The hot weather on Tuesday, which saw records broken for the hottest day in September in some areas, broke down in spectacular fashion on Tuesday evening. Many parts of the country saw immense electrical storms and intense downpours which produced local flooding in some areas.
Prior to this, around a week ago, the Government came in for some criticism of it’s flood prevention plans, as focus turns towards Autumn and Winter and the increased risk of flooding across the UK. So it now seems appropriate that as the weather begins to deteriorate, flood proof windows and doors should be the centre of our attentions.
Priorities of a different kind
We all know this part of the year as “silly season”. That time of year when home owners who have put off replacing their windows and doors for as long as possible finally kick in to gear as they want them installed before Christmas. It happens every year and for some it becomes a major priority. Presumable because they want to show them off to other members of their family when they all come round for Christmas dinner.
However, there will be some home owners who will be rushing to have them installed as quickly as possible for other reasons. One of them being the high risk of floods in their area.
I am sure we all remember the devastating scenes only last Winter which saw bridges and buildings hundreds of years old swept away by raging torrents of water. And the endless number of streets where homes had flooded at the worst possible time of year. No one wants to see those scenes again.
But whilst we are ultimately unable to control mother nature, there are steps we can take to try and keep it at bay for as long as possible. Flood proof windows and doors, or storm proof depending on your terminology preference, needs to play a key role in the general plans.
Homes suitably protected
I have never been a fan of homes being built on flood plains. I have never understood the logic. Insurance premiums for those properties are sky high, or sometimes impossible to insure. You can almost guarantee that the homes built on flood plains will actually flood at some point.
But, if we’re going to continue to defy mother nature and build anyway, we really need to be putting up structures that can stand up to the forces of nature. Traditionally built homes are extremely susceptible to flooding. So for me, the way the homes are built needs to change. Whether that be by raising them from the ground so water can pass underneath. Or if homes are constructed with purpose-built flood basements which can drain away. And if those options are off the table, then at least try and protect the fabric of the building by installing flood proof windows and doors. These are becoming widely available on the market now and should be actively considered on all construction sites with even the smallest possibility of future flooding.
It’s not just new-builds where flood proof windows and doors should be being installed. There are places like York, the Somerset Levels and many other places where homes continue to be devastated by floods on a regular basis.
Insurance companies should not be replacing damaged windows and doors like-for-like, but helping to pay to upgrade them to flood proof products. This way, the home owner has at least a slightly increased chance of beating back the water, and in turn preventing the insurance company from having to pay out for yet more repairs.
What is clear going forward is that our climate is changing. It is becoming wetter, and more extreme. The UK’s infrastructure is not built to cope with such extreme conditions and the Government really needs to realise quickly that a few million quid here and there isn’t going to cut it. There needs to be urgent and radical spending on upgrading whole swathes of infrastructure, and flood proof windows and doors have to play a part in that plan.
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