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Online guide gives tips on avoiding home flooding damage

By Alan Beresford

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NORTH-east homeowners have been handed some top tips on how to minimise flood damage to homes and businesses.

PCA technical manager James Berry.
PCA technical manager James Berry.

The Property Care Association (PCA) has launched its free online flood protection guide, to give an insight into some of the steps that can be taken to keep their homes safe.

Available at https://www.property-care.org/homeowners/flood-protection/flood-protection-and-your-property/ the free download offers information and advice on mitigating the flood risk to homes or business and how to find expert advice on protection and resilience measures.

James Berry, technical manager at the PCA, said: “When it comes to flood protection there is no ‘one size fits all’ answer.

"It’s not just a case of buying products off the shelf.

“But there are steps people can take to protect their homes and businesses – and expert advice and support is available via the PCA for anyone who needs advice on the best ways to protect their property from floodwater.”

Some tips from the PCA to manage flooding include:

Defend your door.

Floodwater can often enter a home via a doorway, sometimes running straight through the house or business between external doors. Doorway flood protection can help prevent this. Some products are designed to be fitted in front of external doors if flooding is imminent. There are also specially designed exterior ‘flood defence’ doors that look like a ‘normal’ door but have a BSI Kitemark and prevent water ingress. These will work even if you are not in the property when flooding occurs.

Ventilate voids.

Airbricks can be a point of entry for floodwater and need a specific type of cover to allow them to work while preventing water getting through the gaps. One-use adhesive cover strips are ideal for low-risk areas, while screw-on covers, or those that clip on to fastenings are also available. Replacement airbricks that look and function as normal, but are self-closing when exposed to rising water, are another option.

Stop the flow.

Sewage can enter a property via the toilet, while floodwater will take the easiest route, which may include flowing into pipes connected to appliances such as the washing machine. No- return valves can be fitted which prevent water coming back up through the plumbing to combat both, while ‘toilet bungs’ are another barrier against sewage.

Plug the gaps.

Floodwater may seep through gaps in mortar or cracked bricks. These should be repaired and coated with a sealant that is resilient to leaking but allows the bricks to dry without damage.

Think resilience.

Moving plug sockets higher up walls, installing tiled floors on concrete and replacing skirting boards with plastic or a resilient wood such as oak, coated with several layers of yacht varnish, can reduce the amount of repairs needed after a flood event.

The PCA has a dedicated Flood Protection Group, and is a member of the Environment Agency round table on flooding, It was also a contributor to the new code of practice for flood resilience published by CIRIA.

Mr Berry added: Householders and business owners can the confidence to find contractors and product suppliers who specialise in flood resistance and resilience works, with members rigorously checked and audited to ensure their technical competence.

“They can provide an in-depth analysis and bespoke flood protection plan for homes and businesses and undertake any flood protection or resilience work.”

To find out more about the PCA, visit www.property-care.org

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