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Floods and flooring – getting back to business 1 Nov, 2014

Floods and flooring don’t mix. Water can cause untold damage if it’s not dealt with quickly – not just to the fabric of the building, but in terms of disruption to business. Natalie Dowse, Marketing and Product Manager for Truvox International Limited, explains how air movers can aid the restoration process.

The UK has seen its fair share of floods over the past few years. In 2010, the Department for Communities and Government published, ‘Guidance and standards for drying flood damaged buildings’, in which it listed the most recent events. These included the Easter 1998 flood, which particularly affected the Midlands; the widespread winter 2000 floods; the January 2005 Carlisle flood, and the summer 2007 floods that caused major disruption in Yorkshire, Humberside and large areas of the Midlands and Southwest. Then there were the floods that caused such misery during winter 2013-2014, particularly for those in the south east and the Somerset Levels – which are still fresh in the memory.

In its publication, ‘Flood and Coastal Risk Management in England’, the Environment Agency listed the most common forms of floods in England as:

  • River flooding, which occurs when a watercourse cannot cope with the water draining into it from surrounding land
  • Coastal flooding is caused by a combination of high tides and stormy conditions
  • Surface water flooding is difficult to predict, as it occurs when heavy rainfall overwhelms the drainage capacity of the local area
  • Sewer flooding happens when sewers are overwhelmed by heavy rainfall or they become blocked
  • Groundwater flooding occurs when water levels in the ground rise above surface levels

Back to normality

Floods are not choosy in whom they affect – whether you are a business, school, hospital or shop – water ingress can cause serious damage. This can result in costly bills to put damage right, loss of earnings while restoration work is being carried out, and increased insurance premiums. Swift action is needed if businesses are to return to full functionality as soon as possible, and may also help to salvage carpets and other flooring, saving even more time and money.

Air movers can significantly reduce the drying time of carpets, walls and ceilings, and are ideal for use, not just after floods, but also when significant spillages have occurred, or extraction cleaning has been carried out. The best models provide high airflow for rapid drying, aiding air circulation and ventilation, and are easily portable via carry handles or built-in trollies.

Whole room dryers feature 360° directed air flow, allowing rooms to be dried without repositioning the dryer, with some models able to dry a typical office or room in as little as 15 minutes. Axial fans are the ‘top of the range’ providing high volume, high velocity airflow for the fastest possible drying. This makes them particularly effective for structural drying after floods or leaks.

When researching the best options, bear in mind that a few additional features exist on some models, which may help you make your choice. Certain air movers can incorporate carpet clamps, which enable air to be directed under the carpet, speeding up the drying of both the carpet and the underlying floor. Built-in kickstands that raise the airflow off the floor will also help for rapid drying of floor polishes, seals, paints and other coatings.

As we enter the winter months, the risk of flooding increases, so it is always best to be prepared. Should the worst happen to your premises, solutions are available to help get you back to business as quickly as possible.

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