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Flood protection

Flood protection house and workshop.

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mick H15/12/2013 15:38:39
772 forum posts
28 photos

I live in Boston which you may have heard has had some recent problems with the North Sea surge. This has had the effect of concentrating the mind on protection measures. The simplest flood protection seems to be based on a timber subframe around the door into which is slotted a substantial sheet of ply. The whole lot is then sealed with silicone. Nasty stuff to remove from brickwork however.

My question is, is there a material that can be placed between the timber subframe and the brickwork which when the subframe is screwed tight to the wall will give a watertight seal? I am thinking along the lines of a dense foam or something of that nature. Any ideas would be welcomed.


MichaelR15/12/2013 15:59:05
478 forum posts
78 photos

A search on the Web should bring up suitable products see Here

Speedy Builder515/12/2013 16:05:49
2654 forum posts
219 photos

I used to be one of the computer managers at Geest Foods Spalding. When I was developing our disaster recovery plan I suggested building the computer room in a portacabin located on a floating deck - laughed out of court - I wonder who is laughing now !!!! If you thought you were liable to flooding and you had a blank sheet of paper, I would build my workshop on top of a 12" block of polystyrene or something. Superb insulation . When a flood comes - You have great difficulty in keeping water out. Your best bet is to try and keep it out and provide a sump and pump to drain off the water that leaks in, but it is only as good as the power supply (12 volt batteries and a bilge pump ??)



peter walton15/12/2013 16:06:02
84 forum posts

Your biggest problem is any air bricks and then the waste water system. If the surge is of ant depth it will come up the loo.

To my mind you will need a motorised water pump to remove any water that does get in. The next problem is how quickly the water level will go down.

Personally I would just hope the next surge is 100 year's away.


Rik Shaw15/12/2013 17:20:42
1484 forum posts
398 photos

Our house was flooded last summer by a poorly maintained brook adjacent to the property. Following the flood, I was chatting to my builder neighbour about the commercially fitted slot-in door flood defence panels - the ones that are just 2-3 foot high - and his advice was don't bother.

He explained to me that our houses which were built in the early 'fifties were built on land where a number of fresh water springs bubbled up and that the foundations took a few years to settle properly. He has to be right because if I go into our dining room and place a golf ball in the middle of the laminate flooring it rolls - quite fast - to one corner of the room. I measured the fall soon after the flood and found a 2" difference between the centre of the room and the corner, a distance of approx. 9'. The original oversight I am sure would not have been this far out of level.

So, as Paul my builder neighbour further advised, "You can have these panels fitted and also fit the vulnerable low level airbrick panels as well but you can bet your posterior dollar (better not put "b*tt*m as it might offend!) that if there is another similar flood the water will find a way up through the footings or the downstairs lavvy regardless, you will be flooded again and your spend will have been in vain.

The panels therefore would be OK for some I expect but ineffective for others.



............and before anyone asks - yes the house does creak at night.

mick H15/12/2013 18:59:36
772 forum posts
28 photos

The main thing that I want to protect against is the initial surge of the tide which is of relatively short duration and which recedes relatively quickly. The presence of any significant longer term water is going to present problems that a plywood barrier is not going to solve. There are fairly simple ways to protect air bricks and to "bung" the foul water system to prevent flow back into the house.


martin perman15/12/2013 19:32:29
2058 forum posts
86 photos


A friend of mine lives on the banks of the River Avon in a house built by the Bristol River Authority, the house was built a a signal house on the high side of the river bend to control stop go signals either side of the bend so it could stop ships from colliding in the tight bend, the area was known for its flooding of the river banks so the house is built on a brick base about four feet above the ground and around the house is a Bunded wall approx three foot high with a steel gate which seals with the wall through rubber seals and is locked into place with clamps, all of the drainage etc is high up as well, my friend has never had to test the defence but the river authority obviously thought it necessary to build it that way.


Martin P

Edited By martin perman on 15/12/2013 19:33:09

John Olsen16/12/2013 05:40:48
1256 forum posts
94 photos
1 articles

Not too far from where I live in Auckland NZ there is a cable station, which houses the terminal equipment for some of the submarine cables linking NZ to the outside world. Going back a few years, there was a flood there that was deep enough to flood the floors of the cable station...I am not sure how much damage was done, but such cables are usually fed with DC power at a few thousand volts and a few hundred milliamps, so the potential for a bit of damage is certainly there. Anyway, the response of the Post Office was to build a berm around the station about three feet high. So the next time a flood occurred, it overtopped the berm, and instead of draining away quite quickly, the water was confined inside the berm.


Gordon W16/12/2013 10:24:46
2011 forum posts

I live on a hill now, any flooding and all of you will be camping here. Once bought a derelict water mill house. Around the door frame , red sandstone, were several large metal studs which we where going to cut off, but later found several oak boards about 3" thick, obviously to bolt to the studs, about 100 yrs. old. one day the river flooded and the planks worked. Trouble was the toilet was in the cellar. When building was finished a sand bag kept handy to drop in the inspection pit. Several floods later no real damage done, but these only worked short time.

Oompa Lumpa16/12/2013 12:03:17
888 forum posts
36 photos

I spent a good few years at sea (still am some days) and I have the utmost respect for water so consequently I have always bought a house well above any flood level.

I am reminded tough of the time when Stockton Borough Council installed the "floodgates" around the Village of Yarm in Cleveland. My uncle (a very fine engineer) and I looked on somewhat bemused as the gates opened with the flow, so at the first sign of flooding, they all opened?

Shortly thereafter the Council workmen were found taking the gates off and reversing them so any water would push against, making them really watertight. Begs the question as to who is in charge there.

In answer to the OP's original question though I would just get some very dense foam and stick it along the edges, as the water pushes it will tighten the seal. Do not underestimate the power of water. Or of Wind and Fire either, two other real adversaries, especially on board a small vessel in a major storm.


mick H16/12/2013 12:17:01
772 forum posts
28 photos

Thank you to everyone who has responded. I have made enquiry of the company highlighted by Stick but I received a cursory reply to the effect that they only supply factories. So I am still looking for an appropriate sealing tape.


speelwerk16/12/2013 12:28:43
447 forum posts
2 photos

In the past (and perhaps still) doors in dykes were sealed with horse manure to make them water tied, perhaps it’s a bit smelly but easy to remove. Niko.

Springbok16/12/2013 14:20:09
879 forum posts
34 photos

Going up the Amazon all the houses were on stilts, so a quantity of blocks say a foot above ground would let the water through without comprimising the shed. They are simple but wonderfull people, money has no use to them we bartered with diesel etc; for food and shelter.

mick H16/12/2013 16:38:28
772 forum posts
28 photos

Try an engineering approach and use compressible seals .

Thanks Mike, that is just what I was after. I have emailed a seal company which has round and half round expanded neoprene which I think might do the trick. As well as providing a watertight seal it is also important to me to try and preserve the appearance of the brickwork as far as possible should it be necessary to use the protection barrier. It would therefore have to be a soft seal which , under pressure of the fixing screws would conform to the brick/mortar texture. Mind you, if push came to shove then out would come the silicone, horse muck and anything else to hand. The last big surge prior to the recent one was in 1953 so it is not an everyday occurrence but........?


Gordon W16/12/2013 16:38:46
2011 forum posts

Forgot to mention- for sealing use hollow rubber seals as used on car doors etc.

Rik Shaw16/12/2013 16:51:00
1484 forum posts
398 photos

To all those who live on high ground / hills. If you think you are safe from flooding don't bet on it. As I said earlier on in this thread we were flooded last year. Three days after the flood we had a visit from our appointed insurance assessor - a really nice chap. While I chatted to him I remarked that I wished we lived on a hill. He responded by reeling of numerous accounts of flooding that had occurred on high ground / hills where he had been the assessor and finished "no one is safe from flooding"!>>

Just one more thing, the elderly couple two doors from us who were also flooded at the same time also had the same insurance company but a different assessor. Whereas our assessor was a "diamond" theirs was a different bloke who proved to be an absolute (insert your nastiest at this point). The poor woman nearly had a nervous breakdown.>>

If any one is interested in learning which insurance company looked after us and got us back to normal with no arguments whatsoever, PM me and I would be happy to respond. >>

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