Property Flood Resilience PFR

What is PFR?

Property Flood Resilience (PFR), also referred to as Property Level Protection (PLP), is an important element of flood risk management. PFR includes measures that reduce the risk to people and property, enabling households and businesses to reduce the damage caused by floods and speed up recovery and reoccupation.
To find out more about PFR products that might be suitable for your property and how much making your property resistant and resilient to flooding could cost, check out the National Flood Forums Property Protection Advisor.

PFR is made up of two elements: Resistance and Resilience

Resistance Measures

Keep it out!

These can be fitted to a property, forming a physical barrier between the flood water and the building. These measures aim to reduce the amount of water entering the building, thereby reducing the damage caused internally.

Flood Barriers

Flood barriers can be installed across doorways, gateways or other openings to stop water from entering a building. Barriers are demountable, so they can be easily fitted when there is a flood risk, then removed and stored away when not needed.

Flood Doors

Flood doors automatically create a water resistant seal when closed. This provides a benefit over flood barriers which have to be manually fitted into place when required. Flood windows are also available and can be used to replace standard windows at flood risk.

Flood Gates

Standard garden gates can be replaced with flood resistant flood gates. Like a flood door, once shut and locked, a water resistant seal is formed. Gates can be used around a property perimeter to keep water away from a building.

Self-Closing Airbricks

Many buildings have airbricks located at ground level around the perimeter for ventilation. These can be replaced with automatic airbricks that allow for air to circulate but do not allow water to enter.

Air Vent Protection

Water can enter the property through any vents connected to internal appliances (e.g. log burner or boiler). Vents can be blocked if redundant or raised above the flood level. Snorkel type measures can also be installed to raise the level of the vent. For any measures associated with combustible fuel sources, a Gas Safe engineer must be consulted.

Sump Pumps

Where a property has a basement or a suspended floor, flood water can enter these voids and cause damage. A sump pump can be installed to control the water level by pumping water out at a faster rate than it is entering. This manages the water level and stops it from rising significantly which could cause damage to the building.

Portable Pumps

If flood water enters a property the water level can rise. This can damage the fabrication of the building and the valuable possessions within. Portable pumps can be used in combination with other measures, or as a backup to manage flooding if water does enter the building.

Non-Return Valves

Flood water can flow up through wastewater pipes leading to flooding within a property. Non-return valves can be fitted to these pipes so wastewater can flow out, but flood water cannot enter. Non-return valves can also be fitted to the foul sewer, preventing sewage backing up through the system if the main sewer network is also impacted by flooding. If a non-return valve cannot be fitted, a bung can be used to block the toilet.

Tanking

The ground floor of a property can be tanked internally to reduce the ingress of water through the walls and floor. Tanking can be particularly beneficial for buildings that are affected by groundwater flooding.

Silicone Sealing

Flood water can enter properties in the gaps around wires and pipes in walls. Silicone can be used to seal these gaps and increase resilience.

Re-Pointing

Gaps or cracks in walls can allow flood water to enter. Re-pointing helps to seal these ingress routes, improving the overall condition of the wall and reducing water ingress.

Waterproof Spray

If flood water stays in contact with a building for a long period of time, it can soak through the wall. A waterproof breathable spray can be applied to external walls to reduce this.

Resilience Measures

Let it in!

These are used to adapt the internal property, aiming to limit the damage caused if water does enter a building. These measures allow the clean-up and repair process to occur quickly, improving the recovery process.

Flood Resilient Walls

The use of water resilient products, materials and paints on walls can reduce the severity of internal damage. Plasterboard can also be installed horizontally, so only the lowest sections are affected if flooding occurs.

Water Resilient Flooring

Suspended timber floors, which are more susceptible to damage, can be replaced with solid concrete floors.
Tiled floors and skirting boards are also easier to clean compared to carpet and laminate which usually need replacing after a flood event.

Electrics

Electrics for the ground floor can be separated from other floors so power can be turned off in isolation. Wiring and plug sockets can be raised up above floor level to improve resilience.

Boilers

Boilers can be relocated to a place where flood risk is reduced. For example, boilers could be wall mounted above the flood level or re-installed on the first floor rather than the ground floor. This will reduce the risk of the boiler being damaged during a flood event.

Flood Resilient Design

Rooms in the home can be designed and constructed using flood resilient materials and appliances can be fitted in a way that minimises the risk of flood damage. For example, a kitchen is a great location where resilient design can be embraced:

• Cupboards constructed from stainless steel or other resilient materials

• Use of wall mounted cupboards

• Removable kickboards

• Appliances such as ovens can be installed above flood level.

These same principles can be carried throughout to other rooms in the property.

Personal or Valuable items

The storage of valuable or personal items should be carefully considered throughout the ground floor. Can items be stored on the first floor away from danger or on shelves or bookcases above the flood level?

Check out the BRE Flood Resilient Repair Home for examples of flood resilient design

Other resources

National Flood Forum

The Blue Pages – Independent Flood Directory

Flood Guidance