City of York Flood Events 2000, 2007, 2012 & 2015
October 24th, 2018
Nearly two years after the devastating floods in York, Dryfix are still surveying properties for reported flood damage.
Over the Christmas period of 2015/2016 the City of York suffered extensive flooding due to weeks of torrential rain and failing of the River Foss barrier, resulting in over 300 home owners requiring evacuation and up to 3,500 properties at risk of flooding.
The 2015 floods saw charities, communities, friends and families all unite to rescue those at risk, a spirit the city has exercised from its history of flood events in more recent years 2000, 2007 and 2012.
The floods in York happened within days of other devastating flood events in Greater Manchester and Cumbria leaving emergency services, resources and specialist assistance throughout the country over stretched.
As a local company Dryfix did everything possible to help those most at need. Our team donated their time and expertise working around the clock, however, as with most specialist businesses within the flood and restoration industry we became quickly overwhelmed with enquires.
If you’ve ever suffered from a flood event, you’ll be familiar with the devastation flood water leaves within its path, many victims relate feelings similar to burglary, although, often this is accompanied with irreversible damage to personal belongings, devastating damage to the home and usually long recovery times. The effects of a flood event can physically last for many months and mentally years.
After the flood event, Local councils made grants available for up-to £5000.00 (Inc VAT) for any home owner who had been affected by the flood. The purpose of these grants was for flood resilience improvements to individual properties based on advice provided within PLR Reports (Property Level Resistance) Reports.
Here’s where some of the problems started. Finding a suitably qualified surveyor to produce a well considered PLR report is difficult, as there aren’t many of us around. Whilst we produced as many as humanly possible, hundreds of York homeowners were left without our specialist advice. During this period our office was handed dozens of two page documents from homeowners who had paid up to £500.00 for these so called PLR reports. Often the reports were standardised, simple adaptations from similar properties with very poor, ill-considered advice. This unfortunately led to many homeowners spending thousands of pounds on unnecessary and ineffective flood resilience repairs.
Many properties affected by the floods had also had repairs undertaken historically with regards to flood protection and dampness which were commonly overlooked. As such when many insurers authorised hundreds of properties to be stripped after the flood event, many of these repairs were unknowingly damaged or removed altogether by their contractors.
In a flood or water damage event the insurers will normally settle the claim for the damaged caused by the event but will not pay for the event itself, important to know in the event of a burst pipe or escape of water situation. Neither will the insurers contribute to betterment i.e. improvements to the property from its former condition.
One of the main problems is often the condition of the property prior to the flood event is unknown. Pre-existing issues with dampness are often unreported as the homeowner assumes these may be dealt with unknowingly by the insurers during the flood repair. Alternatively, repairs undertaken prior to the flood in respect of damp or water proofing are often damaged during the strip out phase. The contractors often unaware unintentionally damage this protection leading to issues returning many months after the flooded property has been restored.
Obviously both the above situations often lead to a reported defect many months after restoration, suggesting the insurers failed to effectively dry the property after the flood event. This inevitably leads to a dissatisfied homeowner and the likelihood of further investigative reports to ascertain the causation and liability, if any.
The above scenario can however be easily avoided by both parties with a professional survey after the flood event and prior to repair. Not just a PLR survey but a survey that considers the method of construction, previous works and likelihood of problems occurring due to poorly designed specifications for repair. This type of survey would be of benefit to both the homeowner and the insurers admitting where potential defects and liabilities lie prior to commencement. This is where Dryfix can help.
Since the most recent flood events of 2015 Dryfix have surveyed many properties within the city affected by the flood for failed drying / reported dampness in the wake of the insurers restoration programme. Some of the earlier reports were due to the absence of effective drying, a failure to dry properly or identify elements of a structure which were clearly incapable of being dried such as earth retaining walls. Two years on however, this is unlikely and many of our more recent reports have been attributed to disturbed damp repairs during renovation or the complete absence of damp protection, thus most likely pre-existing issues which are returning.
The re-occurrence of these problems’ costs both homeowners and insurers thousands of pounds in litigation and further diagnostic surveys, yet a specialist survey at the time by Dryfix would have been sufficient to identify the likelihood of any pre-existing issues or identify any protective measures prior which were likely to have been disturbed.
Dryfix are Yorkshires Leading Damp and Timber Specialists, with fully qualified remedial and water damage restoration surveyors we have the experience and expertise to help. We are full members of the (PCA) Property Care Association and (IICRC) The institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification with a proven track record throughout Yorkshire for effective drying, restoration and remedial repair.
Dryfix Preservation Ltd are an 4 x Industry Award Winning Company
Winners at the Property Care Assocation Award 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2018
A local company setting National Standards!