Advice for Flood Damage Victims
Government’s advice to insulate homes doesn’t always suit everyone. Various experts are now concerned that a “one-size-fits-all” approach has resulted in large swathes of houses across the United Kingdom having the cavity of walls filled with inappropriate or defective insulation measures not suited to the house construction, the local wind driven rain exposure conditions, or failing to take into consideration the risk of flooding is now causing substantial damage to affected homes.
Fig 1. Wind Driven Rain Exposure Map
Of the circa 30 million properties in Great Britain 6.3 million, or one in five, are at risk of flooding from rivers, the sea or surface water so there’s a high probability one of these properties is your home or business.
Flood waters can penetrate unprotected cavity walls and cause major damage to the outer walls, cavity wall ties, cavity wall insulation (CWI) materials, plaster, electrical appliances, furnishings and decorations. The cost of extraction and removal of saturated insulation materials can be exorbitant and highly disruptive.
Fig 2. CWI Flood water damage to plaster
Fig 3. CWI Flood Damage to electrics
In addition, the cost to sort out damp and consequent mould damage to internal wall plaster finishes, electric sockets, carpets, curtains, structural timbers, etc in homes with inappropriate or defective cavity wall insulation may be extremely high and may affect the health and well-being of the homeowner and their families.
How can I find out if my home is at risk of flooding?
Experience shows that it pays to prepare in advance for the eventuality of flooding. If your home or business is flooded it can be extremely disruptive not just to the lives of your family but also to your business.
To check if your property is at risk of flooding from rivers, sea, reservoirs and surface water, click on the Homeowner’s Guide to Overcoming CWI Problems image below where you can also download a copy.
The Homeowner’s Guide to Overcoming Cavity Wall Insulation Problems was prepared by Insulation-Consumer Action Network (I- CAN) in collaboration with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and members of Cosy Homes in Lancashire (CHIL), a partnership of the 15 Local Authorities in Lancashire including Blackburn with Darwen, to assist homeowners to overcome cavity wall insulation (CWI) defects/problems.
Go online to the Environment Agency’s interactive mapping service, which also provides information on which areas currently face flood warnings.