Jump to content
Rodbr

Flooded out!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Recommended Posts

The rain at the weekend has reeked havoc in many places but unfortunately my house is the only one in my immediate area of the street to flood the house. The road drain filled and all rain water feeds to this drain it then overflowed and has flooded my garden and then my house. Kitchen gone, sitting room carpets skirting walls affected and stripped out, hall same. 4 dehumidifiers 6 massive fans set to run for next two to three weeks and then massive renovations, replacements. After one night sleeping in the house choking with the antibacterial fluid fumes.

I need any advice about how I can work with the loss adjuster as I wont go into a hotel which is what we will need. I intend to suggest they supply a camper van so I can be on site to prevent vandals, thefts etc while the work is done.

My wife is in bits, she is 71 and i'm 66 and we don't need this heartbroken as we only moved in recently (well two and half years ago) as part of our downsizing and forever home.

We have dutifully paid for home insurance all our lives but I don't trust loss adjusters as their job is to screw claims and minimise loss to insurers.

Reaching out to anyone who has experienced this trauma with advice how to cope and get what is rig

Any help and advice particularly legal.

As a consulation garage and TR saved but not even possible to use it till we get sorted. HO hum!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rod

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very sorry to read your disaster Rod. Take pictures of the damage, of every room, and make a list with damage that you can update as you find more. Not much I can do from over here. Hope things work out better than you are afraid off with the insurer.

All the best,

Waldi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very sad to hear this, hope you get back in ASAP

Bob.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Rod,

firstly try not to panic over this disaster and keep calm. The damage is done. You are safe.

The loss adjusters do a black and white job. You give them the facts they respond.

If you have receipts for anything then show them.

As suggested by Waldi take photo's of every damaged item and structure.

If the carpets were very good quality take a pic of the manufacturers label - there will be one somewhere.

It may be worthwhile contacting the council and asking why the drain backed up.  There could be a blockage. You don;t want it happening again.

 

Roger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Hi Rod

Very sad news indeed but at least you are both safe so try not to get overstressed.

Most loss adjusters are unfairly painted and act fairly. As others have said ,give as much detail of value and quality as you can and take photo's.

If it is logistically possible you may well find your insurers are willing to provide a caravan if it works out more cost effective than a hotel, which by your description of the damage it may well do.

Most importantly look after yourselves and try not to stress, after all buildings and belongings are repairable/mostly replaceable but you both are not.

Brian

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rod ~

You have all my sympathy. I've been there as a child. Our house was flooded out and all my father got as compensation was one bag of coal to help dry the house out!

Keep your chin up mate!

Tom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many thanks for your kind thoughts. I must say that the guys appointed by insurers to clear wet and damaged items and installed dehumidifiers and dryers were first class, with compassion and efficiency. They have authority to write off items and supplied me an inventory of all items taken.

My next door neighbour has just had a similar issue due to a leaking washing machine and had the same loss adjusters as we have and she told me that they were brilliant and worked with them at every turn so a little less concerned. They were offered on site accommodation but as they worked they elected to go into rented accommodation for the 8-10 weeks it took. We can at least be on site so that will be my preferred choice.

Getting not to stress but it ain't easy.

Main concern is health so onwards and upwards and can only think of those worse off even than we are in the village. We got hit hard and in Gretna the Fire service was called 92 times in the first 3 hours.

Thanks again 

Rod 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rod, will a camper van be warm & dy enough over the winter to actually live in ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the absence of receipts, recent photos of damaged possessions can also help.

Good luck.

Miles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rod, I know the shock of having water invade. In our case itwas only half inch deep and ran through the house and was crystal clear. Rented dehumdifiers cleared up. But the worry then was "will it happen again" and with weather getting incresingly erratic we expect the worse. So I embarked upon a strategy to contain the   errnat stream or deflect it away form the property if it blocked. My suggestion is you look to flood-proofing the house eg door seals, airbricks seals, etc. it'll give you  some peace of mind in the next cloudbursts.

Peter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was a boy the Corporation gully sucker used to come round regularly and all gully's (sinks) were routinely cleaned out.

Not any more!!  We get virtually nothing for our so-called Council Taxes anymore. The money goes to keep the overstaffed Councils in business.

Recently our Council said that if they couldn't put up the Council tax they would have to make over 600 employees redundant. 

That proves that they are overstaffed.

Tom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My problem was the road drain overflowed and flooded over the steps to the garden and round the gable end of the house, the outflow from my drainage system then backed up against the flow. The level rose and the condensate drain from the boiler took the kerosine into the kitchen before I got my 12000l/hr pump running we had up to five inches in the kitchen. My wife was filling buckets but the fumes from the heating oil and scum on the surface made us sick.

Approx 12 years ago long before we bought the house a fortune was spent and NRV fitted to the sewage outlet which WORKED!!!! and all my drains were renewed and are totally clean. This was taken into a pipe into drum like road sump. This filled up very quick as it seems to have nowhere to go.

In my view given we are the lowest house in our part of the main road all the water from pub carpark and the road side further up filled the drain very quick the water was visibly rising as I got the pump running the road drain is the issue. So I need legal advice how to proceed against a tax payer funded body.

Flood barriers over the door and air vents would not have helped as it never came in that way. Seems to be related to the boiler pipework and old vent for fire place.

The main issue is the capilliary action of the water into the fabric of the house but my tiled kitchen floor is dry underneath and the kitchen is drying out but all the units have already started to swell.

The new carpet underlay allowed the water to creep all through the sitting room and hallway.

We need it dried out first but I am amazed how quickly water soaked into oak furniture. This only happened on Saturday and I had planned to go the the Biggar show on the Sunday.

looking at all possibilities with some FOCUS.

Rod

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rod, Seems you had most points of entry covered except for the bolier and fireplace. I'd focus on there, And seek advice of a civil engineer on surrounding the house with a trenched berm with impermeable plastic core.

After the Carilisle flooding any local lawyer will know who best to consult re council liabiity. But a lawyer wont stop the worry of a recurrence.

Tom makes a sound point. I haven't seen a gully sucker for many years. Maybe a lawyer should seek that info from the council as a first step: when was the road drain last cleaned ?

Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

During my time in the Fire Service it was always heartbreaking having to attend flooded domestic properties.

Seeing peoples personal irreplaceable property completely ruined would break anyone's heart.

My heart goes out to everyone affected by such tragedies. 

Tom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rod,

Very sorry to read of your bad news.

My immediate neighbours managed to flood their kitchen, having had a

dodgy washing machine installation, in June, about 4 weeks

after having a new Amtico floor fitted.The whole lot had to come out.Floors

floor kitchen units, range cooker, floor joists, insulation etc etc.Their insurers had a brand

spanking new 4 berth caravan delivered immediately the diagnosis was made, which was set up and

professionally commissioned in our joint drive/turning area for 6 weeks.At the end of the kitchen

works, the caravan was removed with equal professionalism.

I just hope that you are as fortunate.

Best wishes

Roger M-E

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Rod

We have been flooded twice but did all the repair work ourselves except for a gas pipe that had to be replaced. Now we have no heating or gas pipes running under the floor where they can corrode unseen, all electric sockets are about 18 inches above the floor and 2/3 of the downstairs floors are flood resilient.

Our village has also had over £1 million pounds worth of flood alleviation work done which seems to have worked.

We didn't move out but it seems your damage could be worse than we had although the whole of the downstairs was affected. We saved all our furniture and carpets by moving them upstairs or raising them on bricks.

You should do all you can to get the local authority to deal with the drain problems and get documentation of what they do. Also contact your local environment agency. Where we live we have obtained a statement from them which says that our house is now at the lowest risk of flooding following the flood alleviation work. Even so you should expect a big rise in your insurance premium. You might even struggle to get any insurance at all. We have had about 5 years of battles with insurance companies following our claims which were not very big at all. This is where you need all the documentary evidence that this is a one-off event and that remedial measures have been put in place. If the house has been flooded in the past then collect information about the flood measures taken since then. Flooded once is bad enough but if there is any history of flooding then in the future you might need to search for insurance companies that specialise in cover for these properties. The government flood-re insurance scheme only covers properties at greatest risk of flooding which our house isn't. Check to see if it includes your house but unless you live in a known high flood risk area then the government scheme will be of no use.

Our battles to get the village flood measures went on for years involving our local MP and the secretary for the environment as well as questions in parliament. Unfortunately flood damage from storms are not treated by insurance companies the same as flood damage from a burst pipe even though the end result is pretty much the same.

It is a very traumatic experience when it happens but it is possible to get the house sorted out relatively quickly. You say that the walls and skirting have been stripped out. I removed the skirting and wood block floors myself and then we waited for the dehumidifiers to reduce moisture levels before doing any more work. As a result we didn't have to remove hardly any plaster. Get a moisture meter so you can check what is happening. Try not to worry. If you can do any of the work yourself then that may speed things up. Claim for materials used. That is what we did. Also try to incorporate measures to prevent it happening again or reduce any future damage. We replaced 2 wood block floors for porcelain and ceramic tiles on the insurance. I also constructed a new drain in front of the house and constructed path edgings and flood barriers to keep water away from the house. You might be able to include the cost of flood resilience measures in your claim since you could argue that it would reduce any future claims.

At least there should hopefully be some summer weather left so open all the doors and windows on dry days and turn the dehumidifiers off but keep the fans running. The dehumidifiers work best with the doors and windows closed (i.e. on wet days). At least that will give you a bit of respite from the noise. It can take a long time for moisture levels in the walls and floors to drop to an acceptable level so don't rush to re-plaster or lay floors.

Also contact the local area council to see if they have a hardship fund for people who get flooded - ours did. See if you can get a rebate on your council tax - we did. If you have to move out because it is deemed 'uninhabitable' then get a reduction on the council tax.

Anyway all the best. It does get better. 'Things' can be replaced. You will feel nervous for a while during heavy rain storms but this feeling goes away and if there is a 'next time' you will be better prepared both mentally and physically.

Best wishes

Keith

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have been flooded more than once, but the worst one was in June 2007 : 2,50 meters of water and mud in our house.

I (nearly) loose 2 of my daughters (7 and 12 years old at this moment), and (far less important) my own life.

We have spent the next 6 months in a big caravan in my front garden, damn it was cold in October/November.

Our house and some of my "barns"  were rebuilt during this 6 months period.

The Financial loss was terrible : about 300 000 Euros in car parts (resale value), and 43 of classic cars and bikes, but the most important was the loss of absolutly all our official documents (accademic qualifications, birth documents, …), photos, etc.....

My oldest daughter spent 5 years trying to fight again mental problems due to this terrible flood, and it took me 8 years to stop making nightmares.

Keith is right, but I sincerely hope that there will be no "next time"….

 

Edited by Chris59

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HI Chris,

you paint a terrible picture.

Mother nature can be very cruel at times.

 

Roger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Keith and Chris 59,

Thanks for your thoughts and information. The problems we have are minimal compared to some but nonetheless I am appalled by the way it is being handled. I even had a girl call to arrange for an assessor to call to measure up for carpets. I could hardly hear her for the fans and dehumidifiers running, she was either deaf or just plain stupid. I tried to explain that potentially I could not give permission as we had been asked to sign a health and safety warning about live cables and hoses on the floor and would need the same to avoid a claim against me for injury, reasonable I thought, NOOOO! all I got was "yes but when can we come?"

The loss adjuster is due on Monday fully ten days after the event, not once have we been asked about how we are coping, can we make food, or have you anywhere to sit and relax yet people are describing events which I consider to be almost own goals i.e washing machine leaks and they are put up in hotels or have five star caravans installed.!

I am looking forward to sitting the loss adjuster in our kitchen for just ten minutes so he can see how we can.t even cook a hot meal or make a coffee without the coffee blowing off the spoon before reaching the cup. We can either sit on the bed or go to the garden shed to eat or talk in peace but more than ten minutes we start coughing and our eyes itch badly from the dust and grit flying around. Health concerns are my biggest fear and I am paranoid about anything causing an eye infection after surgury earlier in the year to alliviate degenerative sight loss in one eye.

My wife does not want to be seen to appear to gain betterment from the status but doesn't realise that if we don't sort things now then a year from now when the kitchen units fall apart and appliances fail, we are S.O.O.L.

I am more concerned that they will cover the boiler which has been assessed by plumber as uneconomical to repair as the insulation and seals are compromised  and may fail anytime. On top of that the flooding of the condensate drain caused a diesel scum on flood water and a smell through the house.

Does the team think it unreasonable to propose the following

Tiles over carpets and re- finish concrete due to cracking on the existing skin

UPVC skirting and door frames over painted wood. (skirting removed and taken by cleanup crew)

Outside boiler above flood level over internal one in kitchen. Perhaps offer a contribution.

Replace the kitchen as the unit ends have started to swell. Washing machine, separate fan oven and hob, American fridge freezer were all under water but not flooded. ( they have already written off industrial vax and vacuum which were less flooded in a kitchen cupboard)

In essence I am not seeking betterment but want to be at least back where we were. My wife's pet hate is that people routinely claim for "accidental" damage so as to mitigate premiums so claim paint spill on carpet and furniture, or leaking washing machine.

Outside,

All drains were replaced after a flood some twelve years ago, and sewage outlet was fitted with an NRV which worked. From my video one the day it appears that all drains on road lead to my door and road drain has a 6" inlet and no exit that I can, see go figure that!!!!!!!!!!!!

We would not have had an issue but for the road drain overflowing and flooding over front step into garden and thence into the house.

I go from despair to anger to outright fury. Local Council roads dept have not arrived despite requests did not bring sands bags till after the event was subsiding. Lawyers in Carlisle can't advise due to differences in Scots Law. Finding a lawyer when you need one is a nightmare.

For those of you with a boiler in an outbuilding check your insurance carefully as one local in another village close by had his boiler flooded but is not covered fro flood damage in to "garden" but would have been if it had burst. PLEASE CHECK THIS as it is a costly issue.

I have been instructed to keep blowers and dehumidifiers running 24/7 till they return the noise is horrendous. This does concern me as the house is old with lime morter which I think should not be dried out fully lest it crumbles.

I have further been instructed to do nothing to start clean up and rebuild till Loss adjuster has been on site.

I will keep you updated as we work through this.

 

Rod

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Rod

I know exactly where you are with all this. One loss assessor arrived to us (with his dinner stained shirt) and said 'if you look after me then I'll look after you" - in other words expecting a backhander to get us a fake claim. We sent him packing.

Back to your situation.

Kitchen units swelling = replacement on the insurance. Once wood swells and warps it is ruined. Do you really want to live with flood damaged units when you could have them replaced.

Measuring up for carpets now is idiotic. We changed from wood blocks to tiles. If the floor needs replacing then you choose what you want and settle the difference if needed.

Loss adjusters turning up 10 days later is not necessarily a bad thing because problems can develop over that time. (Corrosion of our underground gas pipe for example and swelling of door frames etc.). Do not 'clear up' until loss adjuster has seen damage but it is reasonable to pile up ruined furniture and appliances in the garden.

Do  not worry about appearing to gain betterment. You are in a terrible mess - just do what you need to do. If the washing machine, fridge freezer and oven have been under water then the electrics could well have been damaged especially if the circuit boards have been wet. Replace them. Yes it may seem to others that you are 'improving' but believe me - your premium will go up next year so don't feel guilty. The insurance companies will get their money back. After all you have been paying for years with no claims. Obviously trying to claim for a TR and replacing it with top of range Ferrari isn't on.

If boiler has been damaged and is uneconomic to repair replace it with a new one mounted high up on a wall. You can get compact units that take up very little space.

Drains in the road not connected - yes been there - road drains outside the house not connected to anything. Took me ages to get council to put a camera down to 'discover' what we already knew. Just keep at them and enlist help of local MP.

Lime mortar - it is very important that any builders do not use ordinary mortar on an old building. We have lime mortar. It is softer than ordinary mortar and used on old stone and brick buildings. It also allows moisture to escape from the walls. Cement mortar traps moisture in the walls and will cause problems down the road. It is essential builders use lime mortar on your house. It shouldn't crumble when dried out.

Personally I wouldn't replace wooden door frames and skirting with UPVC. It will look out of place in an old building. Just make sure that the walls are dry.

Turn off the fans and dehumidifiers if you want a meal. 15 minutes or so silence and peace to make and eat a meal won't make any difference to the house drying out.

The people who make claims for betterment doesn't apply to you. You are in a mess, you need help. We know all about living upstairs in a flood damaged house with fridge, washing machine and cooker up on bricks in the 'kitchen' or what was left of it.

Try to take some time out to think about what you should do to improve to make the house more flood resilient and incorporate this into the repairs. Boiler off the floor for example, floor tiles instead of carpet (although this does make house colder unless you insulate the floor underneath). 

Finally go down the local pub for a meal to escape from the mess for a while.

All the best

Keith

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rod

just get your own claims management representative 

https://www.abi.org.uk/globalassets/sitecore/files/documents/consumer-guides/home-insurance-and-claims-management-companies.pdf

 

must be worth it in the long run especially for such a big job. 

H

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My sympathies.

As Hamish Above yet your own loss adjuster, Photograph everything, including video of outside.

Then start making lists (Spreadsheet best) of everything as you remove it and individual photograph.. Get receipts for everything you buy and write on the back what they are for, perhaps even photograph each receipt.as a record.

If you are  going to use dehumidifiers then read the electric/gas meters oil tank now so you can estimate the costs etc.

You cannot have too much information.

If you are going to stay elsewhere get written confirmation from insurance company of the effects of the 30 day unoccupied clause in most policies on any future robbery / damage whilst you are away.

 

Alan

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi keith/Hamish,

Thanks for you comments.

We have already decided on replacing carpets with tiles instead of carpets and although my wife doesn't like underfloor heating I think it necessary if nothing else for our two black labs!

I have just done a quick measurement and the hall carpet is roughly 15m long and 1.5 - 2.0 m wide the wide dogleg. and was in a single piece. At £30/m2 that is costly to replace and to what benefit. Sitting room roughly the same area. I think if settle they will win out as minimum size is 4 metres wide carpet so a lot of waste.

I will see what the Loss adjuster says and decide then if I need to involve a Loss assessor.

Given that they want to minimise the loss to insurers they will wriggle I'm sure.

They may say that with dryers run the kitchen units have dried out but I feel that scummy dirty water absorbed into the units could give us issues down the line. I will now fight this as I don't want to live with that.

The insurance Company appointed Rainbow(hopefully no pun intended) facilities International restoration services who came lifted carpets, removed skirting boards, condemned various items on the spots all fully inventoried and copy issued. They set the Dryer fans (6 x 24") and two industrial size de-humidifiers.

We are safe at least and thats the most important thing.

Weirdly enough raining heavy now and wife and I exchanging worried looks at each other as we sit in the Garden shed. Not sure if that will pass anytime soon.

I have thought s about flood protection measures which I will discuss with loss adjuster.

We have a three seater and two seater leather suite which cost £3700 that was in and still is the sitting room. The guys said it was OK as the frame kept it clear so the  electrical circuits amd motors are OK. Will need a treatment with hidelife I expect.

Rod

 

Edited by Rodbr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a point about underfloor heating in an older house Rod - it is very slow to respond because of the thermal inertia of the floor. Its good if the temperature outside is consistent but with our changeable climate I found it was never warm when I wanted it yet was always warm when I didn't. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My tiler guy is coming tonight to measure up and provide facts and figures for discussion with Loss adjuster.

He has installed the type of tiles we want and is also an underfloor heating guy. He lives in the village and knows the area and construction in the area. It seems to be that you must install heat barrier on the whole floor not just where heating elements are. The supplier has advised that if we supply floor area and coverage by suites and units etc they can work out the best solution. I,m not looking to heat the room just take the chill off. They take the view "why heat under suites and units" only heat where you need it. 

Underfloor heating has moved leaps and bounds in tech knowhow these days and they will provide a life warranty what ever that is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Please familiarise yourself with our Terms and Conditions. By using this site, you agree to the following: Terms of Use.