How to prevent and deal with Floods in Flats |

26th Jun 2017 | |

Leaking ceilings are often the first visible sign of a leak in the flat above. We’ve recently had a number of leaks in blocks of flats. Common causes of these are plumbing failures from stopcocks, boilers and bathroom & kitchen plumbing leaks.

Some blocks of flats are particularly prone to plumbing leaks and, to mitigate against increasing insurance premiums, are required to establish regular management inspections of plumbing within flats. Often the causes are common faults across numerous flats which were built with the same plumbing weakness.

Preventing floods in flats:

  1. Turn off the stopcock on the rising main when leaving the flat for a prolonged period;
  2. Undertake regular plumbing inspections to check for potential areas of weakness, particularly checking washing machine hoses and plumbing under the bath, sink & toilet fittings;
  3. Install a flood notification alarm, such as a floor mounted detection device. We have seen these prevent minor floods becoming very large ones;
  4. Leave a copy of the keys with a concierge or neighbour if appropriate, so that access can be gained to your flat in the event of an emergency when you are out or away;

How to deal with a flood in a flat:

  1. If the flood originates in your flat, ensure the flow of water is stopped via the tap on the rising main;
  2. Notify all flats to the below and adjacent, in order that any potential damage to these properties can be dealt with quickly;
  3. As with any leak, use mops, towels and buckets / wet vacuum extractors, to remove the surface water quickly to mitigate any further damage to building materials;
  4. Employ a professional damp testing/restoration contractor which can identify, possibly with the aid of thermal imaging cameras, the area of water spread and the degree of saturation into building materials;
  5. Removal of affected floor coverings may be necessary to expose the damp building structure below. Often we find that laminate and wood floor coverings can be damaged beyond repair by water;
  6. Drying equipment including dehumidifiers and fans are used to accelerate the drying process and mitigate the potential for mould growth; contact us for advice on what equipment you need.