at all times. Overmulching kills the roots of shallow-rooted plants by suffocation. Symptoms of too much mulch include chlorotic foliage (symptoms often resemble iron deficiency), abnormally small leaves, poor growth and dieback of older branches. Disease organisms that are active under conditions of low oxygen and excessive moisture can become active and attack the roots. Sometimes the old root system will be rotted as the plant tries to send out new roots into the mulch layer. Excessive amounts of mulch applied around tree trunks can lead to cankers on susceptible species
For protection against shallow flood waters, the washer and dryer can sometimes be elevated on masonry or pressure-treated lumber at least 12″ above the projected flood elevation. Other options are moving the washer and dryer to a higher floor, or building a floodwall around the appliances.
The furnace and water heater can be placed on masonry blocks or concrete at least 12 above the projected flood elevation, moved to inside a floodwall or moved to a higher floor.
Furnaces that operate horizontally can be suspended from ceiling joists if the joists are strong enough to hold the weight. Installing a draft-down furnace in the attic may be an option if allowed by local codes. Some heating vents can be located above the projected flood elevation.
Outside air conditioning compressors, heat pumps or package units (single units that include a furnace and air conditioner) can be placed on a base of masonry, concrete or pressure-treated lumber. All work must conform to state and local building codes.