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Government publishes report on drying out flooded houses

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 three 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 ‘one 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; and
•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. The report Guidance and standards for drying flood damaged buildings is published on the Department for Communities and Local Government website


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