Wide area flooding as seen in Carlisle, Hull and Cockermouth have raised questions regarding the response by contractors and claim managers. Typically caravans used as temporary accommodation in Hull were habitated for over 12 months while homes were dried. The cost of individual restoration was found to vary by tens of thousands of pounds with timelines to repair varying in the same street from weeks to over a year.
The results were not surprising as the UK like many EU members have no flood restoration guidelines or standards and decisions as to restore or rip out are often left to contractors with little or no training or guidance. This situation culminated with the UK government publishing the “Pitt Report” in 2008 which unfortunately amongst its findings remarked, “Nobody appears to know what’s going on and the industry needs to get its act together”
With many training courses for flood restoration being written by equipment manufactures it may be of no surprise that independent logic might provide more economic and faster solutions to restoration and repair. The ISSE has through its special interest groups developed new training which surprisingly avoids the use of dehumidifiers and promotes the use of physics and common sense.
ISSE members can provide independent flood damage assessments and write restoration protocols for contractors to follow. Diagnostic surveying can monitor and evaluate the restoration process and ensure the dynamics of drying are followed. Accurate and continuing measurement is seen as a key to promoting best practice and records of the drying phase are essential as is a decision log where risk and cost-benefit issues are recorded for action substantiation
The ISSE provides group discussions to evaluate new and emerging technologies which can reduce damage and speed restoration. Training schemes are available to members in the various techniques and technologies including the emergence of nanotechnologies and speed drying.