Trade body advice to protect homes from flooding



National trade body the Property Care Association has drawn up a timely list of measures householders can take to protect their homes against flooding.

With heavy rainfall being a dominant seasonal theme, the PCA says properties across the UK could be under threat again this winter.

The association has drawn up a variety of steps homeowners can take to reduce the potential for being flooded.

James Berry, Technical Manager of the PCA, said: “For a number of years, we have been developing methods of tackling flooding in buildings through our specialist Flood Protection Group – including investigating ways to ensure water-damaged properties can be promptly returned to their former condition.

“There are numerous measures which can be adopted in modern buildings or during the recovery or refurbishment of older buildings in order to provide degrees of resilience and protection from the effects of flood water.

“It’s a common-sense approach, which can help alleviate a good deal of cost and emotion for those affected by flooding, but we need to see the concept rolled out more widely across the UK.

“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.

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.

James Berry added: “While flood resilience measures can make a positive impact, it is important to recognise that there’s no off-the-shelf solution.

“To be introduced successfully, work needs to involve looking at a property as a whole, understanding its needs and bringing together a bespoke solution tailored for that particular building.

“This requires a high level of technical ability, requiring a professional who can adapt existing technologies and practices to deliver robust and reliable protection for homes and businesses at high risk.

“Here, members of the PCA’s Flood Protection Group can help. They understand the subject of flooding and can provide expert advice and guidance on how to reduce the risk of problems.”

Members of the PCA helped to play a key role in developing an award-wining blueprint for the future, introduced to help householders feel confident in homes at risk of flood damage.

They joined forces on a collaboration ‘The Cumbria Flood Resilience Showcase,’ creating two showcase properties that demonstrate innovative and cost-effective measures to enable recovery from a flood quickly, with minimal disruption.

The project led by the flood resilience campaigner Mary Dhonau OBE, took the Building Climate Adaption and Resilience category in the 2019 Flood & Coast Awards.

Under the initiative, the two properties were developed with a range of innovative features.

This included the introduction of masonry protection, smart air bricks, flood resilient doors and windows, flood barriers and non-return valves.

Interior work, including flood resilient building works, floor and wall tiles to seal off water and flood resilient kitchen units, was also carried out.

Epoxy resin paints and floors were also specified, to prevent water damage both inside and out.

Full details of the Cumbria programme – which includes reference to the PCA members involved and the full specification details – can be found at

The PCA also has a video which demonstrates flood resilience work in action, which is available to view at

It shows how homeowners affected by catastrophic flooding in 2007 called on PCA member expertise to ensure there was no repeat of the problem.”


James Berry concluded: “Projects like this reflect the fact that there are solutions out there, but we need to work together to ensure they are introduced in the future to offer the necessary level of protection.”

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