Property flood resilience

Property Flood Resilience (PFR)

PFR refers to any measures that can be applied to a building to make you and your property less vulnerable to the physical impacts of flooding. The updated 2020 Property Flood Resilience emagazine, written by Mary Dhonau, contains real life stories of how people have adapted their homes and businesses to make them resilient to future floods.

  • PFR resistance is the use of materials and approaches to safely keep water out of a property (some examples of resistance measures include: flood doors and windows; flood barriers; airbrick covers; self-closing airbricks; flood walls; water resistant mortar and render; anti-back flow valves for drains, sinks or showers; toilet bungs); and
  • PFR recoverability is the use of materials, products and construction methods that mean a building can be quickly used again brought into use after flooding. It means managing the level and consequences of damage, if water enters (some examples of recoverability measures include: raised electric sockets and utility meters; solid concrete flooring or tiling; lime plaster and paint instead of gypsum and non-porous paint; waterproof coating to walls and floor; waterproof kitchen fittings).

PFR brings together a range of measures that help people become more resilient to the impacts of flooding and reduce the length of time needed for recovery. While it is not always possible to completely keep out floodwater, greater individual flood resilience should reduce the cost of managing future incidents because this approach will reduce the time that you are out of your property.

Flood products

The National Flood Forum website has a Property Protection Advisor tool which can calculate indicative costs for property protection for different types of property. The indicative prices were generated through a Defra funded research project (FD2682) published in 2016. Advice and guidance on how to protect your property from flooding is available from a variety of sources. For example, the National Flood Advisory Service provides independent advice on flood mitigation and the Blue Pages contain a list of companies who can supply and install PFR measures. It is important that PFR measures have been thoroughly tested to ensure that they are up to the job – BSI Kite-marked products have been independently tested and proved with acceptable standards around leakage rates.

If you wish to use products that have not been tested to these recognised standards, you should satisfy yourself that the items you are purchasing contain adequate guarantees/warranties.

Insurance

Flood Re is a joint initiative between the government and insurers. Its aim is to make the flood cover part of household insurance policies more affordable. You can read about How Flood Re works. It is important that people at high flood-risk in Herefordshire shop around for the best insurance policy. For more information visit the Flood Re website.

Flooding resources

The Flood Guidance website incorporates guidance and advice from sources including insurers, government and other industry sectors. The Flood Hub contains multiple sources of guidance on flood resilience, as does the BeFloodReady website. The Six Steps to Flood Resilience published by Manchester Metropolitan University's 'Smartest Project', provides a step-by-step guide to the purchase, installation and use of property-level technologies.