The potential risk of flooding can have damaging effects. Often caused following a period of bad weather. Each different type of floods poses its own risk factors and so it is important to have precautions in place to prepare for the possible occurrence of these floods, particularly if you are located near a flood-prone area.
What are the different types of floods?
Five main types of floods occur in the UK, the damage caused depending on the severity of the flood. While flooding is often the cause of heavy and persistent rain it can also be caused by blocked drains and sewers.
Coastal/ Tidal Flooding
Commonly caused by severe storms which result in a rise in sea levels and a storm surge due to the high winds that are created. Many factors influence how damaging a coastal flood can be such as the strength and speed of the flood but also the flood defences that are in place along seaside areas.
Also known as fluvial flooding, river flooding occurs when the river can no longer hold its capacity and is often caused by excessive and heavy rainfall. As a result, the river breaks its banks causing the surrounding area to flood.
Flash flooding, also known as pluvial flooding typically occurs following an unexpected but heavy downpour of rain. Due to this sudden period of bad weather, the ground is often unable to absorb the excessive amounts of water hence why the floods occur. Although this flooding isn’t necessarily long-lasting, it can be damaging and dangerous.
These flood types mentioned above, are the three most common types of floods that occur following a series of heavy rainfall.
Drain and Sewage Flooding
Not all floods are caused by bad weather, in fact, some are caused by drain or sewage blockages that result in a build-up and overflow of water. This type of flooding poses many risks to the environment.
Ground Water Floods
Caused by a gradual build-up in water, groundwater floods occur when the overly saturated ground is no longer able to hold any more water.
How does a flood ruin a property?
It is often the case that many insurance companies do not cover properties that have experienced damages caused by flooding. Alongside the health and safety risk, flooding also poses great risks to your property, more often than not resulting in structural or electrical damage. The extent of the damage caused is often dependent on the severity of the flood itself. It can often be costly in many ways.
One of the most visible consequences of flooding is the structural damage that it causes to both the inside and outside of properties. There is likely to be significant damage to the flooring in particular, with tiled floors in particular loosening and carpets becoming heavily absorbed and ruined by the floodwater.
When water unexpectedly enters a property it is highly likely to cause electrical damage often resulting in broken wires. After contact with the water, the electricity doesn’t necessarily lose its power and so it is crucial to avoid touching any wet wires and outlets.
Houses generally tend to contain many appliances that are all at the risk of damage in the event of a flood. This includes the heating system, air conditioning, refrigerators, heaters, Televisions, and many more.
Damage to furnishings and decor
Decorating and furnishing a property can be a costly process that can be easily damaged in the event of flooding. The amount of time that your furniture is exposed to this water and the depth which determines how saturated it may be is dependent on the severity of the flood. Some home furnishings may recover better than others after flooding, although prolonged exposure to this water is likely to cause damage to the interior of your property.
The growth of mould
Mould can begin to grow inside your home 24 – 48 hours after exposure to floodwater. Growing quickly, mould can be found on the walls and furnishings, essentially any area that is holding moisture following a flood.
Is it dangerous to clean up yourself?
For those who have properties and homes that have been damaged due to flooding, it is often the case that you will want to begin the process of clearing and tidying your home right away. However, it is important to remember that floods can pose a number of risks to your safety. Both the interior and exterior structures of your home may have suffered severe damage in the floods making it unsafe for living in. There may also be electrical wires and appliances that have been damaged by the water but haven’t completely lost power which poses a risk to your safety if you should happen to come into contact with them. Additionally, the flood water may be contaminated or contain sewage which is unsafe.
You may benefit from the help of a professional during the cleanup process, particularly if you are someone who suffers from health and breathing conditions such as asthma which can be worsened following exposure to these conditions.
What should you do first when your home is flooded?
If your property is subject to the consequences of a flood, you will likely need to evacuate to a safer area until it is safe for you to return. Before leaving your property you will need to ensure that the electricity is turned off to prevent any further risks to your safety. Upon your return to your home, at a safe time, it is important to avoid any contact with wet electric wires or appliances as this poses risks to your safety. It is beneficial to document the damage to your property before contacting your insurance company to determine whether your provider covers flood damage. This will help you to assess the relevant steps that will need to be taken. To prevent the growth of mould, when safe to do so you will need to ensure that your home and furnishings are dried thoroughly around 48 hours after exposure to moisture.
Call in the experts
Slime & Grime can clean your property for you after a flood and ensure everything is done properly and safely. Our approach will naturally vary slightly according to the circumstances. However for the most part our approach is consistent. We use refrigerant dehumidifiers with pump out systems, thus reducing the requirement to empty water tanks on a daily basis. We always use air movement and dehumidification together as dehumidifiers only dry the air, while the air movers encourage evaporation of the moisture from the property. This speeds up the drying process both safely and efficiently.
We always treat properties in need of water damage restoration with an anti-microbial agent to deal with unwanted contaminants, also helping to eradicate mould and mould spores.
We are also specialists in the pumping out of water, drying and sanitising of cellars.
Contact us if you would like your flood clean up to be handled professionally, with care to ensure you have peace of mind that everything is back to normal.