Since partnering with Flood Angel earlier this year to bring flood doors into their offering, Glazerite have worked alongside the experienced flood defence specialists to help a growing number of installers gather the niche knowledge and training required in order to tap in to this lucrative market, says director Jason Thompson.
Flooding affects tens of thousands of UK homeowners causing damage that stretches into the billions of pounds every year, a situation that is exacerbated by the Government continuing to allow homes to be built on known flood plains. With the average flood related insurance claim reaching £50,000 by the end of 2016, sharply increasing from just £31,000 two years before, the impact on flood victims’ lives cannot be measured in cash alone. Greater numbers of homeowners are therefore looking beyond simple restoration of their home with many seeking to pre-empt flood damage in the future as awareness grows of the measures available to protect their properties. Similarly, those as yet unaffected in flood risk areas are choosing to spend a relatively affordable sum that promises to protect their homes in the event of a flood.
These factors combine to present opportunities for window and door installers looking to add services and sectors to their portfolio. Unlike with the home improvement market, customers considering flood resilience products are driven by necessity rather than desire. And whilst there is currently no blanket grant funding scheme for domestic flood mitigation in the UK, there are a number of different routes through which these customers can cover their costs, without having to raid their savings.
In recent years the Government has made grant funding available to property owners who have experienced flooding, including the 2014 Repair and Renew Grant and the 2016 Flood Resilience Grant launched following storms Eva and Desmond. On both occasions a total of £5000 was made available to each household, enough to upgrade not only the doors but also the drains, airbricks, toilet pans and electrical sockets.
In the case of grant funding, all homeowners have been required to obtain up to 3 competitive quotes, ensuring a good spread of opportunity for product supply and installation companies nationwide. Although many believe more flood resilience funding should be made available before water damage occurs, it is highly likely that a similar approach will be adopted in the event of future flooding.
Meanwhile customers can still obtain funding via the DG5 register and The Environment Agency. Several thousand properties in the UK are listed on the DG5 register which details properties that are in danger of flooding due to mismanagement by UK water companies. The water companies are obliged, under the terms of their operating licence, to fund flood mitigation measures and in turn get these properties removed from the DG5 register.
The Environment Agency is the Government’s lead organisation for the delivery of flood mitigation in England – Scotland, Northern Ireland & Wales have their own agency bodies – and is tasked with the strategic flood defence planning across the country. The Agency’s primary focus is on major community infrastructure projects, however, they also fund a number of property level protection schemes where ‘at risk’ properties are protected with flood mitigation measures every year.
“Even in the absence of funding it is still achievable for those customers without an extensive budget to upgrade to a flood door,” said Jason, “By offering a range of well-chosen designs, such as those developed by Flood Angel, there is no need for homeowners to compromise on looks in order to obtain a reliable, high quality product.
Flood Angel Director Frank Kelly added: “It is worth highlighting that flood doors alone will not prevent water from entering a property, but they are a great place to start. By arming themselves with a broader understanding of flood resilience products and the wider flood mitigation market these installers will always be well placed to advise their customers on the best solution to meet their needs.”
Jason concluded: Our partnership with Flood Angel enables our installers to be at the forefront of this lucrative market and in position to reap the benefits. We are equipping our installers with BSI accredited training and the support and backing of the leading flood professional specialists to provide complete peace of mind as they venture into this new market.”