Inspection and repair

Flood protection products should be regularly inspected and tested to ensure they are in good working order. You really don’t want to discover issues with flood defences in the pouring rain of a live flood event. Where necessary maintenance and repair should be routinely performed to keep your products at peak performance.

With this in mind, let’s look at a repair one of our members just completed.

Inspection of the flood protection products had discovered badly corroded parts that were impairing the performance of airbrick covers after 10 years of use. The threaded rod that goes into the airbrick had rusted onto the handle, making it impossible or difficult to loosen or tighten the cover. The image below shows the corrosion and degradation of a rod with the handle removed to clearly show the issue.

Rusted rod - flood cover repair
Rusted rod – flood cover repair

The aluminium cover plates and the waterproof foam seals were all found to be in good condition.

This was the opportunity to reconsider the replacement part materials to improve the longer term performance and reliability of the airbrick covers. A2 stainless steel was selected for corrosion resistance in this application. A4 stainless would have also been appropriate as a materials choice.

A2-70 stainless steel rod, A2 stainless washers and neoprene washers were purchased along with new handles for the repair.

Old rod was removed, new rod fitted with a sealant.

New fitted A2 stainless rod
New fitted A2 stainless rod

Neoprene washer glued onto the A2 stainless washer using a weatherproof contact adhesive.

New fitted A2 stainless rod, washer with neoprene seal and handle
New fitted A2 stainless rod, washer with neoprene seal and handle

A silicone based grease was used on the threads of the rod and handle to protect the materials used in the handle and to give a little added protection to the threaded rod. Silicone grease was used as its doesn’t affect rubber or foam parts.

Repaired air brick cover
Repaired air brick cover
Repaired air brick cover
Repaired air brick cover

Airbrick cover repair completed with materials that should last decades.

The big question: When did you last check your flood defences?

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