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February 18, 2015

“REPAIRING FLOODED BUILDINGS” – an insurance industry guide to investigation and repair for flood damaged buildings.

This guideline was prepared by the Flood Repairs Forum representing insurance, loss adjusting and construction and repair sectors and was first published in 2006.

“Technically competent person”

For reinstatement projects following flood damage it is recommended that there is a “technically

competent person” involved in the process such as:-

  • Building Surveyors.
  • Chartered Loss Adjusters.
  • Chartered Builders.
  • Chartered Engineers.

As a general guide the following steps should be taken:

  1. Establish a drying program.
  2. Evaluation of the types of materials being dried.
  3. An agreement as to what items are damaged beyond repair and need to be removed before the drying process.
  4. Monitoring of drying process.
  5. Certificate of drying – produced on completion of drying process and presented by the Damage Management Contractor.

Standards for repairing flooded buildings:

  • (Older or listed buildings need particular attention by someone with the relevant qualification).
  • Otherwise the following areas need to be identified:
  • External walls – external finish.
  • External walls – structural element.
  • External walls – insulation.
  • Internal walls on partitions.
  • Floors.
  • Joinery and fittings.
  • Electrical services.
  • Gas installation.
  • Central heating – wet system.
  • Sanitary ware.
  • Drainage (CCTV needed? etc)
  • General services (Radon etc).

Susceptibility of buildings and fittings:

  1. Concrete – can absorb huge quantities of water. Look for chemical reactions and fungal growth.
  2. Cavity walls – insulation material may have deteriorated if water is absorbed.
  3. Floors – insulation barriers may hold water etc.
  4. Effect of salts on brickwork or compromising damp-proof course etc.
  5. Organic contamination (e.g. silt) brings issues of hygiene. Silt particles can settle in layers in floor voids and in cavity walls where it can render damp-proof membranes ineffective.
  6. Electrical installations – need to be thoroughly checked and tested by a competent/qualified person.
  7. Gas meters and oil meters and boilers which may require purging etc.
  8. “Black” water with associated health risks (need for deep cleaning, sanitisation etc).

Identifying and managing future flooding risk:

  1. Replace susceptible wall linings and fixtures and fittings with waterproof alternatives.
  2. Reposition electrical points to a height well above expected water levels.
  3. Ensure that power to Security Systems and essential equipment can be maintained during flooding.
  4. Relocate or reposition safes and strong boxes above expected water levels.
  5. Consider installing one way (non return) or pumped valves to waste outflows.
  6. Use of temporary flood protection (demountable products, barriers etc).

Source – “Repairing Flooded Buildings” an insurance industry guide to investigation and repair as published by the Flood Repairs Forum.

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