Make your property more water resistant and avoid the need for house water damage repairs and costly drying equipment if you are worried about flooding. Property flood resilience is also called property level protection. It means measures taken to make your property more resilient to floods. For example,
You can also install brick covers to avoid cleaning brickwork, flood doors or gates and place non-return valves on drains to make them water resistant.
This means water can get out but cannot return to the drain afterwards. Moisture can also penetrate bricks and mortar and cleaning brickwork can be difficult so you must maintain your property and seal it to keep it water resistant. You should also raise electrical circuits above the floor, tile your floors and fit stainless steel, plastic or solid wood kitchens that can be easily cleaned and sanitised after a flood.
You must move electrical sockets, wires and cables up the walls above skirting board height.
This is important to avoid you having to rewire your building after a flood. You may be able to keep some electrical power running in the property but do not use any electrical equipment if you are standing in flood water or if it is touching water including a small residual pool. If you are flooded, turn off the electricity at the mains and then take off the front plates of your sockets with a screwdriver to prevent them coming loose in a flood and washing away. They are not water resistant. Flood restoration cleaning affects all parts of the property.
Some paints and plasters, for example, lime plaster, are more water resistant.
When the paint gets wet, it dries out without cracking and disintegration so repainting is easier. If you have plasterboard, this will be permanently damaged by water and will need to be replaced. You may like to arrange the sheets horizontally rather than vertically so that you only need to replace the bottom boards after a flood. It’s important to get flood restoration cleaning right and sanitise everything.
You can also buy water resistant floor finishes such as laminates that look like wood or tiles so you don’t need drying equipment. Sometimes they have matching waterproof skirting boards that you can clip onto the wall with grooves along the back for electricity and TV cables.
Many properties have insulation to keep the home warm but if it gets wet, it will stop working and will need replacing.
Sometimes insulation is placed in the cavity walls so if you live in a flood risk area, you should buy water resistant cavity insulation from the start or you will have to do a house water damage repair. Water resilient insulation does not retain water like normal insulation. It’s more expensive but it will keep your home warm. Alternatively you can replace cavity wall insulation with surface mounted, insulated, plasterboard.
If you have experienced a flood, it’s a good idea to bring in the experts such as an independent surveyor or CPL who specialise in flood restoration cleaning. Don’t just take the advice of suppliers because they have a vested interest in selling their products including drying equipment. The best products will meet British Standards PAS1188 (soon to become a full British Standard.) Look out for the code of practice for the industry which should be published later this year.
Generally surveyors advise that you can keep water out up to a metre in depth.
Above this level, you are advised to let the water in because the weight of it can cause structural damage to the property if it’s resisted. If you are at all unsure about water levels or want to use higher flood barriers to make your property water resistant and minimise cleaning brickwork and the need for drying equipment, contact a structural engineer for advice first.
If your property is flooded, it can cost between £20,000 and £45,000 to carry out house water damage repairs so you must make sure you have comprehensive insurance that covers you for flooding. If you are a homeowner and are at risk of flooding or live near properties that flood regularly, you may want to contact Floodre which is a reinsurance scheme.
Floodre was set up in 2016 to help homeowners at greater risk of flooding.
It aims to make insurance against floods more widely available and more affordable. You won’t be eligible if you live in a building built after 2009 and there are some exclusions for flat and leaseholders but give them a call. If they can’t help you, they may know someone who can help.
Getting the right insurance is very important, if you don’t, mortgage lenders may be reluctant to lend you enough money or lend you less. When you come to sell your property, you need to get the maximum possible value. Flood risk will show up when prospective buyers do their searches so providing evidence of