Flood Resilience

Replacement of Perishable Materials

Some materials will be ruined beyond repair if subjected to flooding, whilst others can be saved. It is therefore possible to replace perishable materials with those that will withstand a flood. For example – replacing chipboard floors with concrete or treated timber, swapping carpet for tiles, and replacing gypsum plaster with lime or a concrete render alternative.

Replace interior fittings

Fittings which are made out of chipboard or other types of reconstituted wood. In the event of flooding these materials disintegrate:

  • Wooden doors
  • Window frames
  • Wooden skirting boards

Stainless steel or plastic units and fittings are suitable throughout. The plastic alternatives come in various colours and designs which make it a simple job to wipe down in the event of a flood.

Denser concrete screeds on concrete floors

Screeds can be damaged in floods and resistance can be improved by using a denser proprietary concrete screed and/or mixing in a suitable waterproofing compound.

Internal walled surfaces

Replace plastered walls with lime plaster or waterproof concrete render. If plasterboard has to be used, ensure that it is fitted lengthways rather than upright.

Protect joists

Wall joists can be protected by installing a chemical damp proof course below the joist level. This will limit water seeping upwards and causing more damage to the rest of the property.

Heating and ventilation – strategic positioning

Boilers and air conditioning systems can be positioned at a higher level. A flooded boiler would probably require extensive servicing or complete replacement if it comes into contact with water.

Electrical sockets

Raising electrical sockets, fuse boxes and associated wiring to at least 1.5 metres above ground floor level will limit the risk of them being damaged by water during a flood. You may be able to use them again once the water has receded and the electricity supply is restored. If rewiring, bring cables down the wall from the top to the raised socket so that cabling doesn’t get affected. Controls and ventilation systems should also be well above floor level.

Flooring

Lay ceramic tiles or rugs on your ground floor rather than carpets. Rugs can easily be removed and placed out of reach. Noncarpeted floors can be easier to clean once the water has subsided and are cheaper to replace.