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Researchers review how floors deal with floods

The British Research Establishment (BRE) is experimenting with new materials that could help homes be more resilient to flooding, and quickly recover from flood damage.

There have been a number of floods over the past few years that have severely damaged houses, and there are estimated to be 5.2m homes vulnerable to river or ocean flooding. The BRE is are looking at the materials used in houses and which ones can help houses be resilient to flooding, and quick recovery from floods should they occur. The research is co-funded by the insurance group AXA.

BRE is fitting a terraced house in its research centre in Watford with various floor coverings, and is also using floor membranes able to channel water to sumps and drains so that the water runs off the floor quickly. The house is then deliberately flooded with water to test and monitor how much damage the floor receives, and how quickly it can be dried out.

The chief executive of AXA UK, Amanda Blanc, said:

“As the country faces the prospect of more severe weather striking more often, government, insurers and society need to work together to ensure that our homes and businesses are protected against the worst effects of flooding.”

When it comes to fitting a new solid floor, Liverpool, Wirral and North Wales homeowners should remember that some parts of their area are prone to flooding. For them, the BRE research should reveal the best floor construction techniques and covering to protect their home from flooding.

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