Local Community Centre, Cumbria – Flood Resilience Solutions
The Botcherby Community centre is located in Carlisle, an area at high risk of flooding. It was an important centre for the local community but during the winter of 2015/2016 flooding had put the centre out of action.
It is a focal point for communal activities in the area and local residents were severely disadvantaged by its closure, forcing any events to occur offsite at various locations. The centre had previously been awarded £15,000 from the Cumbria Flood Recovery Appeal and the majority of flood rectification measures had been completed using that budget.
The flooding that occurred in 2015/2016 was extensive and major works were required throughout the building. Most of the reconstruction work on the property had already been completed. However, the kitchen area remained unfinished. In order to protect the property from further damage from future flooding, the kitchen needed to be made flood-resilient.
Safeguard Europe were brought in as damp-proofing and waterproofing experts to assist in specifying the correct systems and materials to ensure that any future flood events would not significantly disrupt the centre’s activities. Damp-proofing and waterproofing specialists from Remedial Treatment Consultants were also brought in to carry out the installation works.
The chosen solution showcased both flood-resilient and flood-repairable methods. Flood-resilient methods allow water to enter the building but use materials that will not be damaged by floodwater or materials whilst flood-repairable methods ensure that all affected materials are easily repairable or replaceable.
The first flood-resilience measure of protection from flooding was Stormdry® Masonry Protection Cream, which was applied to the outside of the building. Stormdry® Masonry Protection Cream is a breathable masonry sealant, which protects brickwork from water ingress and provides additional resistance to future flooding. Because Stormdry® Masonry Protection Cream provides breathable protection, it allows damp walls to dry out faster after a flood.
Inside the kitchen, all timber studding was removed and replaced with blockwork to a height of up to 1.2 m in order to provide further resistance to floodwater. Drybase® Universal Mortar was applied to the wall-floor junction. As this is one of the weakest points for flood water entry, two coats of Drybase® Liquid-Applied DPM were applied to the floor and lapped up the wall to further protect the wall-floor junction. Drybase® Liquid Applied DPM can be applied by brush or roller and dries to form a waterproof membrane.
The old gypsum plaster, which was damaged by the floodwater, was removed and replaced with Dryzone® Damp-Resistant Plaster on the weather-facing walls. This modern renovation plaster is easily cleanable and will avoid replacement costs if any further flooding occurs. Because the lightweight renovation plaster is highly breathable, it will allow the wall to dry out much faster, ensuring quicker reinstatement after flooding.
A flood-repairable option was used on the internal walls and new blockwork. This is based on the Dryzone® Express Replastering System, which uses Dryshield® Cream to protect walls from the effects of moisture and water-resistant Drygrip® Adhesive to safely secure plasterboard. The plasterboards are installed horizontally to allow quick replacement after flooding occurs. This system allows occupants to use their property far sooner after flooding than more traditional repair methods.
As the final step, the walls were skimmed using Dryzone® Hi-Lime Finishing Plaster. This plaster specification controls salt migration and, owing to its highly porous structure, allows walls to quickly dry out by evaporation. Dryzone® Hi-Lime Finishing Plaster leaves a rustic off-white finish that can be left unpainted while walls dry out from the floodwater.