It’s national Flood Action Week 2022 this week and it’s worth remembering that flooding happens inside too.
When people think of flooding they naturally think of bad weather such as cloudbursts, torrential rain or burst water mains sending water cascading into homes and businesses.
But some of the worst and most damaging floods happen completely inside from fractured pipes, broken boilers or damaged radiators.
These drips, leaks and floods can happen at anytime so it’s vital to always be prepared with something that’s handy to use yet inexpensive.
Also be aware that most insurance companies have a high excess on any flood-related damage, usually far higher than your normal insurance excess, so you're likely going to have to foot the bill unless the damage is way over £500.
What’s worse is that internal floods usually happen in some of the most inaccessible or hardest-to-reach places such as beneath pipes, underneath sinks or below boilers.
You simply can’t get a bucket or tub in there to catch the water which is why a lot of people now keep a pack of FloodSax … including many plumbers.
FloodSax (www.floodsax.co.uk) are alternative sandbags – simply immerse them in water and their gelling polymer absorbs and retains it to transform the FloodSax into an instant sandbag.
But in their dry state they are very flat with a large surface area so you can get them into the toughest spots – even under floorboards – to absorb the water until a plumber can get there to repair the problem.
Facilities managers use them in commercial buildings to deal with leaking roofs, pipes and radiators.
FloodSax are also an early warning system for drips and leaks that could worsen to become a major flooding problem causing potentially tens of thousands of pounds damage. If you suspect a leak or drip then pop a FloodSax underneath it and leave it for a day or two.
They are white so if there is a slight leak the tell-tale signs of a watermark on the FloodSax or the FloodSax itself slightly rising would indicate there is a problem that needs sorting.
FloodSax case studies showing how they deal with internal floods
This helped a plumber stop thousands of pounds damage at a house he was working on. James Lucks from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire was called to a house where a toilet was leaking from a corroded old lead pipe. He put FloodSax around the toilet and across the bathroom floor just in case the leak worsened … and it did in a massive way.
For the seal suddenly gave way, sending gallons of water gushing across the bathroom floor.
James said: “The FloodSax not only saved the day but the customer an awful lot of money in damage. The FloodSax soaked the water up which meant it didn’t penetrate the floor and leak through to the ceiling below. If the water had gone straight onto the floor it would have been a ceiling breaker for sure.”
FloodSax are now used by facilities management companies worldwide to deal with large scale spills inside buildings and several were deployed to stop a major flood inside a hospital in the USA which saved thousands of dollars in damage.
In Belgium, a row of FloodSax were placed around a faulty air conditioning system on the roof of a radio station’s building which prevented water getting in and seeping through ceilings which would have caused a colossal amount of damage.
When it comes to protecting homes, Christine Butler from Gloucestershire has ‘flood-proofed’ her flat with FloodSax after a leak from a neighbouring flat badly damaged her ceiling. She has slipped FloodSax beneath anywhere there are pipes or appliances that could cause a leak such as the bath, boiler and under the kitchen sink.
Christine said: “I’ve popped a FloodSax under any place in the flat where there could be a potential leak in the future. Once you have a leak which causes damage it’s such a hassle sorting out all the insurance which is why it’s best to prevent it in the first place.
“It also means that if water leaked into my flat from neighbouring flats the FloodSax would soak it up and minimise the damage.”
Christine added: “The FloodSax is like an early warning system which gives people valuable time to sort a plumber out before it deteriorates and that’s why I have them under anywhere which could cause a flooding problem.”
An 80-year lady in Wales, Anne, uses FloodSax to soak up water bubbling into her cottage from a spring running beneath it … and she also uses FloodSax as sandless sandbags to stop water getting in from a river that overflows next to her home along with water that cascades down a mountain.
Anne said: “I just couldn’t lift sandbags as they are way too heavy. I put FloodSax against the steps in the hallway and by the door to soak up any floodwater so they don’t usually fully expand before I move them which makes them so manageable. I even pop one over the drain in the downstairs shower room in case water backs up through there.”
* If you have used FloodSax inside your home or business then please let us know what you used them for and how well they worked for you email email@example.com