A national trade body is advising flood victims to look at ways of better protecting their homes against water damage in the future.
The Property Care Association (PCA) is advising those affected by the recent floods to ask their insurance companies to factor in flood resistance and resilience into the refurbishment process.
It says a variety of steps can be taken to reduce the potential for being flooded again, either by keeping water out as far as possible by introducing flood resistance features, or reducing the impact of future floods through flood resilience measures.
Mary Dhonau OBE, chairman of the PCA’s Flood Protection Group, says these measures should be installed during the recovery work to lessen any future impact.
Mary said: “Having been a flood victim myself I know how awful it can be.
“At this stage it’s important that those affected are aware of the steps that can be taken to reduce the impact that another flood could have.
“People need to receive the right information about what measures they could take to better protect their homes and businesses.
“This will provide better protection for flood victims in the future and mean better value for money for insurers.”
The Flood Protection Group is a national framework developed by the PCA to help consumers looking to protect themselves from the worst effects of flooding to locate experienced, skilled, dependable specialists able to provide reliable solutions and products that are right for the job.
Measures to improve flood resistance include; Fitting a flood protection guard to doors or replacing doors completely with a flood resistant alternative; 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 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) and 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.
Steve Hodgson, chief executive of the PCA, says the best way to ensure properties are protected is to call in the experts.
He said: “Members of our Flood Protection Group understand the subject of flooding and can provide expert help, advice and guidance on how homeowners and businesses can reduce the risk of problems.
“We created the Group to provide a clear and trusted route to find contractors who really understand what they’re doing and who are each verified by a trusted trade body.
“Members are professional, reliable and trustworthy tradesmen with specialist focused skills who are able to design and deliver robust and reliable solutions for high-risk properties.”
The Flood Protection Group works to a practical Code of Practice for the Flood Protection of Buildings.
Mr Hodgson added: “This code provides guidelines that set the principles and standards to which our members work.
“It recognises the need for any professional involved in the protection of buildings at risk of flood to understand the physical, financial and, very importantly, emotional impact on property owners and to work in partnership with insurers.”
More information on flood protection and flood resilience can be found via the PCA website at www.property-care.org/homeowners/flood-protection/