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Flood Restoration

Before any flood restoration works starts the building should be subject to a detailed inspection. This will need to consider not only the cause and extent of the flood/water damage, but also the best way to recover the property. 

The initial flood restoration inspection

Initial investigations after the flood should consider:

  1. the action of the floodwater on the building and occupants, as well as
  2. where the water came from,
  3. the materials and construction techniques used in the building.
  4. how best to dry the building out and how to ‘make good’ the damage as quickly and as safely as possible. 

Removing the floodwater from the fabrics of the building is only possible when the construction and the water now held within it are properly understood. Drying can be rapid or may take considerable time, but the process should always be controlled by an expert, take place as soon after the flood as possible (in order to prevent further damage that results from the growth of moulds or the establishment of rots) and before any parts of the building are stripped out. 

Now, there are many companies out there that may offer to do this for free.  However, for a reputable flood expert, you should expect to be paying for the surveyors time, expertise and experience.  If a comprehensive survey is done, when taking into account the visit and preparing a report, this may take up to 2 or possibly 3 days work.

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Flood restoration - flood damage - Property Care

Drying the flooded building

It is not always necessary to pull a building apart to dry it out. Removing wet carpets, and possessions from the property that are damaged and repairable usually desirable, but even that should be done with a clear understanding of what could and should and can be be saved.

After the initial flood restoration survey has taken place to establish the condition of the building, it should include a plan for drying that considers how this can be done without removing and throwing away parts of the building that can be retained or reused. Examples of what may may be included in the drying out plan include solutions to dry:

  • Timber floor joists and boards
  • Solid doors , skirting boards and architives
  • Electrical wiring
  • Wall plasters
  • Tiled and solid floor finishes

A drying regime should then be implemented that is targeted and monitored throughout the process. Drying goals should be established and care must be taken to minimise the drying time while preventing further damage.

Reinstatement of the flooded building

Reinstatement and repairing the building should only take place when this can be undertaken safely. 

Structural elements of the building will usually be quite resilient to a small excess of water that will dry with time. After all, when buildings are new, they almost always contain construction moisture that escapes over time. Finishes and timbers built into the walls and floors can be susceptible to decay or failure if reinstatement is carried out before the underlying structures are sufficiently dry. 

Understanding and managing this balance between residual water and the materials and techniques that can and should be used to recover a building after a flood event can be challenging and should always be managed by a specialist. 

Knowledge of material compatibility is essential. Whether recovering an important historical building or a modern property,  those charged with getting it back into use must have the specialists knowledge to do so safely and effectively.

Building back better

Where any building has to be repaired, remodelled or just redecorated, there is opportunity to improve what was there before. 

After flooding there is often a chance to build resilience into the property, to ensure it is better equipped to cope with the possibility of a future flood event. This is just as relevant if the flood was from a burst pipe, a river flood or groundwater inundation. 

Understanding how the flood happened and how it affected the building, can be used to prevent or reduce future damage or at the very least quicken the process of recovery if it happens again. 

Technical documents you can view

For those interested, there is a variety of Flood related 'Codes of Practice', Technical Documents, leaflets and other related documents via our Flood Protection and Remediation Document Library.  Simply click on the button below to view the library.  Documents of interest include:

  • Code of Practice for the Flood Protection of Buildings
  • Code of Practice for the Recovery of Flood Damaged Buildings

Visit the document library >>

Free training - flood related CPD videos

Want to learn more about flood restoration?

For those interested in learning more about flood restoration, prevention and remediation; there are a variety of PCA training options for surveying, technical/trade professionals. 

Use the search tool below to find available flood related training courses or simply go to our training & qualifications section.  Alternatively, if you want to chat to someone, contact our training team on 01480 400000 or contact us online.

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