2020 flooding and historic buildings

Ironbridge Gorge flooding 2020

The planning department will not be charging for advice on the repair to flood damaged properties in the world heritage site, including site visits to affected buildings. This will be effective for a period of 6 months until 31 August 2020.

What can you do following the flood?

Clean up any damage sensitively

Don’t remove wet plaster or joinery indiscriminately, it may well recover once the building has dried out. Once debris has been cleared away clean all surfaces with detergent or disinfectant if necessary.

Dry the building out slowly

Natural ventilation is ideal to ensure no rapid change in humidity that might damage historic fabric. If necessary use extract fans, low heating levels and dehumidifiers. Some timber fittings, such as door linings or floorboards may need to be selectively removed to hasten drying or prevent buckling. If any fabric needs to be removed make sure it is recorded first so it can later be reproduced.

Avoid unnecessary repairs or alterations

Lime plaster and timber are natural materials that are breathable and will usually survive if left to dry out naturally. Salt deposits may appear during drying but can be brushed or vacuumed off. Check if any repointing is required and use lime mortars.  

Make sure insurers and contractors are aware if your building is listed

Standard responses to flood damage include tanking, modern gypsum plaster, cement rich mortars and water-repellent products. These measures can all lead to damage to the building in the long run through hindering the natural breathable properties of the historic fabric. Remember your building spends more time above than under water!

Check if you need listed building consent or planning permission to make any alterations

Even in the event of flood damage, any change to the materials or architectural details of a listed building are likely to need consent, and with the world heritage site certain external works may need planning permission too. For advice please visit our pre-application page.

Last updated: 28/02/2020 09:03

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