National trade body the Property Care Association has drawn up a timely list of measures householders can take to protect their homes against flooding.
Drawn up to mark Maintenance Week – a campaign run by SPAB (The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings) from the 19-26 November to put building maintenance in the spotlight – the tips cover a wide-range of ideas to help mitigate damage caused by flood waters.
Steve Hodgson, chief executive of the PCA, said: “Unfortunately flooding impacts on far too many homes across the UK.
“It has a catastrophic impact on householders, whose whole quality of life is affected, but there are some measures that can be adopted in modern buildings or during the recovery or refurbishment of older buildings to provide degrees of resilience and protection from the effects of flood water.
“They can help alleviate a good deal of cost and emotion for those affected by flooding.
“For example, recovery works can be speeded up through moving all services, such as boilers and electrical sockets, high up on the wall. Also, kitchens which use materials such as marine ply or steel, can be cleaned, dried and reused.
“The fitting of a membrane to walls and floors, so flood water can run behind it to be collected in a sump/pump unit, rather than entering the property, is another effective measure.”
The ten measures suggested by the PCA to protect against flooding 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 water-resistant solution.
- Giving consideration to the fitting of a pump to evacuate water coming from beneath the building.
- Replacing standard gypsum plaster with one of the alternative types that do not absorb or retain water.
- Using ceramic or stone tiles with waterproof adhesive and grout.
- Putting electric sockets higher up the wall (with the cabling coming down from the ceiling, rather than the standard lay-out from below).
- Purchasing a pump or “puddle sucker” to remove water rapidly after flooding.
- Replacing kitchens with one that can be cleaned, dried and reused, such as one made of marine ply or steel.
Members of the PCA’s Flood Protection Group can help householders introduce flood protection ensures to their homes.
Steve Hodgson added: “Members of the Group understand the subject of flooding and can provide expert advice and guidance on how to reduce the risk of problems.
“We would also urge people who have already invested in flood protection measures to inspect, clean and service their flood protection equipment.
“Simple measures such as checking and repairing seals and gaskets, ensuring you know the location of any fixings and tools, lubricating mechanism and moving parts and making sure you can access stored flood barriers easily and quickly can save lots of time stress and prevent damage.”
The PCA has a video which demonstrates flood resilience work in action, which is available to view at http://bit.ly/1V4c00b.
It shows how homeowners affected by catastrophic flooding in 2007 called on PCA member expertise to ensure there was no repeat of the problem.”
More details about the Property Care Association can be found at www.property-care.org/