Facing a rising tide

Installers looking for a new revenue stream could do well by considering flood defence doors, says Kevin Kiernan, national sales manager at Bowater by Birtley.

The Royal Institute of British Architects said 1.7 million homes and 130,000 commercial properties in England alone are at risk from river or coastal flooding. With most flooding occurring in the winter, now is the time that many home and business owners begin to think about what they can do to reduce the risk.

Even the government’s own figures show that there are nearly two million properties in floodplains alongside rivers, estuaries and coasts in the UK that are potentially at risk of river or coastal flooding. A further “80,000 properties are at risk in towns and cities from flooding caused by heavy downpours that overwhelm urban drains”.

With the average domestic flood claim pay out rising to around £50,000, according to the Association of British Insurers, many insurers are now reluctant to provide cover for homeowners in areas at high risk of flooding, while the remaining ones have raised their premiums substantially. That is an issue for both developers and homebuyers.

Against that background, any steps that people can take is going to mean they are better prepared for the next flood. Choosing the right product isn’t always easy, although when it comes to a flood defence door, the starting point is to make sure it has been tested to PAS 1188-1:2014, the UK standard for flood protection products.

If you do this, adding a flood defence door to your product offer can open up a number of new opportunities and make your overall proposition stand out from the rest. It also means your customers can benefit from a complete range of doors with no gaps and no compromise.

Apart from them being indistinguishable from our standard composite door – a great selling point for homeowners and developers looking to retain kerb appeal – composite flood defence doors are a permanent, discreet solution that requires no intervention by the occupier. That means, once the door is closed, it acts as a flood shield, preventing water from entering a property up to 600mm high.

Offering a PAS1188 flood door is a great way to gain initial interest and engagement with the customer, although ensuring the sale is converted still requires installers to have a range of options up their sleeve.

It’s one of the reasons why we made sure that PAS1188 Flood Shield door offered a number of key benefits, including a high security 16-point locking system across the lock, sill and hinge side.

Typically, around 80% of the energy in our homes is used for heating, with a significant proportion of this lost through poorly insulated entrance doors. Since 2010 all replacement windows and doors in the UK, with a few exceptions, must achieve a U-value of 1.8W/m²K or less. Our 68mm double rebated flood door has achieved a 0.8W/m²K, which can contribute to a new build property achieving zero carbon requirements.

We are one of a handful of companies in the UK that can offer a fully certified flood door tested to PAS1188. Flooding is a growing concern for many homeowners in the UK and potentially devastating for those affected, not only in terms of damage to life and property, but for insurance and resale ability, too. With a number of studies identifying millions of homes at risk there is a need for your customers to start future-proofing their properties now.