Martin Wadsworth, Managing Director of Discrete Heat, comments on aspects of floor homes renovation that are ready for improvement.
With recent weather events hitting the headlines, thoughts have turned from cleaning to rebuilding and renovating those properties devastated by flood water.
With thousands of homes under several feet of water, there is much work to be done. The Government has indicated it will look again at the UK’s flood defences and warning system, but tacitly admits there is precious little it can do to prevent these so called one-in-a-hundred-year floods happening ever year.
Planning consents and building control may have to be looked at to see if adequate provision has been made for such violent weather events and perhaps even some planning consents rescinded where it would be practically impossible to prevent future home owners suffering such untold misery.
But what about the thousands and thousands of existing homes that due to changing climate conditions find themselves in a hitherto unrecognized flood plain and seem destined to be flooded out year after year?
With insurance premiums rising like the proverbial flood waters themselves, many home owners are desperate to prevent future flooding from ruining their properties, lest they become uninsurable or unaffordable or worse, unsaleable.
Raising existing buildings up on stilts is a non-starter, and whilst door and window flood shutters can prevent flash flood damage, they are pretty ineffective against 10’ deep torrents of water engulfing whole streets for days. There is now a momentum building for developing products that are ‘flood resistant’ such that they are unaffected by being submerged in dirty, silt-ridden river water, or can be cleaned and reused afterwards, keeping renovation costs down.
Waterproof plaster boards and paint are available as well as water resistant floor coverings. Whilst soft furnishings may still need to be moved upstairs, anything that is permanently fixed need to be re-evaluated and flood resistant alternatives seriously considered.
One such readily available suitable product is ThermaSkirt – an aluminium alternative to conventional timber and MDF skirting boards, that not only is impervious to being submerged, but actually provides the central heating as well, replacing conventional radiators in the process.
Being manufactured in rust resistant aluminium, and then epoxy powder coated, ThermaSkirt is available in a wide range of shapes and styles & can withstand being under water without even needing repainting afterwards.
Uniquely, ThermaSkirt also incorporates integral pipes that connect onto a typical central heating system, creating a true ‘skirting board radiator’.
By combining the heating into the ThermaSkirt profile, this means that conventional steel radiators that would ordinarily rust in water, or retain the foul flood water in the grilles and fins are eliminated, speeding clean up as well as creating more usable wall space under normal everyday conditions.
By providing the heating all around the room at low level, as well as creating a more comfortable and energy efficient system, ThermaSkirt will also help to dry out flooded properties and limit the lingering effects of damp and musty smells.
If water resistant plasterboards have not been used and require replacing, it is relatively straight forward to remove the ThermaSkirt from its wall mounting brackets, and remount afterwards. ThermaSkirt utilises push-fit connections, meaning that if disassembly and refitting is required, this is straightforward and not unduly time consuming.
Available in Lambs Tongue, Torus, Pencil Round & Ogee profiles, and in up to 6m lengths, ThermaSkirt once fitted is practically indistinguishable from conventional skirting boards. The EasyClean profile –developed in co-operation with the NHS- features seals to the wall and floor to provide an even more resilient and water resistant option.
Fitted in a matter of hours, and usually using the existing radiator pipework, ThermaSkirt is an ideal retrofit solution for those properties that currently require new skirting boards or are looking to become prepared for the inevitable.