Holding back the floods

Tarmac’s Dr Bill talks wild and wet weather

Widespread flooding has been in the news recently and we have all heard that recent scenes of devastation are likely to be repeated at an increasing frequency in the future.

Whether this is a result of climate change, changes in agriculture or increased building on flood plains, is not something I want to go into in depth, but the perception is that flooding is becoming more common.

For properties at risk of flooding, cement based products can enhance the resilience of a building in a flood and speed up the clean up and return to occupation.

Smart construction can help prevent water ingress through walls. Houses should constructed with a waterproof DPC, this is made of impermeable engineering bricks laid in courses to a higher than normal depth above the floor level and jointed with a cement based mortar (this could possibly include a waterproofing admixture).

Solid concrete ground supported floors are inherently waterproof and will prevent water rising up through a suspended wooden floor. These can be covered in ceramic or stone tiles for a more aesthetic finish and can also be covered with rugs or non-fitted carpets if desired. If water enters the building (through doors etc.), these floors will also be easier to clean and will dry out quickly without the need for replacement.

Using waterproof plaster (this is cement based and contains waterproofer) on the inside walls is also advantageous, as it will not be damaged by exposure to water, unlike gypsum plaster, and is easy to clean and quick to dry out. Electrical sockets should also be raised to 1m or more above the floor.

Total flood protection involves the consideration of location, design construction and occupancy and cannot be covered here. So this is not a full shopping list for flood resilience, but just a few ideas on products that may reduce the pain of flooding.

About Guest Blogger - Bill Price

Bill Price is National Commercial Technical Manager at Tarmac’s Cement business

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