News story

Government publishes report on drying out flooded houses

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

A report into the drying out of houses to help people get back in to their homes more quickly has been published.

The report has been urgently published by Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles and it is hoped that this will help to provide advice to the people in Cornwall who have just experienced flooding of their homes.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said:

The recent floods in Cornwall have been terrible for many people and families who have had to leave their homes. The government wants to do everything possible to help people get back into their homes as quickly as possible.

Issues such as a shortage of competent damage management contractors including specialist drying firms are key to re-occupation when there has been widespread flooding.

The research report identifies the stages of the drying process and finds that:

  • there is much guidance freely available on the drying of flooded buildings
  • the issues that need to be considered include health issues for both workmen and residents
  • drying times vary from 3 weeks to over a year and are affected by the building’s construction materials, the ambient atmosphere as well as the type of drying method chosen
  • it must be recognised that each property needs to be considered on an individual basis and that it is not a case of a ‘1 size fits all’ solution
  • local authorities also have a significant role either because they are the property owner, or in the case of private dwellings through their inspection function
  • there may be a need for better communication between the various organisations and the householder

The research was carried out for the government by a consortium of the Construction Industry Research and Information Association, the University of Wolverhampton, and HR Wallingford researchers. The report was commissioned following summer floods of 2007 and subsequent Pitt Review.