How to protect your property from flooding
Doors, floors and airbricks are the parts of a building most likely to allow the ingress of water. Other areas include back flow through sewage pipes, or seepage through Cable holes. It istherefore these areas that most product manufactures tend to focus upon when looking at protecting a property form the effects of flooding.
With so many products available and manufactures based world-wide, it is important to ensure that, what ever the product is, it will perform effectively when called upon to do so. Kitemark standards are a good starting point, but it is important to check that the tests performed to meet the standards, are sufficient for your own site requirements. For example a Standard that allows for a certain amount of leakage may not be stringent enough if you require a product that is 100% water-tight. Always look at a manufacturers track record, look at their own testing facilities and processes, speak to existing customers. After all, this can potentially be a life-saving product and you want a product that you can rely upon.
PAS 1188-1 - Flood protection products. Building apertures
PAS 1188-2 - Temporary and demountable flood protection products
PAS 1188-3 - Flood protection products for buildings & building skirt systems
Door barriers are temporary fixtures designed to be quickly installed in the event of a pending flood. There is a wide range of products from temporary removable products such as basic sand bags to permanently fixed structures.
Removable barriers have fixings that are 'pre-fitted' ie a holding mechanism that is fitted in readiness of a flood event. The actual barriers will be constructed from a lightweight material, for rapid and simple installing when required.
Permanent structures include products such as Flood doors which replace existing doors. These are heavy-duty sealed doors that close into a heavyduty waterproof door frame. These are obviously much heavier than standard doors and as such will effect the ease with which they are opened and closed.
Window barriers are not so common. If flooding poses a risk to a property's windows, and in particular windows over 1 metre in height, then the resulting pressure, caused by the water, is more likely to cause structural damage to the building. Since the main threat is now building collapse as opposed to water ingress, it is advisable to allow water into the property to even up the pressure that the exteral walls are subject to. It can be quicker to dry out a property using pumps, driers and dehumidifiers then to rebuild!
Vent Covers / Air brick covers
Airbricks have an important role in buildings in ensuring sufficient ventilation to the property. The downside, obviously, is that where air can get in, so too can water.
Vent and airbrick covers are designed to form a temporary water-tight seal to airbricks in the event of a flood. Airbricks are also available that offer a permanent solution having automatic covers and are often referred to as 'Smart air bricks'.
Drains and Pipes
Fit non-return valves to drains and water inlet and outlet pipes.
In a severe flood, it may not be possible to protect the property sufficently, either due to the high flow and water volume, or too little time to take preventative measures. In which case it is important to take corrective actions as soon as possible.
The quickest way to remove any water remaining, after the flood water has receded, is to use a pump. The type of pump depends on the volume and depth of water and the power supply available.
After removing all standing water drying can start. Electric or gas heaters/driers are commonly used to speed drying but it is important to ensure good ventilation in order to remove the moist air as soon as possible.
Dehumidifiers should then be used to dry the building.
Emergency Flood Packs
See our information page on Emergency Flood kits / packs. Click here.
Managing a major flood claim - produced by the ABI (Association of British Insurers). Click here to download
Click here to download the Environment Agency's leaflet ' Prepare your property for flooding'.
Click here to download the Environment Agency's information pack on how to prepare your business for the effects of flooding.