With more flood warnings issued in York and surrounding areas, here’s some helpful tips from RICS if you are affected:-
- Contact your insurers and obtain permission to start work as soon as possible.
- If there are any concers about the structure of the property, always consult a chartered surveyor who will be able to advise.
- Don’t move back into a property that contains standing water – pump it out first. Clean and disinfect everything that may have come into contact with the floodwater.
- After removing the damaged furniture, open up the voids beneath floorboards, basement areas etc and remove all surplus water.
- Heat and ventilate the building but don’t forget about home security. Alternatively, use dehumidifiers and after a thorough safety check on the electricity, gas etc, close the windows, heat the property and run the dehumidifiers to remove as much moisture from the structure as possible.
- Generally, masonry (brickwork or blockwork) should be largely unaffected by the water if it is allowed properly dry out. The drying out process may take some time if the masonry has been saturated. As a guide, allow one month for every inch of wall thickness.
- Plaster may have to be replaced, plasterboard almost certainly will.
- Timber will dry satisfactorily if dried quickly, or treated. In the case of older properties, which tend to have a greater proportion of timber, it is best to seek specialist advice.
- Waterproof grades of chipboard, MDF and plywood should be okay, but if there is any evidence of swelling you should consider replacing it.
- If you have cavity insulation, get it checked out as the water may have affected it.
The most important advice is not to hurry the process. Being in a rush to re-decorate too soon and before the property has had chance to properly dry out will only lead to future problems with moisture becoming trapped inside the walls.
For more information on this article and more, visit www.rics.org.