Can we talk about PFR?

Published: January 15, 2024

To me Property Flood Resilience #PFR is not just about ‘products’: PFR is holistic. 

  • It’s knowing your flood risk, signing up to #flood warnings, planning in advance what you’d do before flood waters arrive – for example where you’d put your car, pets, precious belongings and how you’d move your valuable ‘stuff’ out of harms way, as much as possible.
  • It’s minimising the impact by installing flood products, such as flood doors, barriers, self-closing airbricks, non- return valves, pumps etc, making sure the outside of a property is in good condition, as water will find its wicked way in anywhere. It is vital that it is installed correctly and that is why the industry code of practice is so important!
  • It’s looking at what you can do outside of your home, such as permeable or ‘green’ surfaces that can help to reduce surface water risk. 
  • It is also (very importantly) about installing materials that enable the property to recover sooner – such as a flood recoverable kitchen, hard flooring, flood recoverable plaster etc.

Doing all this can significantly reduce the amount of time a person is out of their homes after a flood and the reason I am a huge advocated of @FloodRe’s #BuildBackBetter scheme. 

I am very disappointed that some organisations are saying such things as ‘#PFR has failed’ or that it ‘doesn’t work’.  

Let me tell you about Karen, who was #flooded to a depth of 1.5m during storm Desmond — even her piano was upended by the flood water. She was out of her home for eight months and the insurance bill was £48k, (that was back in 2015 so that would be a lot more today!) After installing PFR (a barrier, waterproof plaster, flooring, and raising her flood sockets up above the flood level, planning what she’d do if she received a flood warning etc), when the river rose to a similar height more recently, she flooded again but to only 5cms. She was back home within 24-hours and didn’t make an insurance claim. That is not failure!

PFR is an important part of the overall ‘jigsaw’ of flood risk management. 

Floods are happening more regularly and are getting more extreme. We cannot keep building higher and higher walls along our riverbanks (although continued investment certainly is needed).  All flood defences may overtop one day. PFR is proven and I have many, many examples of successful PFR in practice up and down the country.

Natural flood management plays a large and important part but at the centre of that jigsaw, when all else fails, is property flood resilience!  



Copyright 2024, Mary Long-Dhonau