The Increasing Threat of Flood Damage

Posted by on Feb 12, 2014 in Education, We Are GLM

The Increasing Threat of Flood Damage

When the ground is saturated and water levels rise, sand bags and barriers may simply be a waste of effort. Sometimes they can make a bad situation worse. When a barrier gives way under the weight of water the resulting flood may cause more damage than allowing the water to rise of its own accord. Structures that hold back water need to be properly designed. The walls of a house may not have the strength to act as a dam.

We have worked on flood damaged buildings and we know how troublesome, slow and expensive it can be to get them back into order again.

Does this mean that nothing can be done? In our opinion it should be possible to make most buildings that are at risk capable of being quickly returned to normal after a flood.

We all like the warm feel of timber floors. But timber floors do not react well to water. The gap under suspended timber floors is the first thing to fill with water and in a flood that doesn’t mean nice clean water, but often muddy water mixed with sewage and even oil. So what about solid floors? Modern solid floors are well insulated and warm to the touch and sometimes have underfloor heating too. But what happens to such a floor if it is flooded. Where does the water go and what will it take to dry it out?

There are nowadays timbers that, following a specialised treatment, are resistant to water. There is even a form of MDF that can be submerged for months without being damaged. Solid floors that may be liable to flood need to be completely rethought. Services too may need to be brought down from above, boilers sited above flood levels, fitments made of waterproof materials and cavities avoided where flood water may lodge.

There may also be a role for managing flood water in some properties using removable door and airbrick barriers, non-return valves on drains, sumps with submersible pumps and the careful siting and construction of such things as embankments, soakaways, land drainage and swales.

Through the careful selection of materials and the application of a detailed knowledge of building construction to the problem, many flood-prone houses can be made resilient in the face of flood water.

If you have had a flood and face the prospect of others in the future we can help. Let us design a solution to your flooding problem and then get the work done as competitively as possible.