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The devastating floods in Gloucestershire in 2007 lead Guardian Preservation Services LLP to adopt a totally different and innovative approach to the repair of flooded properties for which they achieved first place in the Property Care Association Awards Ceremony 2009.

Floods across Gloucester 2007

Floods across Gloucestershire 2007

Following the floods it become clear that the typical procedure for the repair of flood damaged properties was not always the most appropriate method and often resulted in householders being re-housed in temporary accommodation for unnecessarily long periods.

The standard method of repair was to strip out the properties and install drying equipment, sometimes for periods in excess of six months. This process was often carried out without the correct monitoring and sometimes resulted in permanent damage, particularly to internal timbers. Non specialist contractors were then employed to carry out remedial works, frequently using inappropriate materials, resulting in further delays and often the work has had to be repaired at a later date and at a further cost.

We realised that our many years of experience using cavity drain membrane systems to combat dampness in buildings could easily be incorporated into flooded properties. Once the membranes are fitted replastering and decoration works can commence immediately, allowing the walls to dry naturally on the “wet side” of the membrane and therefore considerable savings could be made in the length of time householders spent in temporary accommodation. Other savings could also be made by not having to remove various wall and floor finishes.

Floods in Cheltenham 2007

Floods in Cheltenham 2007

The additional installation of sumps/pumps and drainage also added flood resilience to the property.

One of the main impacts of this innovative approach to flood remediation is that in the future, if this course of action is followed, many householders will be spared the devastation of prolonged exclusion from their homes whilst they are “drying out”. The insurance industry will also be saved many thousands of pounds by not having to provide extended accommodation for householders and the necessity of “secondary damp” insurance claims when the wrong building practices were initially implemented.

The Property Care Association seeks to promote best practice and thus help reduce the time between a flood and reoccupation and has now produced a Code of Practice for the Recovery of Flood Damaged Buildings in the hope that if properties are flooded in the future the correct procedures will be followed by all concerned.

As founder members of the PCA Flood Remediation Group you can be assured that if your property has been flooded Guardian can be called upon to carry out high quality flood remediation works, including flood resilience. We are also qualified to provide expert advice and guidance relating to the drying of the building and the prevention of decay following a flood.

Case study

A detached farmhouse located at The Leigh, Gloucestershire.

Resulting from the severe rainfall of 20 July 2007 the water level in the River Severn rose to such a height that the adjacent land was flooded and water entered our client’s property remaining within for a considerable time.

After many months spent out of his property whilst it “dried out” our client had still not received a “drying out” certificate to enable repair works to commence and in total desperation he contacted us with a view to providing a solution to his predicament.

Flooded property

Flooded property in Tewkesbury

Following a number of meetings with the insurer’s surveyor and loss adjuster Guardian Preservation submitted a specification recommending the installation of a cavity drain membrane system to walls and floors linked to a full floor drainage system incorporating sumps with automatic pumps. Extra flood prevention measures were also undertaken by other contractors i.e. raising of door and window openings (those below 600mm), blocking off ducts and air bricks etc.

The loss adjuster and insurers were able to see the advantages of the membrane system i.e. no further drying out period would be required and reinstatement could commence immediately. Also the cost of these works was offset by the savings made and ultimately approval was given by the insurers for the works to be undertaken.

In addition to the structural waterproofing and flood defences our client wanted to go one stage further and found specialist insulating boards and plaster finishes which were waterproof and resistant to flood damage and therefore, if water rose to such a level that structural damage was imminent, the water would be allowed to enter the property by means of strategically located vents and then, following removal of the water, the finished surfaces would simply be washed down and sanitised.

A final comment from our delighted client: “Guardian was an excellent company to deal with. High levels of expertise throughout and Chris and his team designed and installed a superb system. We are delighted with the result – thank you very much”.

Contact us today for honest, independent advice.

PCA Property Care Association
Constructionline UK Government Certfication Service
Trust Mark Governmenet Endorsed Standards
Property Preservation Systems
Guaranteed Protection Insurance
Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme Accredited Contractor