Flood resilience measures

Where flood resistance measures are not appropriate, it may be possible to change features of the property so that they resist the ill-effects of flood water and dry out quickly and without permanent damage.

Mary Dhonau OBE discusses how to make your home flood resilient.

To further the suggestions Mary gives in the video above, here is a list of some resilience measures that you may wish to consider installing in your home, in order to minimise the impact of future flooding.


Resilient Wall Finishes

There are paints and plasters (eg lime plaster) which are more resistant to water.  They dry out without cracking and disintegration, so can be repainted once this drying process is complete.

Traditional plasterboards will be permanently damaged by water, so will need to be replaced (though it is relatively cheap).  You can minimise how many sheets need to be replaced, but running them horizontally, not vertically. Only the lowest levels of board may need to be removed. Alternatively, consider  using a lime based plaster on the structural wall and removing the plasterboard altogether.

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Resilient Floor Finishes

Resilient floor finishes can be 100% waterproof which makes drying and cleaning the property easy and quick, following a flood.  For example waterproof laminates can be purchased in various wood and tile effects. Some of these floor finishes have matching waterproof skirting boards which can be clipped onto the wall and easily removed to prevent loss in a flood. The skirting boards have grooves along the back for electricity and other cables. These resilient floorings are more expensive and take longer to install than traditional non-resilient flooring, however the cost saving following replacement due to a flood will far outweigh this.

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Resilient Insulation

Both walls and floors can be insulated in some houses in order to maximise heat retention in the property. However traditional insulation will often lose its thermal performance characteristics if they come in direct contact with water.

This may be the case for many types of cavity wall insulation that are in contact with and soak up flood water. If this happens, the insulation will need to be replaced, which can be very difficult.  It may be worth changing it for water resistant cavity insulation, or replacing the cavity insulation with surface mounted insulated plasterboard on the inside of the walls.

Where a floor is insulated to retain warmth, then it is also possible to use water resistant insulation. Once traditional floor insulation comes in contact with water (either due to groundwater flooring or floodwater intrusion into the property) it loses its insulating properties and will therefore require replacing. Water resistant insulation will not absorb the same levels of moisture from direct contact with water that traditional insulation types will. This will therefore mean that these water resilient insulation will retain its insulating properties following flooding.

Below is an example of an orange resilient floor insulation and a blue resilient wall insulation. This insulation, as you can see below come in a range of thicknesses, colours and even a range of resilient performances. The more expensive insulation are likely to be have better performances of flood resilience, however this investment may be a much more suitable option over the long term.



Raised Services

By raising the position of electrical sockets and wires and other services up the walls of the property (rather than at skirting board height), the risk of having to rewire following a flood is reduced.  It may also be possible to keep some electrical power running in the property once it is flooded.  However, do not use electrical equipment if you are standing in flood water or if it might drop into water.

By removing the front plates of electrical sockets using a screwdriver, you can prevent these from washing away during a flood event. Do not remove these until you have first turned off the electricity at the mains.


Engineering bricks

These bricks are harder and more water resistant than the usual brick.  They are often black or grey in appearance, so are not as appealing and are usually more expensive. However, they dry out quicker and are not prone to crumbling after they have been saturated. Homebuilding.co.uk suggests using engineering bricks just above the expected flood levels if a property is in a flood risk area.


Pumping systems and other water removal means

Pumping systems are another measure to consider installing in your property. For more information on the types of these pumping systems as well as property tanking systems and cavity wall drainage, please click here.


See the video below for technical guidance from Mary Dhonau OBE on the types of flood resilience measures that are available to you.