With an increased frequency of flooding in recent years, Kevin Kiernan, National Sales Manager at Bowater by Birtley, looks at why local authorities and housing associations should consider installing flood defence doors on new and existing properties.
Header image: © Jane/Adobe Stock.
The weather remains one of the most talked about topics in the UK and is often brought up in the context of polite conversation, although it has taken a more serious tone recently. Before autumn even arrived and after months of blistering heat waves, we experienced the chaos storms can bring. With storms Ali and Bronagh causing damage and flash flooding in many parts of the UK, homeowners, local authorities and housing associations were left to deal with the aftermath and clean up.
The impact of climate change has been widely discussed and with the weather becoming more unpredictable, it comes as little surprise that a WWF (World Wildlife Fund) study states that up to 2.5m homes will be at risk of flooding by 2050, which brings the situation into stark focus.
In fact, according to the Government’s own figures, nearly two million properties in floodplains along rivers, estuaries and coasts in the UK are potentially at risk of river or coastal flooding, closely mirroring the statistics provided by the WWF. In addition, a further 80,000 properties are at risk in towns and cities from flooding caused by heavy downpours that overwhelm urban drains, which is a huge issue for both residents and housing associations.
Prevention is better than the cure
It seems obvious, but floodwater not only destroys possessions, but also causes further damage to the property if left to stand. The duration of the flood and the height of the water can determine how much damage it creates.
Housing associations and local authorities therefore need to consider how they can ensure their properties, both existing and those due to be developed in the future, can best withstand the threat of floods to keep the building, residents and their belongings safe.
Unfortunately, you can never eliminate the risk of flooding entirely, but you can reduce the risk of water getting in. We have all seen countless images of flood-hit homes with sandbags piled high over main entrance doors to try and prevent the water entering a property. That’s because doors are often the largest ground level opening into a home and most susceptible to flood waters.
A flood door is therefore one of the most effective forms of defence and they are now regularly fitted in properties at risk. Their great benefit is that they are a permanent and discreet solution that requires no intervention by the occupier, yet can prevent water up to a depth of 600mm from entering a property.
Flood doors are also one of the most cost effective and tried and tested methods of protecting a property and the costly damage floods cause, and will therefore help local authorities to future-proof their properties and their tenant’s belongings.
The right choice
When it comes to choosing a flood defence door, the starting point is to make sure it has been tested to PAS 1188-1:2014, the UK standard for flood protection products.
All products tested to PAS 1188, such as Bowater by Birtley’s 68mm composite flood defence door, are subject to an initial type test and the facility that manufactures the product is also assessed for quality at the start of the process. We are already just one of a handful of companies to offer a double rebated 68mm composite door and so gaining PAS 1188 means we are virtually unique in being able to offer a fully certified composite flood defence door.
The Bowater Flood Shield Door offers the best defence against rising waters. The door comes complete with a watertight frame and robust 16 point locking system and is available in a variety of styles and colours. The Flood Shield Door is also aesthetically indistinguishable from our standard composite door range; this makes it a popular choice with tenants because it retains the outward appeal of their property.
Flood defence doors
Flooding is a growing concern in the UK and potentially devastating for those affected, not only in terms of damage to the building but the risk to life. With a number of studies identifying millions of homes at risk there is a need to start future-proofing properties now. One of the most effective ways of doing this is by specifying a suitable flood defence door, which means it has PAS 1188 certification, whilst the benefits of a 68mm double rebated door, both in terms of ease of installation and performance are already widely understood.
Flood doors are a cost-effective, tried and trusted method of protecting a property from flooding and the damage it creates and will therefore help local authorities and developers to future-proof their properties.