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SOS guide to flood damage

07 March 2013

The National Flood School has produced an online video guide providing guidance on how to limit the damage in the event of a flood or leak in a property

The National Flood School has produced an online video guide providing guidance on how to limit the damage in the event of a flood or leak in a property

The step-by-step video at:www.youtube.com/ nationalfloodschool guides people through some simple processes that can help get clean-up works on the right track and life back to normal as quickly as possible.

It is based on the research findings from the National Flood School, which since its launch in 1988, has been involved in teaching the theory, science and practice of water damage restoration in real-life circumstances.

To support its work, the National Flood School has built and uses The Flood House - located at its headquarters in Farnham, Surrey.

Believed to be the only purpose-built floodable house in Europe, the structure - comprising of eight rooms and 60 common household materials - is regularly flooded with 1500 gallons of water.

Chris Netherton, managing director of the National Flood School, said:"We have many 'floods' each year in the Flood House and as a result have researched and tested ways to reduce longer-term damage.

"After a pipe has burst or there's any type of leak or flood in a property, it is a natural process to want to start cleaning up as soon as possible.

"There are lots of things householders can do to help dry their property out, but there are also things that should be left in the hands of professional restorers.

"We've produced the video guide to let people know of the immediate actions they can take to protect furniture and fittings and preserve treasured items -such as jewellry, pictures and documents, ceramics." Tips from the National Flood School include: Turn off fuses to low-level sockets that may be affected by moisture.

Wash any non-absorbent items, such as glassware, fully glazed ceramics, pots and pans in hot soapy water.These should not require specialist restoration.

The longer any standing water is left, the more damage it can cause.

If it is safe to do so, remove the standing water by brushing, or with towels, as this may reduce damage to flooring and walls.

Many affected valuable and/or sentimental items, such photos, documents, books, jewellry and artwork that might appear beyond repair can be rescued, but this is generally a job for specialist restorers.As quickly as possible, put these in an unaffected area for technicians to inspect.Valuable documents for potential restoration should be wrapped in polythene and frozen to halt deteriation.

Any furniture that could be affected, or any porous or delicate fabrics, should be lifted.Where possible, to prevent further damage, do not put water-damaged items on top of unaffected items as this can cause further problems including possible staining or scratching.

Open windows and doors if safe to do so to encourage evaporation and use the clean fresh air to assist the drying of the property.

Ensure a highly-skilled restoration professional is appointed to continue the clean-up works.The National Flood School has recently introduced a new Contractor Endorsement scheme to help signpost consumers to a trusted network of professional flood restoration professionals.

The guide can also be downloaded as a PDF at www.nationalfloodschool.co.uk/downloads/NFS_SOS_Guide.pdf Videos about the contractor endorsement programme, the National Flood School and the Flood House all join the flood damage clean-up guide on the National Flood School's own YouTube channel www.youtube.com/nationalfloodschool