Property Flood Resilience (PFR)
PFR describes measures which reduce the risk of flooding to people and properties by enabling businesses and residents to reduce flood damage, speed up recovery, reoccupy buildings more quickly and potentially find it easier to insure their property.
These measures are installed at property level to make its occupants, and the property, less vulnerable to flooding.
Resilience (or recoverability) – limits the damage caused if water enters a building. Recoverable materials and construction methods reduce the likelihood of permanent damage being caused, help to maintain the building’s structural integrity and aid recovery*.
Resistance – reducing the amount of water entering a building *.
Approaching the subject of Property Flood Resilience (PFR), is not an easy step, whether you are approaching it proactively or in reaction to your personal flood risk. Your home is your castle and the installation of PFR can be viewed as building your own battlements to protect your home from flood.
Many questions will cross your mind; what are property flood measures, what will I need for my property, how does it work and where do I go to find out more - never mind purchasing it?
You may have a clear idea of the areas, in or around your property, which may benefit from PFR for your personal circumstances, or you may have to spend time investigating your need. The choices are numerous: flood gates, flood doors, non-return valves, pumps, waterproof plaster and paints, the list goes on. Do you need to raise your electrical sockets or replace your driveway with permeable paving?
PFR does not offer a 100% guarantee that water will not enter your property, due to the nature of a property’s construction and situation, but it will provide assurance that the water will be limited and your property will recover faster should a flood occur.
Research is the key word. Spend some time researching the different types of measures and get an idea of what would suit you and your property. If your property is a listed building, you may need to gain planning permissions from your local council before any works can begin, some forward planning is also needed here.
Should you live ‘mid-terrace’ it is wise to ask your neighbours if they have, or are intending to have, PFR products installed onto their property. This is a wise question to ask; the readiness of their property may have benefits or negatives for yours.
National Flood Forum
These are all considerations you have to include in your approach but reassurance can be found through the various directions you can take. You should approach an independent surveyor, who will assess your property for you. You could also consider contacting a charitable advisory group for advice, contacting a consultant, approaching a recommended person(s) in your area, or staying close to home and speaking to someone else you know who has already installed PFR on their property. Please remember that every property is different, what works for one may not work for another.
Selecting a product and the best way to have it installed can be daunting too. The choices are growing, and as you would pick and choose your new sofa, do the same with PFR. Contact a number of providers, some of which can be found in the Blue Pages as well as online, and ask questions. You should keep an eye out for BSI Kite Marked products to be assured that the product has been tested.
The product provider will typically install the product for you or you may need to hire an alternative professional. If you decide to take on this task yourself the liability for correct installation becomes yours. At the time of purchase ensure you enquire into whether the product provider offers a product maintenance service, in addition to a guarantee. This is important as responsibility for the upkeep of your PFR products is yours.
Once your products have been installed it is important you know how to use them. Again, most product providers will go through this with you, but if not, or you have chosen to manage the installation yourself, ensure you practice how to use them properly. It’s a good idea to practice repeatedly to master how to use them. Flood waters can rise quickly so you also need to be able to act quickly.
Just as for your new bike or lawnmower the storage of your new PFR products is important. Flood barriers should ideally be placed, where easily accessible, in your shed or raised off the ground in a protected area. Please don’t stack them up over a drain or use them as a work desk for your DIY. The idea is to protect your PFR products from damage, while remaining easily accessible – you don’t know when you may need them!
So, now the installation process is complete and you have successfully made your property flood-resilient, what are the benefits you will see from your hard work and PFR, should a flood event occur? Here are some……..
- If water should enter your property the clean-up will be much easier to manage and cheaper.
- You can return to your property faster, hence the need to arrange alternative accommodation decreases.
- Damages to personal property also decrease. Remember to move valuable items upstairs, if possible.
- You will feel a greater sense of security that your property will better survive a flood event.
- The effects on your day to day life will be better managed and have a lesser impact.
You may now wish to contact your insurer to advise them of the PFR you have installed, it may decrease your premiums or add other benefits to your policy.
The process you have been through, to install PFR onto your property is worthwhile, the benefits will prove themselves.