Questions about cement board

I have a basement that is susceptible to flooding. The previous owners of the house finished the basement with standard drywall and a chair rail. We recently had 12 inches in our basement and I had to rip out the drywall-luckily it was seamed behind the chair rail.
The wood moulding around the bottom is @ 6 inches high, so I would like to replace the drywall below the chair rail with cement board (or another alernative should you have one). This way if we get water in the basement again I can just take off the moulding and run fans to dry out the wood.
Could someone give me a few ideas about cement board? I'd like to know if I can finish and paint it. I was at Home Depot the other day and I saw two differnt types- one with mesh and another that had a pretty smooth side-and the other side had little squares. I figure the mesh may not work so well, but the other type may. Your thoughts?
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Sorry about your flooding.
The concrete board will not rot, but I would think you also need to get it dry inside the walls after a flood to prevent mold or mildew from growing.
To answer the question you asked, either concrete board can be finished with drywall mud to a smooth finish and painted. The hardie-backer product ( the smooth one with the grids on one side) is some what easier to smooth off. That drywall finish IS NOT going to be water resistant unless you use Durobond which is not sandable.
Sorry, other than figuring out a way to avoid the flooding I have no other suggestions.
Colbyt
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Why not fix that first?
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The water is coming from a runoff creek that is bone dry 99% of the time, however it can overrun it's banks if we have a rain "anomaly", like 3-4 inches in an hour. So there's not too much I can do about that, especially since the township doesn't want to help. Although I'm going to build flood gates to jam into my basement and garage doors.

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