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04 Feb 2021 < Back

Holding Back the Flood

The threat of flooding is very real for millions of people in the UK this winter. The constant fear of water inundating your home or business has been with many communities since Christmas. With more rain forecast this anxious situation seems set to continue for most of February.

Thankfully, we have not become flood victims – yet. But living in a property that has been subject to Environment Agency (EA) flood alerts and flood warnings almost continuously since 23rd December, we have become paranoid observers of the weather forecast and slaves to the ebb and flow or the seeming ever swollen rivers and becks.

Is 2021 the year we ‘know our flood risk?’

Setting aside the personal and looking at what is happening from a professional standpoint, it seems things may be changing for the better? Though on the ground people are still being devastated by flooding, at a strategic level it feels like we are getting our act together at last. I think we are starting to see changes that just might change the way we think about and deal with flood risk? Is 2021 the year we “know our flood risk” and finally start to do something about it?

In January CIRIA finally published the guidance pages that explain and support their “Code of practice for property flood resilience (C790F)”. This long-anticipated document, underwritten by public money, sets out a consensus view on how best to procure works that protect individual homes from the effects of flooding. Though not beyond criticism (too many links in the procurement chain in my view) we now have a way to move from flood risk to property survey, specification, delivery and finally commissioning, that most agree will deliver quality resistance and resilience.

FloodRe is the government facilitated re-insurance company, that ensures all “qualifying homes” can access affordable buildings insurance against flooding. Recently FloodRe published a report recommending that those who protect their properties with Property Flood Protection (PFR), should be recognised through a scoring system. The idea of “Flood Performance Certificates” seems to be gaining credibility and support. PCA has gone on record to support the proposal.

Great to see Government involved

This week we were informed that the Government are looking to develop this idea and incentivise PFR, by ensuring those who have protected themselves with flood resisting or resilience measures reap the reward of lower insurance premiums.

At the same time, we are seeing an increase in the number of insurance companies who will encourage take up and help facilitate the adoption of PFR measures when homes and buildings are being repaired after flooding.

We are delighted to report that the PCA is working within a consortium led by CIWEM, supporting a bid to secure funding that will build structured training for all those involved in the procurement, promotion, and delivery of PFR.

PFR adopted in to Building Regulations

What is also very notable is the message that is being promoted during the coverage of the recent floods. We see a great more emphasis being put on the benefits and advantages of PFR and the need to “build back better” as homes and buildings are recovered.

We would still like to see further measures, like PFR adopted in to Building Regulations where properties in high-risk locations are extended or refurbished, but beside this it feels like there may be better times ahead for those who have invested so much time, money and effort in the development and proliferation of PFR in the UK.

And yes, I am putting my money where my mouth is. Non return valves are now fitted to protect us from sewer surcharge and my beautiful new flood door is on order. Our local community flood action group meets for the first time next week.

Finding an Experienced Flood Protection Specialist

Experienced professionals will be able to undertake a property-level survey, which will involve a physical survey to assess areas such as the level of thresholds and floors, likely points of water entry and the most appropriate methods for managing the level of flood risk in the building.

For those looking to find a qualified local flood prevention and protection specialist local to you, simply click on the button below and run a search.

Find a Local Flood Specialist >>

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