Poor quality hardware in spotlight
Flood door manufacturers and installers have been advised by Rapierstar to seek specialist guidance on the types of fasteners being used following a recent BBC news report that highlighted numerous failures in flood doors installed as part of the Cumbrian flood resilience scheme.
Flood doors are rapidly establishing themselves as a crucial product for making UK homes more flood resilient, in line with government strategy to cope with the increasing risks of flooding as a result of new building developments on flood plains and sea level rises.
However, flood doors must be able to perform in the long term and, given the particularly challenging conditions the doors have to withstand, the quality of components, materials and installation methods must be flawless, Rapierstar said.
While a number of the issues in the Cumbrian flood resilience scheme, implemented following the devastating Storm Desmond in 2015, relate to locking mechanisms, the potential for fasteners to cause the failure of a flood door is high unless austenitic stainless steel is used, which offers the highest level of resistance to corrosion throughout a door’s service life of more than 20 years.
David Furness, MD of Rapierstar, said: “The flood door market offers excellent opportunities for growth when you consider that 5.2 million homes are considered ‘at risk’ of flooding in England alone, according to the Environment Agency. With so much potential, and significant investment already by a number of systems manufacturers and fabricators, we have to ensure there are no weaknesses that could mean a flood door fails to deliver on its promise – and that requires scrutiny of every component.
“Because the fasteners are the smallest components, it’s easy to take them for granted. But with flood doors being exposed to the harshest of environments, especially in areas with regular flood events, it’s vital that the most durable fasteners are used to avoid handles, hinges, locking systems and other hardware becoming loose or detached. This will help to minimise the risk of remedial work being necessary and protect the reputation of the flood door concept and their suppliers.”