Flood Protection Information
There are lots of ways of protecting your property from flooding. In this section we discuss some of those methods.
FLOOD BARRIERS & GATES
A temporary means of stopping water entering a property through doors or windows. Once the barrier is locked into position, it should form a water-tight seal around the door or window that aims to resist water entry.
- Removable and can be fitted quickly to a door or window if flooding is likely.
- Should be used alongside other property flood resilience measures to mitigate flood risk.
- Some leakage is normal so it is useful to have a plan in place to deal with this.
- Barriers should be removed as soon as the risk of flooding has subsided.
Types of flood barrier:
Many varieties of flood barriers are available. For specialist advice we suggest contacting JT Atkinsons Flood Department on 01768 861875 or https://www.jtatkinson.co.uk/flood-protection
- Barriers can be single panels or comprise of slats that fit together.
- Some barriers slot or clip into a permanent frame around the doorway
- Some have pre-installed fittings in the wall around the doorway that the barrier screws into.
- Expanding barriers can also be used, which do not need a permanent frame or fittings and can be expanded manually until they fit tightly with the doorframe.
If the barrier requires any permanent fittings on the property to operate, these should be fitted by a professional installer.
What to look for when purchasing a barrier:
Does it conform to British Standards: BS 851188 – British Standards (also known as the BSI Kitemark) are standards that provide quality assurance for flood products and services.
Is the building listed? – If the building is listed or in a conservation area, permission may need to be obtained from the local planning authority to make flood-resistant or flood-resilient alterations.
Is the installer Qualified? – Many manufacturers will either install the product themselves or have a list of approved installers whom they have carefully vetted. Once the measure has been fitted, the installer should explain how to use and maintain it.
How are flood barriers fitted?
The manufacturer’s instructions should always be consulted to ensure that the barrier is fitted correctly and annual test runs should be carried out to remind users of the operation procedures.
Storing a flood barrier:
Ensuring that flood barriers are stored correctly is vital in maintaining their effectiveness and allowing them to be accessed easily when they are needed most.
- Store somewhere that reduces the risk of damage, ideally above ground level, e.g. – on brackets on a wall inside the property, in the garage or the shed.
- Ensure that all panels and seals are clean before storing the barrier.
- Store any tools, fittings or additional parts with the barrier.
- Store the barriers somewhere they can be accessed easily which is dry and secure, away from damp, rain and exposure to sunlight (which could cause damage to the seals).
- Store the handover pack containing information about the barrier’s operation and maintenance somewhere it can be easily accessed in the event of a flood.
- Take the barriers out of storage annually to do a dry-run test to ensure that they remain operational.
Flood barrier maintenance:
Maintenance of flood barriers is critical to ensure that they remain effective when required during a flood. The property owner is ultimately responsible for ensuring that their property flood resilience products are maintained.
To make sure that a flood barrier remains in good working order, users should:
- Carry out regular visual checks for signs of damage or distress/ ‘wear and tear’.
- Ensure that the barrier frame and/or fittings is/are kept free from mud and debris.
- Keep the foam/rubber seal free of dirt and mud. Brush it with a soft brush or vacuum, wash with mild soap and water and then rinse thoroughly with clean water. Avoid using strong detergents or solvents on the seals.
- Inspect the seals regularly and replace them if damaged.
- Wash the barrier panels with mild soap and water, and rinse with clean water, after use in a flood.
- Record maintenance activities in your installation pack/handover pack.
Flood barrier Testing:
To ensure that the resident is confident operating their flood barrier and that it is still in working order, a test should be carried out annually. Conducting a dry run by installing the barrier can help the user to practise the installation process and can also serve as a useful reminder of where the necessary parts are stored.
A flood door looks like an ordinary door, but has a range of extra features that makes it more resilient to flooding and helps to reduce the risk of floodwater entering a property through the door.
Flood doors have gaskets around their edges that form a watertight seal around the doorframe when the door is locked. Flood doors often have multiple locks to ensure that the seal is consistent, which is also beneficial for home security. The door must be locked into place to ensure that the flood reduction mechanism is activated.
Maintaining a flood door:
Maintenance is critical to ensure that the flood door remains effective in the event of a flood.
- the seal of a flood door should be kept clean to enable it to operate effectively in a flood.
- Washing the door regularly with a lint-free cloth and warm soapy water is recommended. (Washing-up liquid is suitable, so no expensive products are required).
Abrasive cleaners, scouring pads and bleach-based or solvent-based cleaners (such as methylated spirits, white spirit, acetone or nail-varnish remover) should not be used to clean a flood door as this could result in damage to the product. Pressure cleaners and steam cleaners also should not be used. It is recommended that adhesive and tack are also not applied to flood doors.
What to look for when purchasing a Flood Door:
Does it conform to British Standards: BS 851188?- British Standards (also known as the BSI Kitemark) are standards that provide quality assurance for flood products and services.
Does it conform to British Standards: BS EN 12046-2? – This British Standard tests the force required to operate a door, including opening and closing, engaging and releasing and locking and unlocking. This ensures that a flood door can be used conveniently on a daily basis and locked with ease when required.
Does it conform to British Standards: BS EN 1191?– this British Standard tests the flood door handle operation for resistance to repeated opening and closing for doors and windows.
Is the installer qualified? – Installing a flood door is a more complex procedure than fitting an ordinary door, as it must be thoroughly sealed and have several properly-aligned locks. Ask installers about their experience of fitting similar products in the past. Many manufacturers will either install the product themselves or have a list of approved installers whom they have carefully vetted. Once the measure has been fitted, the installer should brief you about how to use and maintain it.
Emergency access and escape – If you have a flood door installed, you should consider how you could evacuate the property in the event of an emergency. ‘Stable door’-style flood doors are available that have two separate opening panels, allowing occupants to escape through their door by opening the top panel, whilst leaving the bottom panel closed to keep the water out for as long as possible.
For specialist advice on Flood Doors we suggest contacting JT Atkinsons Flood Department on 01768 861875 or https://www.jtatkinson.co.uk/flood-protection