Weather in the UK is veering towards being wetter and over 5 million homes are now designated as being at risk of flooding. That's almost 17% of residences.
Historically, roughly 25% of flooding has occurred in areas not previously to have been thought of as 'at risk'. This tells us that we can't be complacent on the grounds that someone, somewhere, has decided that we don't have anything to worry about.
The Spending Cuts Impact
While it's true that the circumstances that led to the calamitous flooding across much of Cumbria were exceptional it can also be said that many of those affected have become victims to government limitations on spending. The £38M spent on flood defences in 2010, designed to protect about 3,000 homes and businesses in Carlisle, was clearly insufficient. Although the defences held, they were overrun by the sheer volume of water.
Solutions Need to be Worst Case not Best Case
Part of the problem seems to be the application of historic data when approaching the design, whereas 'worst-case' prediction would be more appropriate. We already know that sea level in the English channel is 12cm higher now than it was in 1900 and the reasonable prediction is that it will rise an additional 3cm every 10 years for the foreseeable future.
The world's climate is changing and becoming more unpredictable, so perhaps it's time to consider changing the way we build in flood-endangered areas to create homes and business premises that can be made fit for use quickly after the water has receded.
Lessons from Venice
One place that is repeatedly subjected to flooding is Venice. During Acqua Alta (High Water) it's not uncommon for 40% of the city to be under water. In 1966 a tidal rise of 194cm placed all of Venice under water to various depths. After the water recedes out come the mops and brushes for a cleanup and life continues as it did before. Acqua Alta may be anywhere between a few centimetres deep across St Mark's Square to over 50cm and sometimes, although exceptional, deeper still.
Carpet Upstairs Tiles Downstairs
The Venetians have always known that having ground floors made from wood isn't a viable option and carpets are reserved for higher floors. Ground floors are for tile with rugs to add some softness. Replacing a rug is a relatively small matter, although so is moving rugs to higher floors for protection.
Protect and Save
The cynics may say this blog is just self-interest at a time of misery for tens of thousands of people, but we know it's time to remind people that, at a time when government and insurers seem to be offering little or no practical assistance, they need to prepare for the future, consider how best to protect their homes and how they might enable their lives to return to normal more quickly after the next inevitable episode of flooding.
Tiles Make Sense
If you really want to walk away from carpets and wood and replace them with something more durable, we're happy to help you make the decision easier by introducing the purchase code Preserve15 which is an offer of 15% off your purchase of porcelain flooring. All porcelain tiles are waterproof and so is the adhesive and the grout we supply. Water on porcelain will just have no impact at all. With a good quality adhesive and properly installed, it's flood proof.
Make a change, make a difference.