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flood damage

  • The UK Locations Most At Risk of Flooding

    As global warming continues its march relatively unimpeded, sea levels and the incidence of tumultuous weather will continue to rise. And while many may assume that coastal regions of the UK are far and away the most susceptible to flooding, data collected by the Environment Agency actually shows that the network of rivers and tributaries that wind their way throughout Britain make inland areas just as vulnerable.

    Boston and Skegness

    It is however, a coastal region that is most in dangerous in terms of flooding. Boston and Skegness, both perched precariously on the Lincolnshire coast, are subject to frequent storm surges that plague that particular stretch of the east coast. When deep depressions track across the Atlantic Ocean (resulting in lower pressure and rising sea levels) winds push the surface waters forward as part of a process known as wind drift. When these depressions reach the North Sea, they are forced southwards. Because this water cannot escape through the Dover Strait, it accumulates in this region and causes sea levels to rise dangerously, afflicting the east coast in the process. Just earlier this month, over 3000 residents were forced to evacuate their homes in the face of warnings of gale force winds and high tides.

    Nottingham

    Nottingham is perhaps the most populous area that is perpetually under threat of sustaining damages from flooding. The city has been associated with flooding throughout its history, so much so that indentations marking the height of its historic floods have been engraved into Trent Bridge since 1852, and had been marked into the Hethbeth Bridge before it. The concern over flooding is so dire that £1 million of funds have been invested into flood defences to protect the Mapperley Park region of Nottingham. Everything from flood-resistant doors to storm gullies is under consideration.

    Vale of Clwyd

    The low-lying nature of the Vale of Clwyd puts it in jeopardy of regular flooding. The Welsh region owes this unenviable status not only to how low-lying it is, but also to its proximity to both the River Clwyd and the Irish Sea. Any time flash floods are forecast, more than 137,000 properties are at risk of being enveloped by water. The floods that devastated the region in 2012 are just one example of the area being affected by flooding.

    Windsor

    lowara pumps uk

    The River Thames continually threatens to put the residents of Windsor at risk. The 5000 residents that call the river’s banks their home have experienced severe flooding numerous times over the course of the last decade - the worst of which was the floods of 2012. The majority of residents were affected and train lines were wrought with delays and cancellations.

    If you live in an area that poses a risk of flooding, it is well worth opting to buy from lowara pumps UK. With a wide range of drainage and sump pumps available, a Lowara pump is a dependable ally for anyone who is wary of flooding affecting their home.

  • Money-Saving Tips for Winter

    Winter is a time where we all get to relax more than we should, eat more than we should and spend more than we should. When it comes to spending money though, we want to be sure that it goes on gifts for our closest friends and family – not on mundane but essential updates to our home. Unfortunately, the festive period also brings with it some of the worst weather the year has to throw at us, making repairs to plumbing and heating apparatus all too common. To ensure none of this seasonal reaches you over the winter months, you may want to consider some of the following changes to keep your bank balance as healthy as possible.

    Shower pumps

    salamander shower pump

    Salamander are one of the leading pumps brands around, and from their base in the South East, they have been providing UK homes with the highest quality pumping products for years. A core part of their range that will guarantee you perfectly pressured showers in spite of any boiler problems that may arise during the colder months, is the salamander shower pump. A shower pump of this quality is as effective as they get, and will keep your water pressure intact without any of the associated extra cost that you might otherwise expect.

    Circulating pumps

    circulating pump

    Whilst you may not be familiar with circulating pumps, they are actually one of the most cost-effective heating products money can buy. By ensuring that hot water is distributed evenly throughout the home, any additional and unnecessary expense is circumvented. Not only does the efficiency of a circulating pump minimise the cost of your water bill, it also ensures that extra energy won't be expended heating up water that won’t be used - allowing you to rest assured that your actions aren’t taking a toll on the environment.

    Grey water recycling

    grey water recycling

    Similarly, a grey water pump is ideal not just for those of us who are desperate to safeguard the health of the planet for the foreseeable future; it is also perfect for those of us who are more conscious than ever of exactly how much money we are spending (which is especially true during the festive period). A grey water recycling pump achieves both of these things by repurposing all of the grey water that would otherwise go to waste (from your baths, showers, dishwashers and sinks) for use elsewhere in the home. Given that a grey water recycling system is more than capable of reducing water usage by up to 50%, the upfront investment is miniscule and one you should be certain of considering.

    Sump pumps

    sump pump

    The threat of flooding is never higher than over the bitterly cold and wet winter months - whether that is from a particularly heavy downpour or pipes frozen to the point of bursting. Fortunately, there is one simple step you can take to stave off costly water damage. Installing a sump pump provides a hardy barrier to flooding by automatically casting away any water that may accumulate in the home. Once again, it is an essential initial investment that will easily repay itself over time.

     

  • How to Protect Your Home from Winter Damage

    The harsh winter months are upon us and many of us are concerning ourselves with how best to wrap up warm. It is however, equally important to remember that our homes are as susceptible to the cold as we are. Freezing temperatures are capable of bursting water pipes and tearing apart driveways and roofs. Learning how best to combat these threats is a necessity for the maintenance of your home.

    The threat: Frozen or burst pipes

    lowara pressure vessel

    One of the most common issues associated with the cold of winter is frozen or burst pipes. A lack of care when it comes to preserving the warmth of your home during winter can allow low temperatures to cause devastating damage. In such conditions, the network of pipes that provide homes with heat and water are especially vulnerable. Biting cold brings with it frozen or even burst pipes - and the same applies to hot water storage tanks. Even the hardiest lowara pressure vessel can suffer in freezing weather.

    The solution

    The first, and most obvious, countermeasure is to ensure that all pipes in exposed areas are properly outfitted with lagging material. The insulating material will better preserve the temperature inside at-risk pipes - shoring up their defence against the cold. Other precautionary measures that are simple yet effective include: fixing leaky taps, eliminating draughts and assuring the health of your boiler by having it regularly serviced. If you are going away for a considerable period of time, it may be worth leaving your heating on while you’re away to stifle the debilitating effects of prolonged cold on the home.

    The threat: Freeze-thaw weathering

    freeze-thaw weathering

    The second prominent scourge of winter is freeze-thaw weathering. As the temperature see-saws between below freezing and above freezing, water alternates between liquid and solid form. This expansion and contraction can test the mettle of any space where water has accumulated - from vacant roof tiles to gutters to driveways riddled with gaps.

    The solution

    To stave off the meddling influence of freeze-thaw weathering, it helps to put up a number of defences. Clearing out gutters, replacing any broken or missing roof tiles and filling in any depressions and divots in your driveway are all important steps. With any potential vulnerabilities covered, there are no spaces for the cold to exploit.

    The threat: Ice dams

    Ice dam

    In particularly cold temperatures, ice dams can appear. Ice dams are ridges of ice that form on the edge of a roof. Because of their location, the ice prevents all of the snow and water that accumulates behind it on the roof from funnelling into the gutters like it normally would. With nowhere for the water to go, the likelihood of it seeping through the roof and tarnishing the ceilings beneath is dramatically increased.

    The solution

    To prevent the formation of ice dams, the best preventative measure you can take is to ensure that your roof is sufficiently insulated. Aside from measures you can take in anticipation of ice dams, the only reactionary measure worth taking is getting yourself a roof rake - a device with a telescoping handle that will allow you to scrape away any recalcitrant ice or snow before it has the chance to form an ice dam.

    With all of these tips and tricks under your belt, you should be well-equipped to deal with anything winter can throw at you and your home.

  • How to Decorate Your Bathroom For Halloween

    With Halloween just days away, millions of us are busy worrying about the best way to decorate our homes in a suitably spooky manner for the year’s most frightening day. Out of all the rooms in the house, the bathroom isn’t the one that necessarily screams out scary the loudest. But, after a bit of digging, you’ll find that bathrooms are actually a standard setting for many of the most iconic horror scenes in film history. Taking some creative inspiration from hallmarks of the horror genre Psycho and The Shining can’t hurt when trying to create the perfect bathroom for Halloween.

    Psycho

    Psycho

    The shower scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho is quite possibly the most famous horror scene in film history, and, as the most famous horror scene in film history, there is no better film to take inspiration from for your Halloween-themed bathroom. Positioning a cardboard cut-out figure purportedly clutching a knife behind a translucent shower curtain is the perfect way to echo the film whilst frightening any visitors that are unfortunate enough to enter your bathroom.

     The Shining

    the shining

    After an axe-brandishing Jack Nicholson proclaimed: “Here’s Johnny!’ whilst poking his head through a bathroom door, the scene from The Shining has become a hallmark of the horror genre. A wall decal that vividly depicts the only horror scene capable of rivalling the infamy of the shower scene in Psycho, is one worth having in your home for Halloween.

    Harry Potter

    Moaning Myrtle was an ever-present in the bathrooms at Hogwarts. Whenever she did pop up, she always had an unnerving impact on the viewer initially, but ended up leaving them laughing, which is exactly the impact a Moaning Myrtle decal in your bathroom will have on your guests. Inexpensive but guaranteed to garner a reaction, a Moaning Myrtle toilet decal is the ideal addition for any Harry Potter fan on Halloween.

    The only horror story you have to avoid

    waste water pump

    Spend too much time concerning yourself with making your bathroom look horrifying, and you can end up with a real horror story on your hands. The appliances behind-the-scenes that allow your bathroom to run smoothly on a daily basis are vital. Without a waste water pump, for example, especially given the tumultuous weather of late, you are leaving your home without a line of defence against flooding. By whisking away any encroaching water with speed and ease, a waste water pump will set your mind at ease and keep your bathroom in tip-top shape.

    Bonus tips

    There are a host of simple but spooky changes you can make to your bathroom that don’t involve imitating film. Everything from skull-shaped soap dispensers to pumpkin-adorned bath mats and towels are readily available, and each addition is equally effective at helping to create the perfect Halloween bathroom. A smattering of fake blood is another popular option, but is only worth exploring by the most daring amongst you - both because it is realistic enough to cause genuine terror and because it is likely to give you a fright when you realise how difficult it is to clean up afterwards.

  • Keeping your garden pristine in adverse weather

    Maintaining a garden can be a trying undertaking at the best of times. When the weather isn’t quite in your favour, the work involved can be excessive. Fortunately though, there are a number of measures you can take to ensure the garden that you have invested hundreds of hours of work into remains pristine even in adverse weather conditions - from droughts to floods. Solutions range from permanent to temporary; some require a transformative change in your approach to plant cultivation, whilst others require nothing of the sort.

    Rain

    tt pumps

    Floods caused over £1.5 billion worth of damage during the UK floods of late 2015 and early 2016. Rain is essential for the growth of almost every garden plant yet an overly excessive outpouring can derail the health of even the sturdiest garden. Whilst us Brits are more than well accustomed to receiving our fair share of rain, sometimes it can overwhelm and lead to floods - especially if our gardens lack adequate drainage and runoff.

    The only immediate and 100% effective response is to employ a submersible drainage pump. The trencher range of tt pumps is particularly well-equipped to handle water containing sand and silt, which is common with a flooded garden.

    Wind

    As we transition from summer to autumn, the likelihood of stronger winds multiplies. Burgeoning plants are best supported by wooden stakes that help to prevent them from wilting under the pressure of strong winds. A similarly simple and straightforward countermeasure you can take to safeguard your garden is installing a temporary windbreak - plastic screening tied to a couple of posts is probably your best bet.

    More permanent and natural alternatives require a slightly longer-term approach. Interspersing layers of trees and shrubs can generate a natural windbreak. Similarly, electing to keep trees that border a garden can help to protect the plants within from wind damage.

    Drought

    I am sure the suggestion that areas of the UK are likely to experience drought is likely to raise a few eyebrows, but the effect of climate change has already been dramatic, and drought is a very real prospect every time summer comes around. Ways of combatting drought can consist of the complex and exciting (xeriscaping) to the simple and the mundane (adding mulch and compost).

    Xerophytes are organisms that can survive with little to no water, and are therefore more than capable of outlasting a British drought, which is defined as 3 or more weeks where less than a third of the typical volume of precipitation falls. Acclaimed because of their ability to take on a drought, xerophytes are also popular because they require very little maintenance, making them a very strong choice when a lack of rainfall is predicted. They do however; require an overhaul of your garden if you plan on adopting this approach for your garden in its entirety.

    Simply adding mulch and compost are two far faster and cost-effective ways of fighting drought. Mulch can help off-set high temperatures by up to 10°C, ensuring the soil stays cool and the roots of your plants are able to uptake moisture.

  • How to prevent your home flooding

    Unfortunately, as climate change rages on and continues to worsen over time, so too, does the risk of flooding. Over the past few years, we have seen flooding become an increasingly frequent topic on the news, with intense rainfall causing over £1.5 billion worth of damage in late 2015/ early 2016 in the UK. No longer is flooding something to marvel at with a sense of morbid curiosity as it affects other areas across the globe, flooding is now a very real threat at home as well as abroad.

    How then, can you best defend your homes, containing everything and everyone you love, from flooding? The bad news is this - it isn’t going to be a cheap. The good news is that we are here to advise you on the most cost-effective and worthwhile changes you can possibly make to protect your home.

    Covering air bricks

    air brick

    Air bricks are an easily overlooked flaw in any home’s composition. As effective as they are at allowing air in for ventilation purposes, they are also effective at allowing water into your home. The solution to this problem depends on how much money you want to spend. Smart airbricks have water sensitive valves that close when water is detected. Pretty clever? As you’d expect, they are pretty expensive too. The alternative is a vent guard, which can be snapped shut when relentless rain is forecasted. Less expensive, but also less visually appealing.

    Alternatives to sandbags

    sandbags

    Sandbags are the traditional defence against flooding, but they are also the outdated defence too. Absorbent polymers are the new sand. The reason they are so popular is down to the deficiencies of the sandbag - they are tricky to store, not to mention move, owing to their size and weight. The new school of sandbags only increase in size and weight with the arrival of water, and do not leave behind the same melted pile of sand afterwards.

    Regular maintenance

    window sealant

    While you may be tempted to invest in some of the more heavy-duty anti-flood measures like an anti-flood door, these are unsightly as well as expensive. You would be better off ensuring your home is properly maintained. An anti-flood door is redundant if you have gaps in your roof. That is why it is worth the hassle of having a tradesmen round to shore up your home’s first line of defence against the elements. Doors and windows can be sealed off and any gaping flaws in your roof can be addressed and amended.

    Submersible drainage pump

    ksb pumps uk

    All of these precautions are undoubtedly helpful, yet none of them are capable of providing a 100% fool-proof barrier against floodwater. The one thing you can rely on to be effective is a submersible drainage pump. And there is no better manufacturer to buy from than ksb pumps uk. As well as being renowned for their reliability, the sheer range of variations that are available mean that there is bound to be a pump that is tailor-made for you.

  • How to choose the right sump pump

    sump pumpsConverting basements and cellars into living space has become increasingly popular in recent years. But for them to be usable, it’s important that they stay dry throughout the year. In most cases this means installing sump pumps.

    Many basements use a system that allows water to drain into a basin or sump. A sump pump, as its name suggests, is used to remove this water safely to outside the property. But all sump pumps are not the same: there are various different types, and it’s important to choose the right one for your needs.

     

    Types of pumps

    There are two main types of sump pump. Pedestal pumps are designed so that there’s an impeller at the base to draw the water up, but the top part of the pump body is designed to stand clear of the water. Submersible pumps, on the other hand, are designed to operate completely underwater. These are generally quieter in operation and more efficient than pedestal pumps.

    A third type of sump pump you may encounter is the effluent pump. These are designed to remove wastewater from sinks, dishwashers, washing machines, showers and so on. They can handle solids up to half an inch in diameter and should be clearly marked “effluent pump”.

     

    Selecting a sump pump

    If you’re replacing a pump, a good place to start is by looking at the old installation. The size of the sump and the diameter of the discharge pipe will determine the size of pump you need. A look at the existing pump will give you useful information too, as there will be a spec label telling you the horsepower. Unless your pump is struggling to cope, there’s usually no reason to move up to a more powerful model.

    If you have a pedestal pump, then this may be a good time to think about switching to a submersible version. Not only are these quieter and more efficient, as we said above, but they are longer-lasting and make for a neater installation as they’re totally contained within the sump.

    The next thing to consider is the float switch type. Again, there are two types. Tethered switch types need a minimum sump diameter of 14 inches. As water enters the sump, the switch floats up at an angle to activate the switch. The other type is the vertical switch pump - these can be used in smaller 10-inch diameter sumps. With this type, the float to activate the switch moves straight up to turn on the pump.

    To protect your home from the risk of flooding, it may be worth having a back-up system. These are run from a battery so that in the event of mains power failure the water from the sump still gets pumped out. A back-up pump also helps protect against heavy rain that could overwhelm your normal system.

    Choose a good-quality sump pump from us and ensure a long life make sure it’s backed by a manufacturer’s warranty.

  • Sump pumps to sandbags: Flooding essentials for winter 2016

    Local knowledge is an essential starting point for assessing and mitigating winter flooding risk. You can find this out from the local council as well as from the Environment Agency website that covers flooding risk over England and Wales.

    From Sump Pumps to Sandbangs: Flooding Essentials You Need for Winter 2016

    Invest in a Sump Pump

    Even if your property does not lie in the most high flood risk areas, heavy rainfall could cause flooding in your home either by flowing from the outside into a cellar or crawl space, or by raised groundwater levels. This is the point at which you should invest in a sump pump, a type of submersible pump, which will clear away floodwater before it can do much damage to the structure of the house.

    The benefit of a submersible pump is that it is designed to be hermetically sealed and so that water does not penetrate and damage its components. It is best placed in a small pit in the basement of the property. When any water reaches a critical level, the sump pump automatically switches on and removes the water from the basement to an outdoor drain or drainage area, so preventing further damage. The sump pump will also ensure that the basement humidity is kept under control and that any mould and mildew growth is discouraged.

     

    Removal of Vulnerable Belongings

    One precaution ahead of or immediately after a flood warning should be aimed at preventing any water from entering the property. Furniture, electrical devices, and carpets, that are on the ground floor level should be moved upstairs if the property has an extra storey, These are especially vulnerable to the slightest of water damage.

     

    Water Prevention with Sandbags

    Sandbags are a quick option to prevent water from entering the house through the bottom of doorways and some windows. These should also be placed against ventilation bricks on basement walls. Sinks and baths inside the house should be plugged firmly. It is always a good idea to use a heavy item, such as a large tin of beans or the like, to weigh down the plug should any water rise up the drain and force the plug away. Similar plugs are available for toilets and washing machines that are also vulnerable to flood water flowing from outdoors to the interior.

     

    How prepared are you?

     

  • Submersible Pumps: 8 other ways to prevent flood damage

    With nearly six million homes in England and Wales at serious flood risk, it is important to find out if you are living in a flood-risk area and take action to mitigate the danger. The team here at Pump Sales Direct have put together 8 simple tips to follow when it comes to preventing flood damage in the home, covering aspects from submersible pumps to home insurance policy's.

    Flooding Submersible Pumps
    1. Insurance
    Talk to your insurer to check what damage is covered by your home insurance policy and what will be paid out. Insurers will pay for like-for-like replacement or restoring your home to its previous state. You will probably have to pay for other work yourself. Some local insurance companies and brokers offer a courtesy home visit to advise home-owners on any recommended changes they should make.

    2. Home Changes
    Make permanent changes to your home to reduce the risk of flood damage. This may include laying ceramic tiles on the ground floor, replacing chipboard cupboards with stainless-steel, solid wood or plastic ones, and replacing fitted carpets with rugs.

    3. Outdoor Alterations
    Outdoor alterations to resist flood damage include replacing wooden window frames and doors with uPVC ones. However, this may not be permitted in conservation areas, so check with the local council’s planning department. Other repairs include fitting a non-return valve at each drain and water inlet and replacing existing air vents with flood-resistant ventilation bricks.

    4. Flooring
    Ask your builder to raise the damp-proof course and to seal all the floors at the ground level.

    5. Home Electrics
    Make all home electrics safer by raising the electrical socket height to a minimum of 1.5 metres above the ground floor. Make sure that all electrical devices such as TVs are also at least 1.5 metres above the ground floor. Reduce internal flood damage to walls by using lime rather than gypsum-based plaster. Hide all valuable objects on upper floors or on shelves that are very highly mounted on the wall.

    6. Submersible Pumps
    Invest in a submersible pump in case of emergency. Submersible pumps from Pump Sales Direct are the most efficient method of removing flood water quickly.

    7. Sandbags
    When flooding is imminent, block the bottom of external doors with sandbags to stop water getting into the house. Fit covers over the external air bricks. Plastic sheeting will suffice in an emergency if no better cover is available.

    8. Floodline
    If you are living in a flood-risk area, register at Floodline on 0345 9881188 for phone, text or email flood warnings. When the flood is imminent, make sure that all sinks and baths are firmly plugged to stop any water that backs up the outlet pipes from getting into the house. Seal around any toilets and washing machine outlets to reduce the risk of the same type of water back-up. This will also reduce the amount of time submersible pumps will require to remove any floodwater that does penetrate.

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