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Recovering from disaster

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Neil Wyatt20/02/2020 09:44:32
18544 forum posts
723 photos
78 articles

I've recently been fortunate in avoiding a flood of my workshop.

I'm sure some other readers and forum members have been less fortunate.

Are there any forum members who have, in the past, been through a workshop disaster like fire or flood who have then rebuilt their workshop?

I am thinking it might offer some help and assistance to affected readers to see not just that it is possible to rebuild, but also to get some useful advice on dealing with insurance, valuing damaged tools etc. and the practicalities of minimising further damage, what needs to be disposed of and what can be recovered.

If someone is able to help with a short article like this (photos not essential) I would publish it as soon as possible.

If you may be able to help, email

Many thanks


Neil Wyatt20/02/2020 09:45:48
18544 forum posts
723 photos
78 articles

I should add, feel free to add briefer advice to this thread (but let's not get diverted into the causes of the floods etc. in this thread, just focus on advice for getting back on your feet).


Cornish Jack20/02/2020 10:48:09
1195 forum posts
163 photos

Where to start ... both in actuality and summary?

In my case it was just one part of a complete destruction, so it wasn't the first consideration for recovery. It was actually three workhops, one 14 x 8 wooden shed and a larger, concrete and asbestos garage with an adjoining 6 x 10 'build-on'.

The wooden stucture ended as shown, complete with contents(!) and a kind neighbour 'secured' it as shown. The other two were both damaged from inundation.


The first action was by the 'recovery' team who deal with clearing up the initial mess and they were very helpful but, perhaps, disposed of some items too readily. It's not a good time to be making decisions. There were a number of new and nearly new items 'went into the skip'. Once the cleanup was complete, recovered items needed to be stored securely an, eventually, losses assessed ... how's the memory!!?

Individual circumstances are so diverse that it is impossible to offer hard and fast rules for action but one suggestion could well be to make an inventory - ...I hadn't!

Final point - at the end of the day, it is only a collection of objects which may, or may not, be replaceable.

Insurance aftermath will depend on the company involved - not an area for optimism!



V8Eng20/02/2020 11:27:47
1556 forum posts
30 photos

Insurance companies seem to want receipts so try and keep as many as possible somewhere safe.

This is important for losses or disasters and may well save you from some extra agro and possible additional financial loss.

Edited By V8Eng on 20/02/2020 11:32:14

Cornish Jack20/02/2020 11:47:09
1195 forum posts
163 photos

An additional thought re disasters in general - one of our contributors some years back suffered a garage/workhop fire which gutted the building. He was Terry D (?) and I haven't seen anything from him for some time. His original posts may well be of help in forming plans etc.



Jon Lawes20/02/2020 12:05:42
505 forum posts

Maybe its worth getting an agreed value on some items. How can you explain that a 50 year old lathe isn't just old junk to someone with no interest to whom you are just one of 100 calls a day?

JasonB20/02/2020 12:23:10
20232 forum posts
2207 photos
1 articles

I think Terry D could have done with some of that flood water, 3rd post down

Brian H20/02/2020 14:32:12
2091 forum posts
113 photos

I had a flood in my workshop a few years ago. The floor was concrete but with a wooden floor on top. The water came higher that the side door sill and overflowed into the space under the wooden floor.

I contacted the insurance company and they advised to get someone into remove the woodel floor, add a waterproof membrane and complete with a higher concrete screed. None of the machinery was affected.

I got a builder in who discovered that the original concrete floor sloped downwards towards the back of the workshop meaning that any water getting in could not escape. When he laid the now concrete he made suse that it sloped to allow any water in future to run out of the front door. The new floor added up to 6" inches to the height of the floor and no water has got in since.


Brian Sweeting20/02/2020 15:05:45
453 forum posts
1 photos

Fortunately for me not a problem that I have suffered but I wonder whether taking a photographic record of your shed/workshop/tools would act as an aide memoire for after the event.

Lee Rogers20/02/2020 16:03:04
110 forum posts

If your making an insurance claim you would do well to look into employing your own loss adjuster. The insurance company will send an assessor and they will do their best to mug you. You don't have to take it lying down. A loss adjuster employed by you will fight for your case and charge the insurance company (not you) for the privilege . Very often just the mention of loss adjusters will put the wind up your insurance company to the extent that they will quickly see reason and up their offer.

julian atkins20/02/2020 23:02:33
1238 forum posts
353 photos

As I stated the other day, I am very pleased that Neil wasn't affected.

I have been very badly affected by 'Storm Dennis' here in South Wales, and have been unable to get buildings insurance for flood or river damage for the past 3 years. I have had to use a specialist company who will insure homes close to a river, but with exemptions for flood or river damage on the policy.

3 years ago my insurance company refused to provide further buildings insurance at all, simply due to a postcode check of the proximity of my home to the River Sirhowy, and my stating the house was within 30 metres of the river, despite no history of flooding whatsoever and the river, apart from last weekend, being 12 feet below the level of the back garden normally.

I used to live on the Isle of Wight where large parts of the Isle of Wight are not covered for subsidence in buildings insurance, if you can get it at all.



Ady121/02/2020 00:05:20
4282 forum posts
641 photos

I would agree with the phone video idea

Do your entire house and all your garage space

If I was sooper efficient I would video in my boxes and cupboards too

David George 121/02/2020 09:05:30
1521 forum posts
472 photos

I worked in a factory where we used to do spark erosion and some jobs would take days running 24 hours. The machines had built in fire suppression ie a CO2 extinguisher which was supposed to put out any heat and flood the tank . Also on the latest machine there was a camera to watch for bad arcing and flames but it failed and caused a fire in the 800 liter tank of cerosine which burnt down a section of the factory. We were insured and the insurance company claimed from the machine manufacturer for all the damage from fire, smoke damage and from steam from squirting loads of water on to put out the factory fire by the fire brigade. The rust damage was every where, and personal tools were replaced, micrometers, parallels, slip guages etc as well as the machine beds and current jobs rusting. The insurance company payed for everything and also payed us to clean all machinery to get us back in production they even paid our customers who had down time because of us being unable to deliver on time. At one time there was a factoty line shut down waiting for a part made from a tool we were refubishing at the time which was mirror finnished for a reflector on a headlight gone totaly red rusty.


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