Build in safeguards to help manage future flood risk
Over the last three months the UK and Ireland have been subjected to no less than nine storms, leaving a trail of flooding and destruction. Storm Abigail was the first to hit in November 2015 and Storm Imogen is the most recent.
Such has been the resulting damage to property, homes and businesses that the government launched various flood grant schemes to help those affected start the daunting process of clearing up and repairing the damage left by the floods.
With the increased risk of flooding, property owners need to make sure they are prepared and also get the best value for money that they can when embarking upon flood prevention or restoration work to their homes and properties.
Property owners can benefit by looking to incorporate flood resistance and resilience features into any repair work they undertake. This will be helped further if local authority professionals, insurance companies and loss adjustors also factor in flood resistance and resilience into the refurbishment process.
Seeking advice from suitably qualified and knowledgeable professionals is also a vital part of this process.
One source of expertise is the Flood Protection Group, a national framework developed by the Property Care Association (PCA) to help consumers looking to protect themselves from the worst effects of flooding to locate experienced, skilled and dependable specialists able to provide reliable solutions and products that are right for the job.
A variety of steps can be taken to reduce the potential for being flooded again, either by keeping water out as far as possible (Flood Resistance) or reducing the impact of future floods (Flood Resilience).
Measures to improve flood resistance include:-
- Fitting a flood protection guard to doors or replacing doors completely with a flood resistant alternative. Garage door protection is also available.
- Replacing standard airbricks with ‘self-closing’ alternatives.
- Fitting a ‘non return valve’ to prevent sewage going back into the building.
- Checking brickwork is in good condition and paint with a breathable water-resistant solution.
- Giving consideration to the fitting of a pump to evacuate water coming from beneath the building.
Measures to improve flood resilience include:-
- Replacing standard gypsum plaster with one of the alternative types that do not absorb water (such as a cement render).
- Using ceramic or stone tiles with waterproof adhesive and grout.
- Moving all services (boiler etc) high up on the wall.
- Putting electric sockets higher up the wall (with the cabling coming down from the ceiling, rather than the standard lay-out from below).
- Replacing kitchens with one that can be cleaned, dried and reused, such as one made of marine ply or steel.
- Fitting a membrane to walls and floors, so any water can run behind it to be collected in a sump/pump unit, rather than entering the property.
As each property and building is different, the best way to ensure properties are as protected as they can be is to call in the experts.
When it comes to flood protection it is not just a case of buying products off the shelf – there is no one size fits all solution. Introducing effective flood resilience for homes that are under risk of flooding involves looking at a property as a whole, understanding its needs, and bringing together all the appropriate parts of a solution that together will help protect that building against flood.
Members of the Flood Protection Group understand the subject of flooding, including the physical, financial and emotional effects, and can provide expert help, advice and guidance on how homeowners and business can reduce the risk of problems. They also work to a practical Code of Practice for the Flood Protection of Buildings, which provides guidelines that set the principles and standards to which members of the group work.
Read more in the free guide – “Flood Protection and Your Property”