Repairing flooded buildings. An insurance industry guide to investigation and repair. Flood Repairs Forum

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1 Repairing flooded buildings An insurance industry guide to investigation and repair Flood Repairs Forum

2 Repairing flooded buildings An insurance industry guide to investigation and repair

3 Demelza House Demelza is a charity providing hospice care for children with life-limiting conditions and their families across Kent, East Sussex and south London. Our services include hospice-at-home care, hospice care, planned short breaks, emergency respite, therapies, symptom control, end-of-life care, and bereavement support. These services are currently provided through: Demelza House, an eight-bedded hospice in Sittingbourne, Kent Demelza James, the hospice-at-home service operating in west Kent, East Sussex and south London. We care for approximately 400 children and families in our catchment area, with about 300 using the services at Demelza House and about 100 using the Demelza James hospice-at-home service. Demelza s annual running costs are approximately 3.5million. We do not receive any government funding and rely 100% on fundraising to run our services. Our main cost is direct care for the children and families to whom 78% of our income is devoted. Fundraising and volunteers absorb 20% and just 2% goes on administration. In other words, of every 1 donated 78p goes directly to caring for children and their families. We would like to thank you, the reader, for buying this book and so supporting Demelza. We also thank the authors for their generosity in donating their royalties from the sale of this book to help our children and their families. Ted Gladdish CEO Demelza Hospice Care for Children

4 Repairing flooded buildings An insurance industry guide to investigation and repair Flood Repairs Forum

5 Details of all publications from BRE Press are available from: Website: or IHS Rapidoc (BRE Press) Willoughby Road Bracknell RG12 8DW Tel: Fax: Published by BRE Press Requests to copy any part of this publication should be made to: BRE Press Garston Watford WD25 9XX Tel: Fax: EP 69 Flood Repairs Forum 2006 First published 2006 ISBN The contents of this book reflect the knowledge and experience of individual and corporate contributors. However, the authors and their sources, and the publishers, take no responsibility for the subsequent use of the information, nor for any errors or omissions, it may contain. Cover picture: Flooding in the City of York, November 2000 (Courtesy of BDMA/One Call)

6 v Contents Foreword Members of the Flood Repairs Forum Abbreviations 1 Introduction 1 vii vii 2 Technical competence of the remediation team 3 Complex building types 4 3 Managing the customer contact process 5 Policyholder contact a staged approach 6 Frequently asked questions 10 4 Damage reporting and collecting the right information 13 5 Ageneral guide to drying 19 Minimum drying standards 20 Primary and secondary damage 21 Triage, clearance and cleaning 22 6 Health and safety in flood damage repair 23 Primary legal standards applicable 23 Overall recommendations for flood repairs 25 7 Equipment for drying buildings 45 Types of dehumidifier 45 Refrigerant dehumidifiers 46 Desiccant dehumidifiers 46 Convection drying 47 viii

7 vi 8 Methods of drying buildings 49 Establishing a drying programme 49 Key factors in the drying process 51 Importance of monitoring 52 High temperatures 52 Vulnerable materials 52 Common problems 52 9 Monitoring the drying process 53 Monitoring equipment 53 Certificate of drying 54 Report of flooding event 56 Report of repairs to flood damaged property Standards for repairing flooded buildings Domestic insurance cover 73 The insurance contract 74 The policy excess 74 Policy conditions and exclusions 75 Prompt notification 75 Non-disclosure 76 Sum insured 76 Maintenance and repair 77 Flood resilient repairs Small businesses 79 Freehold, leasehold and tenancy issues 80 Scope of commercial insurance policies 81 Claims process Identifying and managing the flooding risk at a property 83 Susceptibility of contents and equipment 84 Susceptibility of buildings and fittings 85 Risk surveys 86 Flood event procedures 90 Using flood protection products a guide for purchasers Flood protection and flood mitigation products 93 Existing standards 94 Other types of flood protection products 96 Underwriting and risk 97 References and useful websites and other sources of information 99

8 vii Foreword Members of the Flood Repairs Forum British Damage Management Association Capita Insurance Services Tony Boobier Crawford and Company Adjusters UK Nick Clark Cunningham Lindsey United Kingdom Richard Ayton-Robinson Lloyds TSB Insurance Ian Jones Munters Ltd Alistair Phillips David Clifton Norwich Union (Aviva Plc) John Wickham Royal & Sun Alliance Plc Diana Blaskett University of Wolverhampton Professor David Proverbs Victor Samwinga When this guide was originally conceived in 2003, the intention was to fill a gap in the marketplace by putting all relevant knowledge held by the insurance and construction industries into a single document for those involved with the problem or risk of flooding of property. Overlying this new approach to dealing with flooding is the significant problem of global warming. Whether or not projected rising sea levels are realised, it is reasonable to suppose that global warming will lead to unusual weather patterns and, in turn, greater incidence of flash flooding. Other, often man-made, phenomena increase the likelihood of flooding rising water tables in some parts of the UK, for instance. Against this background, we the individual members of the Flood Repairs Forum representing organisations in insurance, investigation, loss adjusting, and construction and repair have shared our knowledge and experience to raise awareness of the key issues involved with flooding; and, out of this, to suggest best practice. Through better understanding of the issues we are confident that the service provided by the professional person, working with the homeowner or tenant to repair, mitigate and prevent flood damage, will lead to higher standards in repairing damage caused by flooding. Over time we believe that the Forum s collective experience will provide improvements in the ways that we deal with flooding. So if this proves to be only the first edition of many, we will know, in some part, that Repairing flooded buildings will have achieved its purpose. Our appreciation for the help in preparing this book goes to the British Damage Management Association, and the many unnamed individuals and organisations who gave us their time, all at no cost, in providing contributions, advice and support. Tony Boobier for the Flood Repairs Forum

9 viii Abbreviations ABI BDMA BSI CCTV CDM CILA CIRIA CORGI COSHH EA FPA HIP MDF N/A NHBC NICEIC PAS PAT PPE PVC-U RICS Association of British Insurers British Damage Management Association British Standards Institution controlled circuit television Construction (Design and Management) [Regulations] Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters Construction Industry Research and Information Association Council for Registered Gas Installers Control of Substances Hazardous to Health [Regulations] Environment Agency Flood Protection Association Home Information Pack medium density fibreboard not applicable National House-Building Council National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting Publicly Available Specification portable appliance testing personal protective equipment unplasticised polyvinyl chloride Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

10 1 Chapter 1 Introduction Flooding is an issue that is likely to affect both home occupiers owners and tenants and the insurance industry for the foreseeable future. It causes distress to property owners and occupants, and the technical difficulties associated with the repair process can test experts to the limit. The background to this guide arises from the recognition that organisations in the insurance and construction industries can jointly offer solutions which bring together the main parties to restore insured property to its condition before the flooding event. Since flooding invariably involves more than one property, this joint industry approach often means involving all parties for all affected properties working together to produce mutually satisfactory results. The River Severn floods parts of Upton-upon-Severn several times each year

11 2 Introduction It is with this in mind that a group of like-minded professionals started to work together to create a manual of best practice aimed specifically, although not exclusively, at the insurance industry, professionals within that industry, and linked industries such as mortgage lending. It is not entirely intended as being a stand alone document indeed there is already a great amount of data and information available elsewhere but hopefully it will provide a useful reference document if used in isolation. The flow of the contents of the guide take the reader through the sequence of events in a flood claim from inspection, through the drying process, to the recommendation of flood resistant repairs. In addition it assists those who are perhaps less experienced in flood repairs to understand some of the basic insurance and technical issues involved, and some elemental requirements of customer care recognising that inadequate communication and management of expectation rests at the heart of many of the difficulties that occur. For the avoidance of doubt, this guide is concerned with large bodies of water not the effects of small or isolated events such as in the case of a burst water tank, although it is entirely feasible that some of the considerations that apply to large events would also apply to small scale flooding. The insurance and repair of flood damaged buildings is complex but Repairing flooded buildings attempts to simplify and apply logical organisation to these areas.

12 99 References and useful websites and other sources of information [1] Proverbs D and Soetanto R. Flood damaged property. Publication X178. London, Construction Industry Research and Information Association, 2004 [2] Trotman P, Sanders C and Harrison H. Understanding dampness. BRE Report BR 466. Garston, BRE Press, 2004 [3] Dill M J. A review of testing for moisture in materials. Publication C538. London, Construction Industry Research and Information Association, 2000 [4] English Heritage. Flooding and historic buildings. Technical Advice Note (Product Code 50776). Swindon, EH, 2004 [5] Floods and historic buildings. Proceedings of the Joint Conference of English Heritage and Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough Council, 27 March 2001 [6] Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions. Preparing for floods. London, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, [7] Association of British Insurers. Assessment of the cost and effect on future claims of installing flood damage resistant measures. London, ABI, 2003 [8] British Standards Institution. Flood protection products. Specification. Building apertures. Publicly Available Specification PAS :2003. London, BSI, 2003 [9] British Standards Institution. Flood protection products. Specification. Temporary and demountable products. Publicly Available Specification PAS :2003. London, BSI, 2003 [10] British Standards Institution. Flood protection products. Specification. Building skirt systems. Publicly Available Specification PAS :2003. London, BSI, 2003

13 100 References and useful websites Websites and other sources of information Association of British Insurers British Disaster Management Association Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters Construction Industry Research and Information Association Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Environment Agency Environment Agency s Flood Warning Service tel Environment Agency s Floodline tel English Heritage Flood Protection Association Health and Safety Executive HSE Infoline Institute of Public Loss Assessors Office of the Deputy Prime Minister Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

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